Notes

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Available languages — Notes
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A note added by an anonymous visitor, with details which allow a more experienced OSMer to make map improvements

Notes is a core feature of the OpenStreetMap.org website. It enables you to add a comment on the map to assist others in mapping/editing OpenStreetMap. Other users can respond to your notes, for example to ask for additional details if necessary.

Please do not use notes for general discussion or storing information not otherwise used in OpenStreetMap. For example please avoid notes such as "I was here on Saturday" or "There was a crime at this location".

Although it is not necessary to be logged in to submit (or comment on) a note, it is beneficial to do so. Logged-in users will receive an email if comments are added to a note or the issue is resolved.

Using notes

Yes check.svg Do s
  • Use this feature to report an error in the data or to give some additional information, for instance the name of a street or an address etc.
No-Symbol.svg Don't s
  • Don't copy from other sources such as other maps, even if they do not cost money or are from the government (there are only a few exceptions).
  • Don't argue. If you have something to discuss, please use some other contact channel (a personal message, a mailing list, the forum, or a face-to-face meet-up).
  • Don't post general comments. A note should relate to the map data at a specific location. If you want to contact the community about something more general, please use a more appropriate contact channel.
  • Don't use notes for yourself in a way which is useless to others. Although you can use notes as a reminder to yourself, you are also inviting others to look at it. Descriptions must make sense to other people.
  • Don't create automated notes. Notes should be a human-to-human communication. Also avoid noting lots of data bugs which are already reported by automated Quality Assurance tools.

The notes feature of OpenStreetMap allows both registered users and the wider public to quickly indicate where there are errors or omissions in the OpenStreetMap data, and for contributors to OpenStreetMap to know where their support is needed.

Adding notes

To add a note, click the bottom tool bar button on the right side of the main OSM map.

Add a note screenshot.png

Move the marker to the correct position (as accurately as you can). Leave a short message for contributors to Openstreetmap to tell them what's wrong or missing.

Be clear in your message, for example consider that "path wrong" says very little of use, but "The east-west path on map does not exist on the ground" is very clear.

AddingNotes.JPG

If you have an OpenStreetMap account, you should login first to have your note associated with your username, but casual visitors can easily add a note too. If you want to be more than a casual visitor, create an account.

Viewing notes

To view all the current notes for an area go to the openstreetmap.org main map display, click the 'layer picker' control on the top right of the map, and select the 'Notes' checkbox (see image).

ViewingNotes.JPG

The note markers have the varying styles shown in the image below:

Notes map symbols
Icon Description
New note marker.png
New note location (while being added)
Open note marker.png
Unresolved note location
Closed note marker.png
Resolved note location (older such notes will not be shown)

After selecting a note, you can comment on it, for example, to ask the contributor questions (if they were logged in when adding the note) or to add additional information.

Resolving notes

Notes that are no longer valid should be marked as resolved (requires log in). For example, a note that relates to a map error should be marked resolved once the map has been updated to fix the error. Duplicate or invalid notes should also be marked as resolved.

Resolved notes are not removed or deleted. After a period of seven days they are hidden from view.

Reporting notes

It is also possible to report notes using the »Report this note« link below the first comment (requires log in). This should be done in the case of spam, notes containing abusive or illegal content, or where sensitive or confidential information appears in notes. The data working group will review all reported notes and permanently hide the inappropriate ones.

Further reading

See also

The following two tag keys:

  • key:note – only a similar name, quite different function (used to inform other mappers about non-obvious information about an element)
  • key:fixme – partly a similar function (allows contributors to mark objects and places that need further attention)