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Public-images-osm logo.svg location
Power to the People - - 560240.jpg
Group: Placement
Used on these elements
may be used on nodes
may be used on ways
may be used on areas
use on relations unspecified
Status: Approved Page for proposal

The generic key location=* is used in different contexts to define the location of a feature which may be above the ground or buried. Used with features such as man_made=pipeline and power=cable which may be buried in the soil.

For features which are contained within a self-supporting tunnel, which may also be used for other purposes or provided for maintenance purposes, use tunnel=* instead. A buried cable is usually surrounded by earth. A cable in a tunnel is usually surrounded by air within a larger self-supporting structure.

Use of the layer=* tag is optional and only useful where there is a benefit to describing the relative vertical arrangement of a number of underground (or overgound) features. It is assumed that features that cross which are tagged with 'location' which do not share nodes will not actually interact with other features which also use 'location' (unlike roads/ railways and rivers etc where they need to be on different layers if they do not intersect).


  • location=underground Used where a feature is under ground, not visible on the surface.
  • location=underwater Used for features below the surface of water. For underwater features at sea, you may additionally want to add tags according to the Seamark tagging scheme.
  • location=overground Used where a feature such as a pipeline or cable is over ground, located close to the surface, not allowing a person or vehicle to pass underneath.
  • location=overhead Used for features over ground, located at a height allowing persons or vehicles to pass underneath.
  • location=roof Used where a feature ist mounted on the roof of a building.

The power=substation tagging scheme introduces a number of further values for location=*, see Substation#Location. Some of these values such as location=indoor may also be useful for other features.