Proposed features/Power pole extension

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The Feature Page for this approved proposal is located at Tag:power=pole.
Power pole extension
Status: Approved (active)
Proposed by: TagaSanPedroAko
Applies to: Node
Definition: Add other details on power poles, like design, type, and other details (pole holds a street light, pole is supported by a guy wire or stay. Also, this proposal will raise the highest voltage of a power line where supports may be tagged as pole from 50,000 volts to 161,000 volts (varying by country or region. May be 110,000 volts, 115,000 volts, 132,000 volts, or 138,000 volts)
Drafted on: 2016-12-12
RFC start: 2016-12-16
Vote start: 2017-03-21
Vote end: 2017-04-11


This proposal will add more details to power poles, like design (as this differs by country or utility practice), types (still not specified, unlike in power towers), and other details, like if the pole holds a street light, or is guyed. Also, this will provide the highest voltage where power=pole should be tagged to supporting structures, which is 161,000 volts. Above this voltage, slender structures, with or without cross-arms, should be tagged as power=tower


The common construction of power poles is composed of a slender material, and a cross-arm, held in place by brackets. However, in some places, other designs are used, like poles with two or more cross-arms that can support one or more circuits, poles with two insulators on cross-arms, with one in the top of the pole ("semi-horizontal"), and armless poles, that uses pole-mounted insulators arranged in a asymmetric (right triangle), triangular, vertical, or semi-vertical (flag or semi-vertical) configuration.

Currently, supports for high voltage lines power=line is power=tower, and for low or medium voltage lines power=minor_line, the default is power=pole. But, poles may appear is some high voltage lines (50,000 to 161,000 volts), and this is common practice in North America, and also in parts of Asia, like in the Philippines and Thailand, and Australia, but in Europe, poles on high voltage power lines above 50 kV are mostly used on older lines, while towers are more common.

Like power towers, poles may have different purposes, like suspension (used on poles with cross-arms holding hanging insulators, or on poles the "flag" design.), anchor (used when a pole uses strain insulators, like on a turn, or on a switch location), termination (used when the pole supports a power line transitioning to underground/underwater cable, or ending at a substation or a pole-mounted transformer), transposition (where power line cables change position at some locations to balance impedance), and branch (where a power line branches, usually in tap connections)

While towers are mostly self-supporting, even in locations where power lines turn (except for some guyed tower designs), poles may not stand on such places, thus, requiring guy wires to be attached to the pole and a nail or a smaller pole. So, there is the need to tag guyed poles.

When power lines run along roads, poles may support street lights or lamps, which are powered from lines supplying customers, or a dedicated circuit.


Wooden pole on 115 kV subtransmission line, Philippines

Lagunajf8737 01.JPG

Key Value
power pole
structure solid (can be omitted as implied)
material wood
design armless_triangle
operator Meralco
ref *

Suspension pole with transformer on 11 kV power line, England

Bridleway, Atwick - - 386117.jpg

Key Value
power pole
structure solid (can be omitted as implied)
material wood
design single_level (can be omitted as implied)
pole:type suspension
transformer distribution
voltage 11000;400
phases 2

Termination pole with street light and transformer, New Jersey, USA

2015-04-12 14 05 33 Utility pole and street light on Peck Avenue in Ewing, New Jersey.jpg

Key Value
power pole
structure solid (can be omitted as implied)
material wood
design monopolar
pole:type termination
transformer distribution
voltage 7200;240
phases 1
guyed yes
highway street_lamp

Guyed wooden pole with street light on power line branch, Nevada, USA

2015-04-20 13 14 28 Utility pole and street light along Morrison Avenue in Golconda, Nevada.jpg

Key Value
power pole
structure solid (can be omitted as implied)
material wood
design single-level
pole:type branch
branch:type tap
highway street_lamp
guyed yes

Anchor pole with street light, Maryland, USA

2016-05-18 08 18 22 Old-style street light support along Hollywood Road (Maryland State Route 245) near Point Lookout Road (Maryland State Route 5) in Leonardtown, St. Mary's County, Maryland.jpg

Key Value
power pole
structure solid (can be omitted as implied)
material wood
design single-level
pole:type anchor
highway street_lamp

Angle pole, Japan

Sunset view at Kaneda seaside 金田海岸の夕暮れ - panoramio.jpg

Key Value
power pole
structure solid (can be omitted as implied)
material concrete
design two-level
guyed pole
pole:type anchor
operator TEPCO
operator:ja 東京電力

Guyed steel anchor pole on 115 kV subtransmission line, Philippines

Cavite,Batangasjf0557 09.JPG

Key Value
power pole
structure tubular
material steel
design flag
operator Meralco
pole:type anchor
ref *
guyed yes


The tagging applies to both small poles for distribution lines and tall poles for lines with voltages from 50,000 volts to 161,000 volts. Poles on subtransmission lines (69,000 volts to 138,000/161,000 volts, or 66,000 volts to 132,000 volts) are common in North America, parts of Asia (Philippines, Thailand), and Australia. In Europe, lines between 50,000 volts and 150,000 volts (or 132,000 volts) use towers, either lattice, tubular, or multipolar structures, but may also use poles, especially on older lines. Structures composed of two poles and a cross-arm, whether they support a power=minor_line or power=line, should not be tagged as poles: they are considered towers (power=tower), usually of the H-frame type.

Here is the expanded power pole tagging.

Tag Value Description Recommendation
power pole It's a power pole mandatory
pole:type pole type Type of pole (see below for possible values). optional
ref pole reference Power pole reference number or code recommended
height height The height of the pole optional
operator operator The power pole operator's name. recommended
structure solid, tubular, or lattice The structure pattern of the pole. Default is solid optional
design pole design The generic design name of the pole. optional
material material The material which the pole is made of. optional

Pole types (pole:type=*)

This tag describes the function of a power pole, like an anchor or termination pole, that uses strain insulators, or a suspension pole, that may use either pin insulators or strain insulators. In case a pole supports both power=minor_line and power=line, tag the pole types for both lines supported, especially if the pole types differ for the lines carried. This is based on Tag:power=tower#Tower type.

Picture Key Value Description
115,000 volt pole, Philippines
34,500 volt distribution line pole, Philippines
pole:type suspension A pole where the conductors or wires are mounted on pin insulators or suspension insulators, either on a cross-arm or the pole itself. This is the default type and does not need to be tagged, except on an angle pole (usually guyed guyed=yes), where an anchor pole is normally used.
34,500 volt distribution line anchor pole, Philippines
34,500 volt angle pole, Philippines
anchor A pole that uses strain insulators, either mounted on a cross-arm or on the pole itself. These are usually guyed for stability, except where the pole is mounted on a foundation, lies on a straight section of power line, or uses heavier construction, like a second pole in place of a guy or thicker material.
34,500 volt dead-end pole with three 20 kV-240Y/139V transformers, Philippines
Termination pole on line-to-cable transition point, Australia
termination A pole using strain insulators on an end of a power line, like in a transformer (add transformer=* to the pole), substation, line-to-cable transition point (add location:transition=yes, or a short dead-end segment from a pole with a transformer or a turning location where the lines are connected on the air rather than on a pole. These poles are normally guyed (add guyed=yes) because of the tension from the terminating line.
branch A power line branches at this pole. If the branch line is a cable (except for overhead insulated cables), add location:transition=yes. The branch types may be as follows:
  • branch:type=tap - One of the lines in the pole branches off from the main circuit.
  • branch:type=split - One circuit of a power line supported on the pole branches off in another direction, like for example, a roadside distribution line with two circuits split off, with one circuit leading to another side of the road or another direction.
  • branch:type=cross - Two unrelated lines use the pole as a common support
Transposition A pole where the conductors exchange positions to balance the impedance. For example, a three-phase line with phases A-B-C changes arrangement into B-C-A at a pole, or vice versa.
crossing A taller pole used on locations where a line need higher height clearance, like where a line crosses an overpass. These are usually higher than the poles usually used.
location:transition=* yes A power line transitions from line to cable, or vice versa, at this pole, or on other cases, on a concrete structure. This is not used when the cable is an overhead type (power=cable with location=overhead.


This tag describe the design of the pole and the conductors it supports. Pole designs imply a presence of [a] cross-arm[s] mounted on the pole through brackets, except when the design name has "armless" suffixed, or described as an armless type. Cross-arms for telephone lines should not be included. This is based on Tag:power=tower#Tower design, but with some design names modified. If a pole uses more than one design, like a pole supporting both transmission/subtransmission and distribution lines, tag the design of the topmost part of the pole, that will usually hold higher voltage lines.

Diagram Picture Key Value Description
Single-level pole in Germany
Single-level pole in Israel
design one-level A pole with a single cross-arm, usually supporting only one circuit. This is the default type.
Semi-horizontal single-level pole on 13,200Y/7,620 volt line, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
semi-horizontal_one-level A pole with one cross-arm, but with one conductor placed offset (i.e. on the top of the pole).
Two-level pole supporting two 12,470Y/7,200 volt circuits, Ontario, Canada
two-level A pole with three cross-arms, usually supporting two circuits. Poles with two cross-arms, with two conductors supported on the upper cross-arm, and four conductors mounted on the lower cross-arm (resembling design=donau on power=tower) are considered two-level poles.
Three-level pole on branching point of roadside 69,000 volt line by National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Laguna, Philippines
three-level A pole with three cross-arms, usually supporting one to three circuits.
Four-level pole supporting four circuits of 13,200Y/7,620 volt lines of Batangas II Electric Cooperative, Lipa, Batangas, Philippines
four-level A pole with four cross-arms, supporting four circuits.
Asymmetric pole on 69,000 volt line of the National Grid Corporation of The Philippines, Laguna, Philippines
asymmetric A pole with two cross-arms, but supporting only one circuit in a right triangle configuration. One conductor is mounted on the upper cross-arm, and the two conductors are mounted on the lower cross-arm, or vice versa.
armless_asymmetric Variant of the asymmetric pole with insulators mounted on the pole instead on the cross-armsame.
triangle Variant of the asymmetric pole, but with three cross-arms. Two conductors are mounted on the uppermost and lowermost cross-arms, and one conductor is mounted on the middle cross-arm. This is usually used on anchor poles, along with pole-mounted insulators, than on suspension poles.
Armless triangle pole on double-bundled 115 kV subtransmission line by Meralco, beside Pasig River in Makati, Philippines
armless_triangle Variant of the triangle pole, but with insulators mounted on the pole instead on the cross-arm. Two insulators are placed on one side of the pole, and one insulator is placed on the other side, in the middle position of the two insulators on the other side.
Wooden subtransmission pole, owned by Meralco, with cross-arm for 34.5 kV line, Philippines
flag A pole without cross-arms, with insulators mounted on a vertical arrangement. The design is similar to the flag design for power towers (see Tag:power=tower#Tower design. They usually use pin insulators, but may use strain insulators when used as an angle pole on a sharp angle or line termination point (either, pole:type=anchor,pole:type=termination, or pole:type=suspension) or both strain and pin insulators when used as an anchor or termination pole on a straight line power line segment.
semi-vertical A variant of the flag design, with one insulator longer than the two others. These are always used as suspension poles.
delta A pole with two insulators on two sides of the pole, and one insulator on the top of the pole. Unlike in delta tower, "delta" means a conductor configuration than a pole design.
monopolar A pole without cross-arms, with one insulator, either placed on the side or on the top, or an insulator set mounted of the pole. This typically hold single-wire lines, like single wire earth return systems on less populated rural areas or single-wire systems serving light loads, like houses or small businesses, or secondary distribution lines, including three-phase systems or split-phase systems.
guyed=* yes A pole with guy wires, used to stabilize it on a turning or terminating segment of a power line or to balance it on unbalanced power lines.
pole A pole with another pole, placed diagonally on the side and serving as a guy wire support.
design:incomplete=* yes A pole that supports only a number of conductors than the design is capable of.

Poles supporting street lamps may be tagged with highway=street_lamp.

Applies to

This proposal applies mostly to power poles supporting low to medium voltage lines (power=minor_line), but also to some structures in high voltage lines (power=line) up to voltages between 50,000 and 161,000 volts (e.g. 66,000 volts, 69,000 volts, 110,000 volts, 115,000 volts, 132,000 volts, 138,000 volts, 150,000 volts, and 154,000 volts), which may be subtransmission voltages, depending on the region, where poles may be used over towers. Multipolar structures, like H-frame or portal structures, even on medium voltage lines, and very tall poles (with or without cross-arms) for high voltage lines higher than 161,000 volts, or the subtransmission voltage of the region (e.g. 50,000/60,000-110,000/132,000/150,000 volts in most of Europe, 66,000/69,000-115,000/138,000/161,000 volts in North America and most countries using 60 Hz except western Japan, 66,000 or 110,000/132,000 volts in parts of the Commonwealth, 66,000/77,000-110,000/154,000 volts in Japan) should be tagged as power=tower. With this proposal approved, poles supporting high voltage lines between 50,000 volts and 161,000 volts (or the subtransmission voltage of the area) should be mapped as power=pole, along with existing and new tags, and poles tagged as power=tower on such lines may be retagged as power=pole, keeping some tags like design=*, structure=* and material=*, interchanging tower:type=* with pole:type=*, and introducing new tags like guyed=yes(if pole is supported by guy wires).


Features/Pages affected

  • Tag:power=pole - Add the extended tagging to that page, and set the highest voltage of a line where poles are used to 161,000 volts from the previous 50,000 volts. Also, change the definition from "A single (often wooden or concrete) pole carrying medium/low voltage electricity cables" to "A single (often wooden or concrete) pole carrying low voltage, medium voltage, or high voltage lines up to 161,000 volts (161 kV). Usually composed of the pole itself and cross-arms, or only the pole, with insulators placed on the pole itself".
  • Template:Map Features:power - change the description of power=pole to mean "poles supporting low to medium voltage lines (power=minor_line) and high voltage lines (power=line) up to 161,000 volts (161 kV).
  • Power lines - change "power=pole only carry minor lines" to "power=pole can carry high voltage lines (power=line) with voltages up to 161,000 volts as well as minor lines".
  • Tag:highway=street_lamp - note in the page that power poles having street lamps may be tagged with that tag, along with power=pole. (Already noted on page)

External Discussions


Please comment on the discussion page.


Voting closed

Voting on this proposal has been closed.

It was dubiously approved with 7 votes for.

Status was set to approved even though the proposal didn't meet the required amount of votes (8 pro votes and none against, or at least 10 votes and 74% approval)

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Looks to be a very thorough proposal. Well done! AlaskaDave (talk) 23:42, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. This is a great proposal. I am a little uncomfortable with there being a maximum voltage for poles, as a this is just a description of what it looks like and in any event I often don't know the voltage, but that's only a minor detail. I'll try to get in the habit of using some of these tags. TristanA (talk) 21:35, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Good proposal and views about how poles are actually used on power networks. I vote in favor of this despite the tag pole:type=* which should have been merged with tower:type=* to get a support:*=* or so (to be consistent with structure=* which is common to towers, poles, portals...). This may be refined in future. Fanfouer (talk) 09:22, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Good proposal. I support --VARVAR8 (talk) 20:24, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Lots of hard work. Good job. Dr Centerline (talk) 17:59, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Very good. Well done. RoGer6 (talk) 10:53, 8. April 2017 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Overall I think this is a good proposal. After rereading it tonight, I just found a small thing which probably should be changed: design=single-level -> design=one-level, same for design=semi-horizontal_single-level. --TOGA (talk) 22:27, 11 April 2017 (UTC)