Nominatim/Special Phrases

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Special Phrases

Special phrases are keywords that cause Nominatim to search for a specific key=value pair.

The existing special phrases hosted on are now being replaced with a list hosted on this wiki to allow for more flexibility (comment: why? nobody has told us anything -> Discussion). The idea is to capture all possible phrases and what they mean to the search engine so please record all phrases and any variations.

If the same phrase is both the singular and the plural please include 2 lines, one labelled plural 'Y' and the other labelled plural 'N'.

For the operator please use either '-', 'in', 'near' or 'named'. '-' means 'any' so for instance "London Airport" could mean either an airport in London, an airport near London or an airport called 'London'.

Word / Phrase Key Value Operator Plural
Airport aeroway aerodrome - N
Airports aeroway aerodrome in Y
Airports aeroway aerodrome near Y
Airport in aeroway aerodrome in N
Airports in aeroway aerodrome in Y
Airport near aeroway aerodrome near N
Airports near aeroway aerodrome near Y

If there are additional synonyms, alternate phrases or even alternative spellings that mean the same thing add additional lines as required. If the same word or phrase could be used to search for different key/value pairs include additional lines for those as well - please check that they are not already repeated further down the file.


Reporting an issue

Even though this list is used by Nominatim, it is maintained by the community. Please do not report bugs you find in this list to Nominatim, just fix them here.

Automatic import of special phrases in Nominatim

You should further be aware that Nominatim only reimports the phrases sporadically when the database is reloaded, so changes may take a long time before they appear. At the moment we cannot accept requests for unscheduled database reload just to update the list. This task is done manually by administrators with an import script.

Current language pages

The current special phrases are based on the list maintained in translatewiki and periodically re-imported.