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Public-images-osm logo.svg type
Type of a relation. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: properties
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Documented values: 18
Status: de facto

type=* on a relation object specifies its type and interactions among its members. Established and proposed relation types are listed below.

type has been also occasionally used as an add-on tag to specify a "variant" of a feature category on ways and points. This approach conflicts with its use in relations and should be avoided. Also, for elements with multiple tags, it is not clear to which tag the type refers to. Instead, use suffix-based or subtag-based approach, as described in *:type=*.

Established relations

Type Status Members Comment Statistics Image
multipolygon de facto closed way ( way ) Areas where the outline consists of multiple ways, or that have holes.
Multipolygon Illustration 6.svg
route de facto node way An established (often signposted) route over multiple highways for a given transport mode (hiking, cycling, bus or motorized traffic)
route_master approved relation Contains closely related (parallel, opposite, variant, ...) routes only; heavily used to group route variants in public transport.
restriction de facto way node Permitted turns on a highway junction.
France road sign B2b.svg
boundary de facto way node relation Political, administrative and similar boundaries not always observable on the ground. Defined in similar manner as multipolygons.
public_transport approved node way area relation Part of the OSM public transport scheme. Mainly used by public_transport=stop_area.
Bayview trstwy.jpg
destination_sign approved node way Destination signs at or before intersections.
waterway approved node way Groups multiple segments of a named waterway=*.
River Scarpe waterway location.jpg
enforcement approved node way Traffic enforcement devices; speed cameras, redlight cameras, weight checks, ...
Fixed speed camera.svg
connectivity approved node way Indicates how the lanes in the "from" member connect to those in the "to" member.

Uncommon relations

Type Status Members Comment Statistics Image
associatedStreet controversial node way area House numbers related to a street. See Karlsruhe scheme proposal. Banned by community in a few countries.
superroute controversial relation Groups together a string of routes. Superroute contains (concatenable) routes only. Its usefulness is disputed.
site in use node way area Groups elements of a "site" with node members, instead of using a multipolygon. See Relations/Proposed/Site
network in use node way area relation Relations that describe networks with their members being the members of this network.
building in use way Sometimes used to group elements that form a building in simple 3D modelling, but not usually required.
Building part areas in building area.svg
multilinestring in use way A discontiguous series of unclosed ways that semantically represents a single physical object.
SFA MultiLineString.svg
street proposed node way area Bind all parts of a street together and everything else that belongs to it. See Relations/Proposed/Street
bridge proposed way area Groups together all elements of one bridge. See Relations/Proposed/Bridges and Tunnels
tunnel proposed way area Groups together all elements of one tunnel. See Relations/Proposed/Bridges and Tunnels
user defined All commonly used values according to Taginfo Taginfo Statistic pictogramm.png

Proposed uses

Abandoned and obsolete proposals not included.

Junctions, intersections, grade separated crossings, and embankments

Relations/Proposed/Bridges and Tunnels
grouping all ways using a common bridge or tunnel
all the ways that make up a junction (such as a motorway intersection)
Relations/Proposed/Turn hints
Hints for whether a turn is a slight left, sharp left, fork, etc.
Relations/Proposed/turn lanes
which turns are allowed from a given lane

Area hierarchies and other relations for areas

to define areas between ways and lanes (linear crossover), virtual and physical dividers and crossover-possibilities, etc.
Manually placed labels or icons in areas
For floors in 3D-Objects (Subway stations, buildings, etc.).
for grouping together all relevant items of a sled run.


for grouping features with a collective name or address etc.
Karlsruhe Schema
Relations/Proposed/Postal Addresses


defines a set of default values (speed limits, oneways, access) for a country, a state
Relations/Proposed/Provides feature
to associate an object such as a restaurant, hotel or museum with one or more map features such as addresses or entrances.
a relation to create groups of objects (e.g. when they have a common name as group) without requiring additional tags (they are defined through their members).
a relation to have several node objects at the same location without adding actual geometry objects (e.g. for things attached to a pole, antennas on a mast, etc.)

Possible tagging mistakes

  • type=* ‒ This key should only be used on relations. Other object types should be sub-classified using one of schemes described in *:type=* or a different tag.
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

See also