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Public-images-osm logo.svg created_by
Created by JOSM 15 6115 de.png
Tag representing Editor/Script which created/(edited) this item. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: Changesets
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Status: discardable

This tag is used to describe the computer program (editor or script) which made the changes' - similar to a user agent - and is automatically added by editors to a saved changeset, see also a list of other changeset tags Proposed_features/changeset_tags.

It should no longer be added to individual elements, i.e. nodes, ways, or relations. Like other discardable tags, it is automatically removed by many editors.



Prior to version 0.6 of the API the created_by=* tag was applied to individual objects (nodes, ways and relations and even segments in earlier protocol versions). However, with the introduction of changesets to provide non-geographic "meta data" it makes more sense for the created_by tag to be recorded there. The number of nodes, ways or relations that still have a created_by tag is slowly decreasing, since this key is silently dropped by OSM editors like JOSM, iD, Potlatch, Potlatch2 when objects get modified.


Guidance to users

  • You should not edit this value to record your own name. Your user name will be recorded anyway (and in addition) automatically on upload.
  • You should not remove the created_by tag on objects you are not otherwise modifying. If we wanted to remove them in bulk we'd do it some other way.
  • You may remove the created_by tag on nodes/ways/relations that you are modifying in a changeset anyway. This is what JOSM, iD, Potlatch, Potlatch2 and other editors do automatically.

Guidance to software developers

The guidance to users plus:

  • You should record a created_by tag on a changeset when saving changes
  • The created_by tag may contain a revision number, version number or similar. This helps people track down problems if a version of your editor/script has a bug in it.
    • Alternatively, potlatch2 splits information into created_by, version and build tags.
  • You should not add or update the created_by tag on nodes/ways/relations.
  • For translation QA : please add the 'language' version (like: de,en,es,it,hu)