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Public-images-osm logo.svg alt_name
Another name or names by which the feature is known. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: Names
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: de facto


This tag can be used when a street, river or any other feature has another common name but there is some other alternative form.

Note that some alternative names fit better for other tags:

  • Name used primarily locally, or by other names in local dialects (for which a language code is not enough selective) then loc_name=* fits better
  • Shortened form of common name - short_name=* is superior.
  • official name that is not a commonly used name - official_name=*
  • Regionally used name - reg_name=*
  • Multilingual names for names in a specific language

If none of that fits then alt_name=* can be used.

It can be used when has several alternative orthographies (possibly in other scripts) and even the orthography of the preferred name is uncertain.

alt_name=* is sometimes used to store multiple semicolon-separated names, but of possible it should be avoided by using other name tags listed above.


Multiple alternative names

Use a semicolon to separate multiple values:

  • name=Jomotsangkha and alt_name=Jomotshangkha;Jomot Shangha;Jomot Sangkha;Jomotshangka
Alt name in a specific language
name:en=Lanhai Expressway
alt_name:en=Weiwu Expressway

Sources of alternative names

There are many names available under a public domain license :

Name Types are:

  1. C = Conventional - English name in wide spread usage for a feature located in a area where English is not the official language;
  2. N = BGN Standard - Official local name for a feature;
  3. NS = BGN Standard in non-Roman script;
  4. D = Not verified - Name could not be verified from a recent local official source;
  5. DS = Not verified in non-Roman script;
  6. H = Historic;
  7. HS = Historic in non-Roman script;
  8. P = Provisional;
  9. PS = Provisional in non-Roman script;
  10. V = Variant or alternate - Former name, name in local usage, or other spellings found on various sources;
  11. VS = Variant or alternate in non-Roman script