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Public-images-osm logo.svg capital
Europe capitals map.png
The capital of a country or administrative divisions within countries Edit or translate this description.
Group: Places
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: de factoPage for proposal

This property is used on place=city/town (and other place=* of type settlement) to tag the capital of a country or administrative divisions within countries.

How to map


  • Mapnik: Place-capital-8.svg

Using relations for capitals

relation Relations of type=boundary+boundary=administrative include the role admin_centre. The role members can used to get the capitals of countries (admin_level=2 on relation) and other capitals depending admin_level=* on relation.

The following Overpass API query (link) gets all national admin_centres of the world:

out meta;

The following Overpass API query (link) gets all admin_level=4 admin_centres of Germany. The country and admin_level can be adjusted.

out meta;

As of 2016 the admin_centre role can't be used in databases created by osm2pgsql: We do not have this information in the database. osm2pgsql does not have membership information and nodes as relation members do not make it into geometries.[1]

Capitals which are not tagged as city or town

Not all country capitals fit into the definition of place=city/town because of size or of definition. Below a list of country capitals which are currently tagged differently. Please join discussion on Talk page about tagging.

With a population around 5500 it does reach the minimum required population of town which is usually applied in surrounding Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Vaduz as the capital and seat of government is the most important settlement in Liechtenstein, though. An upgrade to town leaves the question how to tag Schaan, the slighter larger settlement nearby.
This settlement consists only of a government building complex without permanent population.
The whole atoll is designated the capital.
The question whether South Tarawa or the whole atoll Tarawa is the capital is still debated on Wikipedia. South Tarawa is historically a string of islets with a few villages on them. They have been connected by a causeway, forming a single piece of land.

See Also