Proposed features/Cairn

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cairn on a peak
cairn as boundary marker
Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: *
Tagging: man_made=cairn
Applies to: node
Definition: An artificial pile of stones, often in a conical form.


  • These often form distinctive navigation markers for hikers. In the UK they have usually been erected for that purpose or mark an ancient burial. has a good write-up and photos. I support this one, very useful and simple. Would the proposer identify themselves and move this along? MikeCollinson 16:49, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
They are used as markers for hikers and climbers in Austria too. Additionally, many cairns are built on peaks, particularly on those without crosses. Generally speaking, we use cairns to mark special places in the mountains. As there seems to be no other English noun for a pile of stones, please go on and set the status to RFC. --Fkv 21:43, 9 May 2011 (BST)
  • The cairns I have seen are man-made features, usually along walking trails. They are not archaeological sites. It should be possible to represent both though. ChrisB 20:53, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Indeed. In Iceland a lot of those mark ancient hiking routes across the country which are still in use. So in that case we'd want to make route relations that represent those routes with man_made=cairn nodes. --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 09:14, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Tumulus are historic burriel mounds common through the English countryside. I vote for site_type=tumulus for all of these. If these could be rendered to the main map the historic view of the English landscape around sites such as Stonehenge or Avebury Stone Circle would be greatly increased. I agree, both should be shown on the map and possible, but a distinction should be made.-- 12:43, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Also, we need an additional tag for Long Barrows. I suggest historic=archaeological_site and site_type=long_barrow.-- 12:43, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Australia - Cairn is one or more rocks placed to mark a route (and may be with or without a track 'way'). In recent times cairns are proliferating along trails (sometimes viewed as a type of littering). It would be worthwhile to identify / have a tag for heritage cairns say more than 100 yrs old. Poi point of interest perhaps. 5apr2017


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