Switzerland/Map Features

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Portal for WikiProject Switzerland
Swiss OSM topics are discussed in the Swiss forum and the Swiss mailing list. Both are multi-lingual. Please do not hesitate to pose your questions there.


Value Element Comment Example
motorway way AutobahnCH.png
trunk way AutostrasseCH.png
primary way 1st class roads (blue signs with number), transit route. RoadNumber.png
secondary way 1st class roads (blue signs without number) BlueSign.png
tertiary way 2nd class, communication roads (white signs) WhiteShield.png
unclassified way All other roads which form the lowest form of the interconnecting grid network, e. g. 3rd class roads
residential way roads within a residential area in a village/city

Note: Primary and secondary roads according to this classification are listed in Appendix 2 of SR 741.272 Durchgangsstrassenverordnung. Primary roads are listed in section A, secondary roads in sections B and C.


In Geneva, above classification criteria do not produce satisfactory results (there are no number signs at all on the main roads and several 1st class roads listed in section B are actually full length 2x2-lane roads). A specific wiki offers more insight on this problematic and explicits the categorization choices for every primary or secondary highways: Routes principales dans le canton de Genève (sorry, only in French).


State of secondary roads in Vaud

Cycle and Foot Ways

Tag Element Comment Sign
highway=cycleway way only for bicycles and mopeds CH fahrrad weg.svg
highway=footway way only for pedestrians CH fussweg.svg
highway=bridleway way only for equestrians CH reitweg.svg
highway=footway, bicycle=designated way Shared way for pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists must yield to pedestrians. CH fuss und radweg gemeinsam.svg
highway=cycleway, foot=designated way The way is divided by a line into a bicycle and a pedestrian part. CH fuss und radweg getrennt.svg
highway=path, other tags can be added way All other ways[1]. Without one of above sign.
  1. Only ways with one of the blue signs may be tagged as highway=cycleway, highway=footway or highway=bridleway. Note: there is an old, similar looking, square sign that doesn't have any legal meaning anymore, that shouldn't be tagged!

For Access Restrictions on blue signed ways see Access-Restrictions in Switzerland For tagging of bicycle, mtb and inlinke skate routes (red signs), see EN:Switzerland/CycleNetwork and EN:Switzerland/InlineNetwork.

Other common Signs

Tag Element Comment Sign
way no access for cars and motorcycle [1], mofas [2] allowed!
In combination with "Zubringerdienst erlaubt" motorcar=destination motorcycle=destination
Other common use with "Landwirtschaftlicher Verkehr gestattet" or similar motorcar=agricultural motorcycle=agricultural
Verbot für Motorwagen und Motorräder.png
motor_vehicle=no way no vehicles with motor allowed, mofas can be used if the motor is turned off, in combination with "Waldstrasse" (or the equivalent French or Italian term) or "Forstwirtschaft gestattet" motor_vehicle=forestry [3] Verbot für Motorwagen, Motorräder und Motorfahrräder.png
mofa=no way no access for mofas Verbot für Motorfahrräder.png


Official languages

Value Element Comment Example
name waynode Usual spoken name name=Zürich
name:de waynode German name if not native (see: [1]) name:de=Zürich
name:fr waynode French name if not native (see: [2]) name:fr=Zurich
name:it waynode Italian name if not native (see: [3]) name:it=Zurigo
name:rm waynode Romansh name if not native (see: [4]) name:rm=Turitg


Schlüssel Element Kommentar Beispiel
name:gsw waynode Alemanisch dialect name (see: [5]) name:gsw=Züri
name:frp waynode Francoprovential dialect name name:frp=Bèrna
name:lmo waynode Lombard/Ticinese dialect name name:lmo=Cusgioeugna

Points of interest

Post boxes

Main article: Switzerland/amenity=post_box
Briefkasten info Schweizerische Post.svg
Tag Required? Comment Example (see picture)
amenity=post_box required Defines this node as a post box
collection_times=* recommended Record the collection times of this post box. Uses the same syntax as opening_hours=* but with just points in time, not time ranges. collection_times=Mo-Fr 18:00; Sa 11:00; Su 15:00
ref=* optional Each post box has a reference number in the bottom right corner. ref=2-6340-18151
post_box:location=* optional Each post box has an address in the bottom left corner. post_box:location=Bahnhof SBB, Bahnhofstrasse 4, 6340 Baar

operator=Die Post
operator=La Poste
operator=La Posta

optional Operator is not necessary as there is only one operator in Switzerland anyway

German: operator=Die Post
French: operator=La Poste
Italian: operator=La Posta