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Public-images-osm logo.svg line_management
Describes particular topologies of lines around their supports or significant points along their path Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: infrastructure
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Documented values: 7
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal

Line management refers to particular topologies of overhead lines or underground cables. It often applies to utilities networks with power or telecom lines.
The values below are intended for power networks, but their use may be extended to other activities, if suitable.


It was proposed to use a new line_management=* key to free tower:type=* and pole:type=* from defining how lines are arranged. This would allow us to keep tower:type=* to define tower shapes and to extend line management concepts to other types of support such as poles, portals or even terminal anchors. Current available tagging describes these situations globally without any specific terminology regarding power nor telecom. This key is mainly applicable to utility networks and it can easily be extended, with more specific terms, to other fields as well.

Simple supports, with no particular line management focus, should not be tagged with the line_management=* key or default straight.

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Advanced usage

Level composition matrix

As many situations exists in reality, it can be useful to combine (line_management=<left value>|<right value>) some values to reflect what actually happen on a given support level according to compatibility rules introduced upside.
This table indicates situations corresponding to left value in rows and right value in columns.
Each line refers to an independent line system (a circuit, for power lines, 3 cables in alternative 3-phases system). Black ones are mandatory and grey ones are optional elements which don't change the value selection if they exist.
All parallels lines are draw with a single OSM way in practice with appropriate cables=* and circuits=* values.
You won't see cross as it can't be combined with any other value for a given level.

Left & right are established following common principles of OSM.

Value straight branch split transpose termination transition
straight straight Line management compose straight branch.png split Line management compose straight transpose.png Line management compose straight termination.png split/transition
or simpler split
if several transitions
branch Line management compose branch straight.png branch Line management compose branch split.png Line management compose branch transpose.png Line management compose branch termination.png Line management compose branch transition.png
split split Line management compose split branch.png split Line management compose split transpose.png Line management compose split termination.png Line management compose split transition.png
transpose Line management compose transpose straight.png Line management compose transpose branch.png Line management compose transpose split.png transpose Line management compose transpose termination.png Line management compose transpose transition.png
termination Line management compose termination straight.png Line management compose termination branch.png Line management compose termination split.png Line management compose termination transpose.png termination Line management compose termination transition.png
transition split/transition
or simpler split
if several transitions
Line management compose transition branch.png Line management compose transition split.png Line management compose transition transpose.png Line management compose transition termination.png transition

Real life chart

Finally, let's illustrate this proposal with a concrete use case summarizing many individual possibilities.
Further thinking is required to address complex situations, as line management can mix several configurations on different tower levels.
Once a little more work will be done on Matrix_values, proposed values for line_management=* could be used together to better reflect situations occurring on the same tower/pole support node.
Furthermore, it is not mandatory to use this tag on any particular support node. Use this key only when you are sure that the value is suitable for the situation you found.

You'll find below a chart illustrating what you should see on ground and how to use corresponding line management values.

Power line chart pole termination.png Termination pole

Power line chart pole loop.png Branch pole


Y connection then it's a branch.
Power line chart pole split.png Split pole

Power line chart pole branch.png Branch pole


No arrangement for now as several are mixed on this support
Power line chart pole cross.png Cross pole


No arrangement for now as several are mixed on this support
Power line chart tower transpose.png Transposition tower


See also