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Public-images-osm logo.svg manhole
Hole with a cover that allows access to an underground service location, just large enough for a human to climb through Edit or translate this description.
Group: Man made
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Documented values: 2
Useful combination
Status: in use

Specifies man_made=manhole type.

Where pipeline themselves have not yet been discovered, it can be beneficial for future mappers to mark the locations of manholes for later uses.


manhole=* can take any values, but the following are the first set in use

  • plain:  manhole covers with no markings at all available
  • unknown: manhole cover with unknown markings, or of unknown use. Combine with label=* when possible for later identification.
  • water: maintenance access to clean water pipelines
  • rainwater: maintenance access to rainwater pipelines (consider using drain)
  • sewer: maintenance access to pipelines carrying wastewater (sewage)
  • drain:  surface water drain for removing rainwater
  • heat: district heating maintenance holes
  • cold: district cooling maintenance holes
  • gas: maintenance access to gas transport pipelines
  • telecom: maintenance access to pipelines containing telecommunication cables
  • power: access to underground electricity wires
  • other: all you can think of

Tips on surveying

Often the manhole covers themselves don't feature a description of what's below, but you'll find a marker on a nearby wall, or on a dedicated stick or ventilation shaft. On such markers you might be able to read the distance to the manhole along with a diameter of the pipeline and/or an indicator of pipeline contents; some markers feature a number suitable for the tag ref=*.

When the cast iron covers themselves read "40" or "25", it's usually just a maximum weight restriction (in tonnes).

See also