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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 official (or locally preferred name) but locals frequently refer to it by its abbreviated name, or by other names in local dialects (for which a language code is not enough selective), or the name 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 this should be avoided in favor of different name tags that reveal what kind of name this is (e.g. loc_name=*, old_name=*, or Multilingual names).


  • In Croatia this is often the case for abbreviating street names without the first name. For example:
  • name=Field Fare Road and alt_name=Fieldfare Road
  • name=University Centre and alt_name=Grad Pad
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