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Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

latitude: 51.75, longitude: -1.23
Browse map of Oxford 51°45′00.00″ N, 1°13′48.00″ W
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Oxford is a city in Oxfordshire, England at latitude 51°45′00.00″ North, longitude 1°13′48.00″ West.

The University City of Oxford lies to the north west of London and Reading, and to the south of Birmingham. The western edge of the ring road is the A34, and the northern edge is the A40. It is a short distance from the M40.

The River Thames runs through the centre of the city, the Oxford Canal comes in from the north, and the River Cherwell from the north east.


talk-gb-oxoncotswolds mailing list

...has discussion of meetups and local mapping discussion.

Events and Activities

Oxford has hosted many OpenStreetMap events over the years, including some spells of weekly meet-ups. See the above mailing list for the latest, and please feel free organise something new!

OSM Coverage

Oxford has excellent basic coverage in OSM. All the roads within the ring road plus Blackbird Leys, Barton, Sandhills, Dean Court, Cumnor and Kennington are thought to be mapped. If we've missed the road you live on, please visit the map and add a Note.

  • Road names are thought to be complete within the city: comparison against OS OpenData Locator data
  • Speed limit tagging is thought to be complete for Oxford's #20 mph zones, but other roads are lagging
  • Tagging of lit=yes/no is incomplete as of 2013-07-25
  • If you're feeling especially bored, please trace buildings from Bing.

Local Cycle Network

The routes of the local cycle network are tagged as relations.

Oxford Specific Tagging

(These are presumably also applicable to Cambridge) It may be insightful to look at Durham#Durham_Specific_Tagging.


Represent Oxford College grounds with area tags representing each separate area owned by the college for the use of its students, including meadows, college buildings, playing fields, whatever.

Initially, if college grounds (or other similar areas, see below) went right to the street, they were mapped sharing nodes with the street. However this became impossible to maintain, so they are all now tagged with distinct nodes corresponding as accurately as possible with the actual boundary of the College.

Tag the enclosing area of the main site with:

Annexes and other minor sites

Detached part of a college, and annexes should have in the name=* key the name of the area only (or no name key at all if the area is doesn't have a name of its own). The operator=* key should be used to indicate which college the annexe belongs to.

Quads and sods: college buildings and other sub-areas

Until relation support for buildings is improved, college buildings should be entirely within a college area (as described above), and tagged with

Tag areas of greenery within quads and elsewhere as either landuse=grass for simple lawns or leisure=garden for more flowery enclosures. Paved footpaths and walkways within colleges should probably be tagged as wayhighway=footway or as areahighway=pedestrian,area=yes depending on their form. Almost certainly everything in this list should also be tagged access=private (or access=permissive); if an entrance fee is payable by the general public, tag with fee=* as well.

TODO: staircases, bars, ...?

Multipolygons are helpful for a lot of the shapes you'll encounter, enclosed quads in particular. Be sure to upload all inner and outer ways together in the same changeset to help mitigate a known problem with the Mapnik layer's data import.

We ought to try to map enclosing walls and fences once the building and walkways are traced or surveyed.

Permanent Private Halls

As colleges, but with


Other University areas

Parks and sports facilities should just be tagged as specified in Map Features perhaps with a tag to indicate access rights. Departments can be tagged as colleges but with

Puntable Rivers

Tag with:

Tag punt hire locations with:

20 mph zones

There was a manual import of data from County Hall at around the time the 20mph speed limits went in for the non-major roads. See Oxford/Archived#20_mph_zones for the archived discussion and supporting documentation. Complete OSM ways affected by this are tagged:

maxspeed=20 mph
maxspeed:note=Oxford 20 mph zone

Some roads only have a 20mph limit for a part of their distance, as defined by the list we were given. We've split such ways then duplicated that sort of information into the tagging for ease of maintenance, so don't be surprised if you see something like:

maxspeed:spec=<textual description of what defines this node's location or this way's limit>

on those partial bits. There should also be a tagged maxspeed=20mph node denoting the entry point, since it displays with a cute little restriction sign in JOSM, making the split obvious.

Bing, OS OpenData, and WMS for tracing

Several layers of good-quality aerial imagery and liberally licensed / out of copyright maps are available for tracing and checking.

  • The Bing coverage within Oxford is of very high quality, and seems to be well aligned at the highest level of zoom with GPS traces and roads in OS OpenData StreetView. The current set of imagery seems to date from roughly July 2007.
  • Ordnance Survey Opendata StreetView is available for this UK city. The street names and shapes can be helpful, but the building outlines can be fairly rough. Correlate with other sources if you're using this data as a starting point.

Uses in Oxford

Some uses of openstreetmap specifically for Oxford.

Oxford University are using OpenStreetMap for the college information on some parts of their website example

Mobile Oxford (http://m.ox.ac.uk ) is a website for accessing Oxford related info on your mobile, intended for students and staff at the University of Oxford as well as the general publice. The maps section uses OpenStreetMap

Oxford Bus & Cycle Map has been produced using OpenStreetMap data (early 2012). It is being distributed through the two Universities and several other channels. An electronic version is available here.

Tagging for Oxford Bus & Cycle Map

Certain tags have been developed to allow features for the Bus & Cycle Map to be mapped. More

See also

  • Oxford/Archived - old plans and sections are moved here when they become no longer relevant or when the job's done.