|The primary name: in general, the most prominent signposted name or the most common name in the local language(s).|
|Used on these elements|
|Documented values: 25|
|Status: de facto|
|Tools for this tag|
The primary tag used for naming an element.
The names should be restricted to the name of the item in question only and should not include additional information not contained in the official name such as categories, types, descriptions, addresses, refs, or notes.
If something really doesn't have a name, don't add a name to OpenStreetMap. Streets which have no name are tagged
noname=yes by most mappers. The idea is to clearly indicate that the street genuinely doesn't have a name. Absence of a name tag is increasingly used to indicate areas which need to be surveyed still.
Note that OSM follows the On the Ground Rule. Names recorded in name=* tag are ones that are locally used, especially ones typically signposted. However, if the name on a signpost is abbreviated to save space and the name can be (and commonly is) spelled without an abbreviation, then don't abbreviate it in OpenStreetMap.
It should be the most prominent signposted name or the most common name actually used to refer to a given object, almost always in the local language(s). In rare cases names may use foreign languages - for example tourism-oriented gift shop may have name in language used by tourists, not in language of local people.
For more information
- Main article: Names
See below for the main values.
|name||User defined||The common default name. (Notes:
|name:<lg>||User defined||Name in different language; e.g., name:fr=Londres. Note that all key variants below can use a language suffix. See: Multilingual names.|
|name:left, name:right||User defined||Used when a way has different names for different sides (e.g., a street that's forming the boundary between two municipalities).|
|int_name||User defined||International name (note: consider using language specific names instead; e.g., name:en=... - see above – International does not (necessarily) mean English).|
|loc_name||User defined||Local name.|
|nat_name||User defined||National name.|
|official_name||User defined||It has been created for country names but we need a clarification for other cases between "name", "int_name", "loc_name" and "official_name". Example: official_name=Principat d'Andorra (where "name" is name=Andorra).|
|old_name||User defined||Historical/old name.|
|reg_name||User defined||Regional name.|
|short_name||User defined||should be a recognizable, commonly used short version of the name, not a nick name (use alt_name for that), useful for searching (recognized by Nominatim).|
|sorting_name||User defined||name, used for correct sorting of names — This is only needed when sorting names cannot be based only on their orthography (using the Unicode Collation Algorithm with collation tables tailored by language and script, or when sorted lists of names are including names written in multiple languages and/or scripts) but requires ignoring some parts such as:
all of them being ignored at the primary sort level and not easily inferable by a preprocessing algorithm.
|alt_name||User defined||Alternative name by which the feature is known. If there is a name that does not fit in any of the above keys, alt_name can be used, e.g., name=Field Fare Road and alt_name=Fieldfare Road, or name=University Centre and alt_name=Grad Pad. In rare cases, the key is used for multiple semicolon-separated names, e.g. alt_name=name1;name2;name3, but this usage is not preferred.|
|Do not use this tag, suffixed name tagging for multiple values is deprecated.|
This table is a wiki template with a default description in English. Editable here.
Key variants can be suffixed with date namespace suffix (such as "old_name:en:1921-1932").
If you have multiple names for a feature, first try to choose a rich semantic tag like any of the ones in the table (like short_name=*, old_name=*, etc.). If none of them works, choose the alt_name=* tag. If there are multiple names that do not fit, alt_name=* can be used with semicolons.
Road names, especially highway names, may commemorate individuals. Depending on the region and specific case, the road name may appear prominently at every junction, or it may appear only once or twice at either end of the road, or there may be some other arrangement. In many regions, a motorway may be named but only the route number is signposted. Use the name=* tag if the name is suitable for general usage (such as for navigation); otherwise, use the official_name=* or alt_name=* tag.
- name=* tag is supposed to contain solely name, not to describe the type or location of the object or one of its other properties (such as height, elevation, operator, access restrictions, classification/certification/quality labels...).
- strapline=* can be used to describe the advertising slogan that is also posted on shops under their name
Many OpenStreetMap editors are providing a field for attribute name=* in their feature presets. StreetComplete has quests ("What is the name of this road/pedestrian street/square?" and "What is the name of this place? […]" ) to add the name=* tag for many features.
Possible tagging mistakes
- Multilingual names
- Key:description to describe a feature.
- https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/w/images/d/d8/DisputedTerritoriesInformation.pdf - OSMF official statement summarizing the situation of mapping disputed boundaries, borders, names and descriptions
- For example gift shops in Bethlehem may have names in English, but name tag for Bethlehem town will certainly not be in English