Proposed features/graveyard

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


to make landuse=cemetery obsolete, and replace entirely with amenity=graveyard

the tag we keep is probably not important, either cemetery or grave_yard could be removed. please state if you think one or the other is more important


There are two tags with apparently identical uses, one appears to be unnecessary so should be removed from the map_features list. (The other being amenity=grave_yard)

See also



this applies to areas or nodes, depending upon the size of the graveyard

The proposed tag is:

<tag k="amenity" v="grave_yard"/>
<tag k="religion" v="...."/> (optional)

Proposed Rendering

christian graveyard: a simple cross; a single one for nodes, or a series of them for areas
suggestions welcome for other religions


when giving a reason why something or other should or should not be done, please provide reasoning behind your view. it must make sense in the context of OSM and its potential uses, and be logical, otherwise it only slows the proposals process, and is more likely to be discounted

  • I consider graveyard to be antiquated terminology, and not the appropriate term for a cemetery. See the wikipedia article on cemeteries. I would be inclined to vote against any proposal which removed the cemetery tag in favour of graveyard. I also think amenity sounds quite juxtaposed --inas 03:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
that's fair enough. i couldn't decide for myself which was more important, so we might have to vote on it Myfanwy 06:38, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I use the cemetery and graveyard tags in slightly different circumstances. I use cemetery for areas where the primary function of the area is burial plots. I use graveyard where the primary function of the area is something else but it has a few burial plots, for example a church yard that has a few graves or and old disused cemetery which is basically some very old plots in a farmers field. I would support these being combined into one tag providing there is some sort of sub-type to tell these examples apart. I would prefer cemetery to graveyard as the new combined tag, but have no real opinion between landuse v amenity. --rcr 05:55, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
could you elaborate rcr? i'm not quite sure i see the distinction, or at least see any distinction that would be map-worthy. what potential practical use do you see for the differently tagged items? Myfanwy 06:38, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
here is 4 examples of actual places near me:
a)the local public cemetery, maintained by the local council, large number of plots, still in use for burials, I would currently tag as cemetery.
b)the local Anglican cemetery, maintained by the local church but nowhere near the actual church buildings, about 1000 plots, still in use for burials, I would currently tag as cemetery.
c)about 50 plots in the grounds of the local Anglican church, has not been used for burials for over 100 yrs since the the above Anglican cemetery opened, I would currently tag as graveyard.
d)about 20 plots in what is now a farmers field, was intended at a cemetery for a town that never happened, closed for burials about 1920, I would currently tag as graveyard.
If I was in the market to purchase a plot then I would be only interested in the first 2 examples and any other denominational cemeteries in the area that still have plots available, depending on my denomination. If I'm doing historical or genealogical research then I would be interested in all 4 of the above examples and the other abandoned/unmaintained plots around the district. A genealogist would probably also interested in the date that burials started and stopped and where the official records are stored but thats for a future proposal if required. Most other tags seem to get refined over time to include additional details or sub categories, it seems sad to replace something that provides a small distinction even if it is ill-defined with something that provides less detail.--rcr 04:39, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I concur with Rcr's definition of cemetery versus graveyard, and think they both have their distinct uses. When you have a large, standalone cemetery (as you do in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, which I am currently mapping), there is a very clear distinction between cemetery and graveyard. A graveyard describes the area of land with tombstones and/or other memorials to people who are interred, is usually around or near a building of worship and is not always open to the public (though the majority of them are). By contrast, a cemetery stands on its own without necessarily having a building of worship on the same grounds. Should this come to a vote, I would vote against consolidation (and I'd also vote to keep it as landuse). --ChristopherW 01:20, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I use both tags in the same manner as Rcr and see no use for changing it --PhilippeP 06:50, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
please explain, i can't see any worthy distinction between the two. the reason for changing it has been explained - it's to remove duplicate tags. can you explain which part you don't understand? Myfanwy 18:45, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • On the map features page there is already a amenity=grave_yard, would you replace this also? studerap 07:53, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • The proposed rendering seems to indicate that a burial ground is for people of a specific religion. In several countries, the burial grounds are public land. This does not necessarily prohibit or discourage the religious groupings to bless/consecrate the ground, or parts thereof, but the cemetery itself is public and non-religious. --Magne 12:24, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
my reasoning behind that was that in some countries, there may be separate cemeteries/graveyards for different religions Myfanwy 00:21, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I can't think of a good reason to have more than one - I prefer cemetery. Most urban, council maintained cemeteries are secular or mixed religion. Cemeteries attached to a place_of_worship follow the religion of the place, so religion seems unnecessary. Chillly 12:30, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I welcome this discussion as I was never sure which to use. I won't worry when one of these is abandoned but leave the choice to the natives. -- Fröstel 17:15, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Though I'm not a native speaker, I'd support unifying this tag. Cemetery seems to be more common than grave yard. --SlowRider 19:26, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • wikipedia:Graveyard provides a clear distinction between "cemetery" and "graveyard". It's a graveyard if it's attached to a place of worship. This agrees with User:rcr's view above, except for the disused burial grounds in farmland above. For those, possibly landuse=cemetery, historic=yes? My vote would be to keep the distinction, but clarify the definitions so anyone knows the common cemetery is a landuse=cemetery. Another option could be to create new tags burial_ground=yes, with alternative values cemetery, graveyard, mass_grave and whatever else comes up in the future. Robx 07:43, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, I don't have a problem with the existing tags. The map features page gives an explanation when to use what. If we want to unify this anyway, landuse=cemetery would be my clear favourite. However, changing the existing tags to something like landuse=cemetery, graveyard=yes would be complete nonsense IMHO, as it would confuse existing knowledge out there without gaining lot's of improvement. - Ulfl 20:58, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I've noticed in the last few days that there are signposts to cemeteries, but I have yet to see a sign to a graveyard. Chillly 17:04, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
  • That's because a graveyard is usually connected to a church, so you'd see a sign for that instead. Smurf 08:08, 24 June 2008 (UTC)


Is not open, proposed for 2008-02-25