Proposed features/Bell

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Available languages — Tag:amenity=bell
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Public-images-osm logo.svg amenity = bell
Group: Amenities
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: draft

Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Biff
Tagging: amenity=bell
Applies to: node area
Definition: tag for a bell
Rendered as: icon of bell
Drafted on: 2012-10-18, updated 2016-05-18


Bells are quite common and serve as visual and audible aids for navigation.

Bells exist as:

This proposal only covers bells that are either very visible or audible or have touristic value, it does not cover normal doorbells.


If the exact location of a bell is known or if it is housed within a structure smaller than 5m x 5m, then a node should be created and tagged accordingly. However, in most cases the bell will be located within a building or tower and it will be sufficient to add the bell tag to area that is already tagged as a building or tower.

+ multiple=# (optional)  
+ bell=ring/carillon (optional)
+ name=* (optional)
+ loc_name=* (optional)
+ operator=* (optional)
+ service_times=* (optional)
+ sound=yes/no (optional)
+ strike_tone=* (optional)
+ support=cage/wall_mounted/ground (optional)
+ ele=# (optional)
+ diameter=# (optional)
+ height=# (optional)
+ weight=# (optional)
+ start_date=# (optional)

If additional features are tagged on the same node or way, it is probably necessary to prefix the tags, e.g. bell:name=*, to avoid ambiguity.

If more than one bell is present in one place (multiple > 1), numbering may be necessary, e.g. bell:2:name=*, in order to state different properties of each bell.


Number of bells (optional)
multiple=#, The number of bells that exist as a co-located group.
Some similarity with the tag "multiple" as used for OpenSeaMap/Lights is intended.
Type of bell (optional)
only to be used if the bells are rung in a special way.
ring = a group of bells used for change ringing, see change ringing.
carillon = a group of bells that are played to create a melody, see carillon.
Name (optional)
name=*, to be used for the name of the bell. Many church bells have a specific name.
Local name (optional)
loc_name=*, local name of the bell, if it has one in addition to its official name.
Operator (optional)
operator=*, can be used to specify an operator of the bell. This is probably not necessary if the operator of the bell is also the operator of the building where it hangs.
Service times (optional)
service_times=* - some bells ring at specific times, e.g. every day at noon. See service_times=*. The data format is described in Key:opening_hours.
Sound (optional)
yes = it is possible to ring the bell. This is probably the default value.
no = bell is always silent, e.g. because it is placed on the ground or broken.
Some similarity with the tag "sound" as used for traffic_signals:sound=yes/no is intended.
Strike tone (optional)
strike_tone=*, indicates the specific strike tone of a bell, see strike tone. In the case of a bell that is now silent (sound=no), this could be the strike tone it was designed for.
Support (optional)
cage = normal way of hanging a church bell
wall_mounted = fixed to a wall
ground = bell is on the ground, ringing not possible.
Elevation above mean sea level (optional)
ele=#, elevation (height above sea level) of the bell. By default, values will be interpreted as metres.
Height (optional)
height=#, height of the bell. By default, values will be interpreted as metres. Please note that the elevation above mean sea level is not specified by "height" but by the attribute "ele".
Diameter (optional)
diameter=#, diameter of the bell. Caution: By default, values will be interpreted as millimetres! A different unit can be added to the end of the value, separated by a space, e.g. "1.7 m".
Weight (optional)
weight=#, weight of the bell. Same data format as described for maxweight=*. Caution: By default, values will be interpreted as metric tonnes (1 t = 1000 kg)! A different unit can be added to the end of the value, separated by a space, e.g. "250 kg".
Start date (optional)
start_date=#, date when bell was mounted in its place.


Generic example of a belfry with single bell inside:

name=Name of Tower
bell:name=Name of Bell

In this case, to avoid collision with the name of the tower, the name if the bell is tagged with a prefix as bell:name=*.

The World Peace Bell might be tagged as:

name=World Peace Bell

In this case, the bell itself is the most important aspect and there's no need to use a prefix.


An icon showing a bell would be easy to understand.

Features/Pages affected

See also


Please use the discussion page for discussion.