Proposed features/Wikidata

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Status: Proposed (under way)
Proposed by: Janko
Tagging: wikidata=*
Applies to: node, way, area, relation
Definition: a connection to the appropriate wikidata item
Rendered as: n/a
Drafted on: 2013-02-26
RFC start: 2014-04-01


Connecting OpenStreetMap data to Wikipedia articles is not future-proof, because articles are sometimes renamed, changing their URLs. Wikidata has been created for this reason (among others). It has items that connect Wikipedia articles written in various languages, as well as articles in some Wikimedia sibling projects like Wikivoyage. So the Wikidata item with ID Q1722 is a link to all articles about Dubrovnik. But it's not only that, it's also a node that represents Dubrovnik in that database. As such it can have various attributes, like the name of the mayor (and a link to the entry about that person, if there is one), names in other languages, population, links to WikiVoyage and images on Wikimedia Commons, and much more besides.

Connecting our data with Wikidata's will be a very useful feature for users of both databases. OpenStreetMap will continue to focus on placing certain features in the geospatial world, and Wikidata will be responsible for geographic and non-geographic attributes and relations. So if we link all cities to Wikidata, anyone could do complex queries like "find all cities which are no further than 10km from the sea, and have a female mayor".

Separately, we can also use Wikidata links to express and disambiguate information about OSM objects (such as the sculptor and subject of a statue), even if there is no Wikidata entry for that object.

Current usage


All tags are optional and can be used independently of each other. All but the first can be used even where there is no Wikidata article about the object mapped in OSM.


A simple wikidata=Q1722 tag would connect an entity in Openstreetmap to the corresponding item in Wikidata. But we should be careful to connect items that are the same kind of entity. There shouldn't be more than one Openstreetmap item with the same Wikidata ID.


Operator (not franchise) of a restaurant, shop, bank or some other customer service or office. Entity type must be organization


Network of public transport routes.


Brand of product (car, bicycle..) that a retailer sells or workshop repairs. e.g. BMW (Q26678) for a vehicle dealership/ service centre; or McDonalds (Q38076) for a fast food franchise outlet.


The architect (or architectural firm) of a building or structure. It should be an instance of human or company.


The artist/maker of statue or other artwork or memorial. It should be an instance of human (well, the way elephants are painting, we shouldn't constrain this one too much).


The subject of a statue, artwork or memorial (a person, event, geographical feature..).


The person, event, geographical feature or other subject that an entity (e.g. a street, airport or building) is named after. If the street has old_name,use old_name:etymology:wikidata=*.


Possible uses

  • Queries which have conditions based on wikidata relations, and openstreetmap geospatial information;
  • showing country flags on a map (Wikidata has a .svg flag file connected to all countries);
  • grouping different brands of restaurants, shops, fuel stations without relations;
  • crosschecking attributes that exist in both Openstreetmap and Wikidata, like city population;
  • displaying all kinds of data from wikidata on a map;
  • and much, much more.


  • SVG map of India using topojson and wikidata links for automatic translation
  • qLabel - Examples of language substitution, using Wikidata labels. One example is a map.
  • [1] Map that uses Wikidata links and displays coat of arms from Wikidata (not updated anymore)

Related Tags


There is also a proposal to automatically add Wikidata IDs to a number of OSM objects.


Please add your comments on the discussion page and mailing list.


  1. GitHub pull request for the overpass turbo/Wikidata feature
  2. GitHub pull requests to link wikidata=* and the wikidata-tags with prefix to on

See also