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Public-images-osm logo.svg note
A note to yourself or to other mappers. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: annotations
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)may be used on relations
See also
Status: de facto

A note is used to inform other mappers about non-obvious information about an element, the author's intent when creating it, or hints for further improvement. It is usually recorded against a node, way or relation.

The tag note=* is used:

  • to document a general note about an object and
  • as a prefix, e.g. in note:access=*, to document why something has a specific access=* value.

Standard maps normally don't show notes.

The distinction between note and comment is that a note is generally used on nodes/ways/relations to describe real-world things like "the busstop is actually here but the signpost was knocked down in september 2009", whereas a comment is used on changesets.

The length of a note is limited to 255 characters by the OSM server. Caveat: some front-end editing tools seem to allow one to create longer notes but the upload of those notes will not succeed.


  • - displays note's text directly as an overlay on the map.
  • JOSM - displays a small "N" on object with a tag note attached.

See Also

  • comment=* - for adding text describing the changeset to other mappers.
  • description=* - for adding text that might be viewable to the end user.
  • fixme=* - to mark objects and places that need further attention.
  • do not confuse it with Notes - core feature of the which enables you to add a comment on the map to assist others in mapping/editing OpenStreetMap.