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Public-images-osm logo.svg landuse
Changing landuse - - 1137810.jpg
Mainly used for describing the primary use of areas of land. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: landuse
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Documented values: 80
Status: de facto


Mainly used to describe the primary use of land by humans. For general information on mapping/classifying land areas see Land use and areas of natural land. See Landcover for general information on tagging the physical appearance of land and Proposed features/landcover for a proposal to more clearly separate the concepts.

More detailed landuse is often implied by other tags like amenity=*, leisure=* and tourism=*, including amenity=college, amenity=hospital, leisure=park, amenity=parking, leisure=pitch, amenity=school, amenity=swimming_pool and amenity=university. In some cases these more detailed tags may be used for the primary landuse, in others they may provide supplementary information. For example a car park within a retail area or a shop within an apartment block.

Note that some landuse=* values are used for small-scale landuse, such as landuse=flowerbed.

Note: At least two of the common values of landuse=* may be viewed as not strictly land use. These are landuse=grass and landuse=forest. Please refer to the pages of these for more information.


See below for commonly used values for landuse:

Key Value Element Description Rendering Photo

Common landuse key values - developed land

landuse commercial node area Predominantly commercial businesses and their offices. Commercial businesses which sell goods should be categorised as landuse=retail. Commercial businesses can sell services on site and may include private Doctor's Surgeries, and those non-government services for mental and physical health, such as a Counselor's or Physiotherapist's practice or Veterinary. Commercial businesses can also include office buildings and business parks which have limited interface with the public and sell their services either on site, or externally. Commercial businesses have low amounts of public foot traffic.

Government services and businesses predominantly mapped as commercial too and used as such by data consumers! See more information on operator:type to set it as government to distinguish from private or others.
civic_admin is an abandoned proposal, civic has no documentation, institutional is to ambiguous and all three only find minimal support in the mapping community.

Cambourne Business Park - - 15908.jpg
landuse construction node area A site which is under active development and construction of a building or structure, including any purposeful alteration to the land or vegetation upon it. Abandoned construction projects and sites should not use this tag.
Cantiere the Green One dell'area De Gasperi Ovest a San Donato Milanese (Giugno 2022).jpg
landuse education node area An area predominately used for educational purposes/facilities.
Stąporków, Szkoła Podstawowa nr 2.jpg
landuse fairground node area A site where a fair takes place
Honre's Pleasure Fair funfair in Inverness from above.jpg
landuse industrial node area Predominantly industrial landuses such as workshops, factories, or warehouses.
Rehuraisio feed plant in Oulu 2008 001.jpg
landuse residential node area Land where people reside; predominantly residential detached (single houses, grouped dwellings), or attached (apartments, flats, units) dwellings. For "Mixed-Use" areas where more than half of the land is residential, tag as residential.
landuse retail node area Predominantly retail businesses such as shops. Retail businesses sell physical goods such as food (prepared or grocery), clothing, medicine, stationary, appliances, tools, or other similar physical items. Retail businesses have high amounts of public foot traffic. Retail businesses do not exclusively provide or sell their services. For businesses which sell services see landuse=commercial.

Generally a member of the public could freely walk into and access a retail business. Retail is a subset of commercial, but should be used and treated as mutually exclusive in OpenStreetMap.

Trocadero - London 1.jpg
landuse institutional node area Land used for institutional purposes, see  Institution (disambiguation). Institutional land may include buildings like an office=government, office=ngo, office=association, amenity=social_facility and their associated infrastructure (car parks, service roads, yards and so-on)

information sign

The meaning of this tag is ambiguous and unclear. Consider using another tag that better describes the object. For instance landuse=commercial. See talk page for discussion.
MSF bureau Genève Novembre 2015.jpg
Key Value Element Description Rendering Photo

Common landuse key values - rural and agricultural land

landuse aquaculture node area  Aquaculture is the farming of freshwater and saltwater organisms such as finfish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants.

Warning: currently, there is no convention on the exact meaning of this tag. Therefore, it makes sense to treat it like "boundary of aquaculture" (without implication of water body), which means, water body should be tagged by its own, using natural=water etc.

Delta Pride Catfish farm harvest.jpg
landuse allotments node area A piece of land given over to local residents for growing vegetables and flowers.
landuse farmland area An area of farmland used for tillage (cereals, vegetables, oil plants, flowers).
Rye field.jpg
landuse farmyard area An area of land with farm buildings like farmhouse, dwellings, farmsteads, sheds, stables, barns, equipment sheds, feed bunkers, etc. plus the open space in between them and the shrubbery/trees around them.
Rendering-area-landuse farmyard-mapnik.png
landuse paddy area An area of land where the surface and shape of the land is made suitable for growing rice.
Rice Field.jpg
landuse animal_keeping area An area of land that is used to keep animals, particularly horses and livestock.
Open stable Velm Neuhaus.jpg
landuse flowerbed area An area designated for flowers
Brussels floral carpet B.jpg
landuse forest node area Managed forest or woodland plantation (Other languages). Some use this to map an area of trees rather than the use of the land. See Forest.
Fort Nelson Forestry.JPG
landuse greenhouse_horticulture area Area used for growing plants in greenhouses
Greenhouses westland.jpg
landuse meadow node area A meadow or pasture: land primarily vegetated by grass and non-woody plants, mainly used for hay or grazing
Landuse Meadow.png
landuse orchard node area intentional planting of trees or shrubs maintained for food production
PikiWiki Israel 29753 Almonds grove.jpg
landuse plant_nursery area intentional planting of plants maintaining for the production of new plants
Landuse plant nursery.png
Cutchogue - Oregon Road - Plant Nursery.jpg
landuse vineyard node area A piece of land where grapes are grown.
Grape vines.jpg
Key Value Element Description Rendering Photo

Common landuse key values - waterbody

landuse basin node area An area artificially graded to hold water.

Together with basin=* for stormwater/rainwater infiltration/detention/retention basins.

Other languages.

Base layer water.png
Boneyard Detention Basin 2006.jpg
landuse reservoir node area A reservoir on Wikipedia. Deprecated variant of natural=water + water=reservoir. See Proposed features/Reservoir for details.
Amagase Dam.jpg
landuse salt_pond area A place where salt (saline) water is evaporated to extract its salt.
Salt ponds SF Bay (dro!d).jpg
Key Value Element Description Rendering Photo

Other landuse key values

landuse brownfield node area Describes land scheduled for new development where old buildings have been demolished and cleared
Former Brickworks ... - - 56268.jpg
landuse cemetery node area Place for burials. You can add religion=* (values listed in the place of worship page). Smaller places (e.g. with a church nearby) may use amenity=grave_yard instead.
Jewish cemetery Worms.jpg
landuse conservation area Protected areas (deprecated) Alternate tagging of same thing: boundary=protected_area, protected_area=*
landuse depot area An area used as a depot for e.g. vehicles (trains, buses or trams). Consider using rather standard landuse tags like landuse=railway, landuse=commercial, landuse=industrial, with subtag like industrial=depot.
RET remise Beverwaard (2).JPG
landuse garages area One level buildings with boxes commonly for cars, usually made of brick and metal. Usually this area belong to garage cooperative with own name, chairman, budget, rules, security, etc.
Rendering-area-landuse garages-mapnik.png
landuse grass node area An area of mown and managed grass not otherwise covered by a more specific tag. Some view this as not a landuse, see the main page landuse=grass for discussion.
084 Green grass lawn background, green mowed grass free photo.jpg
landuse greenfield node area Describes land scheduled for new development where there have been no buildings before. A greenfield is scheduled to turn into a construction site
Rendering-area-landuse greenfield-mapnik.png
Greenfields - - 1202824.jpg

landuse landfill node area Place where waste is dumped.
landuse military node area For land areas owned/used by the military for whatever purpose
REUNION 2007 04.jpg
landuse port area coastal industrial area where commercial traffic is handled. Consider using landuse=industrial + industrial=port for this type of industrial area.
Churchill Seaport 1996-08-12.jpg
landuse quarry node area Surface mineral extraction
landuse railway area Area for railway use, generally off-limits to the general public
landuse recreation_ground node area An open green space for general recreation, which may include pitches, nets and so on, usually municipal but possibly also private to colleges or companies
Landuse-recreation ground.png
Outdoor gym in Parque de Bateria, Torremolinos.JPG
landuse religious node area An area used for religious purposes
Landuse-religious ground.png
Cerkiew w Komańczy by Verid1st 09.JPG
landuse village_green node area A village green is a distinctive area of grassy public land in a village centre. Not a generic tag for urban greenery. It is a typical English term – defined separately from 'common land' under the Commons Registration Act 1965 and the Commons Act 2006.
Landuse-village green.png
landuse winter_sports node area An area dedicated to winter sports (e.g. skiing)
First run (3373949916).jpg
landuse user defined node area All commonly used values according to Taginfo

This table is a wiki template with a default description in English. Editable here.

Possible tagging mistakes

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If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!