Lifecycle prefix

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The lifecycle/status namespace prefix can be used to tag objects with a status such as proposed, planned, construction, disused, abandoned, demolished, historic. See also Comparison of life cycle concepts.

Examples: disused:amenity=pub, construction:amenity=parking, proposed:lanes=2

By using this key prefix it is ensured that current or legacy applications are not confused by objects which do not exist or are not fully functional and only software aware of this tagging concept will evaluate those.

See also date namespace for a related proposal to include dates for historic tags, for example name:-1965=Kings Place. The two possibilities can be combined to some extent.

No longer existing objects may be marked as existing in other sources. For example demolished building may be visible on aerial images, official maps may include now dried up wetland etc. Using lifecycle prefixes it is possible to clearly mark that specific object must not be remapped without proper verification.

Historic objects with no relevance to current state of an object generally do not belong in OpenStreetMap.

Historic data can be added to Open Historical Map.

How to tag

Add a namespace prefix (for example disused:) to all keys which are no longer relevant to the current state of an object. You should treat all the tags on an object as a set of facts about the object, and prefix the keys of those facts which are no longer true as a result of the disuse. For example, a concrete parking area which is no longer used for parking cars but which still carries a name sign might be tagged as

name=West Plain Car Park
disused:amenity=parking
disused:parking=surface

which makes it unavailable to programs which search parking, and unlikely to be displayed as parking in any default rendering. The name is still relevant, and will still be searchable. If the area is opened up again, it's a simple matter to undo the prefixing.

Common prefixes

Stages of birth

proposed:
Planned, with a high likelihood of being constructed
See also scheme proposed=* in combination with highway=proposed, railway=proposed, aeroway=proposed, etc.
usage: ~38,400 elements (nodes, ways and relations) include the prefix (as of 2021-04)
planned:
Planned, with a high likelihood of being constructed (possible duplicate of proposed:)
Some consider planned: to be stricter than proposed: (i.e., a planned feature that is approved and funded).
usage: ~2,900 (as of 2021-04)
construction:
Being constructed at this time (or construction work for maintenance or modification is performed)
See also scheme construction=* in combination with building=construction, highway=construction, landuse=construction, railway=construction, etc.
usage: ~42,100 (as of 2021-04)

Stages of decay

disused:
Not currently in use, but could be reinstated easily
For physical objects (e.g. buildings, towers or quarries), disused=yes is used more often[1]. For railways, railway=disused is used instead of the lifecycle prefix.
usage: ~177,600 (as of 2021-04)
abandoned:
Still visible but fallen into serious disrepair and which could only be put back into operation with considerable effort
For physical objects (e.g. buildings, towers or quarries), abandoned=yes is used more often[2].
Railways: partially dismantled (railway=abandoned is used instead of the lifecycle prefix)
usage: ~277,900 (as of 2021-04)
ruins:
Only ruins are remaining
usage: ~3,400 (as of 2021-04)
demolished:
Not existing anymore because of active removal
May has been used for features that are almost but not completely invisible
usage: ~41,100 (as of 2021-04)
removed:
Not existing anymore because of active removal (possible duplicate of demolished:)
usage: ~27,600 (as of 2021-04)
razed:
Not existing anymore because of active removal (duplicate of removed:, possible duplicate of demolished:)
For railways, railway=disused is used instead of the lifecycle prefix.
usage: ~25,900 (as of 2021-04)
destroyed:
Destroyed by an event other than intentional demolition
usage: ~5,300 (as of 2021-04)

Repurpose

was:
Not what it used to be
usage: ~47,300 (as of 2021-04)

Less common prefixes

Stages of decay

ruined:
Only ruins are remaining (duplicate of ruins:)
usage: ~700 (as of 2021-04)
closed:
Not currently in use, but could be reinstated easily (duplicate of disused:)
Used for closed businesses and services (e.g. shops, restaurants, offices, banks).
usage: ~600 (as of 2021-04)

Repurpose

historic:
Misleading because of inconsistent use – not recommended for lifecycle tagging
While someone tried to establish the concept of "a previously valid characteristic for an object that has different properties today", this never actually got accepted and this prefix is used for various other things in an inconsistent manner. Most used as historic:civilization=*, historic:period=*, historic:railway=* and historic:<some railway property>, further as historic:year:* (similar to the date namespace) and some other ways.
usage: 92,700 (as of 2021-04)
former:
Not what it used to be (duplicate of was:)
usage: ~800 (as of 2021-04)

Other

emergency:
Used on multi-purpose facilities to reflect a temporary, secondary function for exigencies
usage: ~15,900 (as of 2021-04)

Examples

Image Tagging Description
Closed down shop.jpg disused:shop=yes A closed-down shop of some sort. If the type of shop it used to be is known, substitute the appropriate value from Key:shop for "yes".
Disused-or-abandoned-pub.jpg disused:amenity=pub
disused:operator=The Oxford Pub Company
name=Fox & Hounds
Boarded-up disused public house. It no longer has an operator as such - no beer is sold - but the name is still useful for navigation.
Weiche der ehemaligen Bahnstrecke Herzberg–Siebertal.jpg railway=disused
disused:railway=rail
Historic railway line. Tracks not degraded but overgrown.
Taplow - fGWR 165103 up train.JPG electrified=no
construction:electrified=contact_line
Railway line with electrification works in progress.
Leisurepitchdisused.png disused:leisure=pitch Disused pitch, now somewhat overgrown.
Ende Gelände 2017 CHB 23 (cropped).jpg objects that were there before open pit mine are not tagged Open pit mine. Forest that used to be here must not be tagged in any way, as no identifiable trace of it remains and is unlikely to be mistakenly mapped again. Only in cases where mappers are likely to reintroduce old objects (pit mine is new and not visible in some still used aerial images) it can be mapped.
Daewoo-FSO Polonez Atu Plus on Zygmunta Krasińskiego avenue in Kraków (1).jpg railway is not tagged Place where railway existed in the past. It must not be tagged in any way, as no identifiable trace of it remains and is unlikely to be mistakenly mapped again. Only in cases where mappers are likely to reintroduce old objects (railway was dismantled recently and is still visible in some used aerial images) it can be mapped.
Wiadukt Kolejowy w Grzegórzkach.jpg canal/moat is not tagged Place where waterway existed in the past. It must not be tagged in any way, as no identifiable trace of it remains and is unlikely to be mistakenly mapped again. Only in cases where mappers are likely to reintroduce old objects it can be mapped (recent removal, and likely to remapped from aerial image). This specific viaduct was constructed in 1863 as a bridge over canal that was filled in 15 years later.

See also

References

  1. see for example quarries: disused:landuse=quarry is used 706 times while 4627 landuse=quarry have disused=yes
  2. see for example quarries: abandoned:landuse=quarry is used 669 times while 2364 landuse=quarry have abandoned=yes