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Public-images-osm logo.svg winter_service
TowPLow front view.JPG
Indicates if winter service is provided. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: properties
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)may be used on relations
Useful combination


Status: approvedPage for proposal

The winter service tag is used to specify, if the area is serviced during winter to remain in working condition. Winter service of roads may contain snow plowing, gritting, salting etc.

Note that recent snowfall without snowplowing/gritting is not conclusive evidence of lack of winter maintenance – road may be simply of a lower priority. However, usually a properly serviced route is in usable condition at least within days of the snowfall.

warning sign for limited winter service
warning sign for limited winter service


Tag Description
winter_service=no No winter servicing at all. The usability of the feature might be significantly worse than in the summertime at least by foot and on normal vehicles.
winter_service=limited Some winter service, but only occasionally. In Germany there are usually matching traffic signs.
winter_service=yes The road is serviced in winter. This does not still guarantee the usability of the road in extreme weather.

Applies to ways and areas (e.g. pedestrian areas or parking lots). A single default value is not defined, because conventions vary depending on the area.

If known one can also tag more detailed similar to Mappa_Mercia.

Specific information

The main tag only describes the general level of winter service and usually means that snowplowing and sometimes salting is done when necessary. In addition you can use more specific subkeys that describe other features:

Use by data consumers

When routing, roads should usually be presumed to be usable also in winter if the key is missing. Service status will be defined for all suitable ways to reflect which ways have an unknown status.

See also

  • snowplowing=* - Specifies whether or not a way is regularly snowplowed.
  • maintenance=gritting + gritting=* - An equivalent tag introduced over 10 years ago in the UK with usage mostly in England. The tag has been used for public service maps of planned winter maintenance across the West Midlands. (In the UK gritting is the primary type of winter service).
  • winter_road=* - Seasonal roads in northern regions that are functioning during winter, usually impassable in summer.
  • ice_road=* - Seasonal roads in cold regions that are laid upon frozen water basins and rivers.
  • seasonal=* - Features which appear or disappear with differing seasonal conditions
  • Proposed_features/Key:winter_service - Proposal of this tag