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Public-images-osm logo.svg sorting_name
The name tag, which is used for sorting names. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: names
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
Useful combination
See also
Status: in use

The sorting name tag can be used to allow better sorting of names given in the main Key:name tag.

Names can consist of a main part (Russian: основная часть), a status part (Russian: статусная часть), an ordinal number (Russian: порядковый номер), and/or and explanatory word (Russian: поясняющее слово). There is no obligatory parts in names. In sorting names alphabetically an automated system can sometimes have a problem. Names should be sorted by the "main part" i.e. the most interesting bit of the name. If a name contains some other part before main part, then the Key:name tag may yield undesirable results. This is rarely a problem in english street names (words like "Street" and "Road" are never used as prefix) but in other languages they are.

In these cases you would add the tag sorting_name where the value should be used to replace the whole name for the purposes of sorting, to allow a system to sort correctly. The value is purely for sorting, and for building alphabetical indexes (e.g. MapOSMatic) It is not for rendering in any way, so you can use any name which allows a system to make correct sorting.


These kinds of names don't crop up so often in english streets, but the examples would be something like:

  • name=street of Communication -> sorting_name=Communication street
  • name=island Summer Garden -> sorting_name=Summer Garden island
  • name=bridge of Shipbuilders -> sorting_name=Shipbuilders bridge