Tag:amenity=university

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Public-images-osm logo.svg amenity = university
Dscf1076 600.jpg
Description
An educational institution designed for instruction, examination, or both, of students in many branches of advanced learning. Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Rendering-area-amenity-school.png
Group: Education features
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasuse on relations unspecified
Useful combination
Wikidata
Status: approvedPage for proposal

For OSM activities by the scientific community, see Research.

The tag amenity=university is used to map a unversity: an institution of higher education, designed for instruction, examination, or both, of students in many branches of advanced learning.

How to map

Universities typically occupy a large area, so it is recommended to create an area around the entire campus with the amenity=university tag, plus a name=* tag at least. For a more complex multi-site facility then ideally it will be mapped using a multipolygon. There should not be a node and area for the same university.

Individual elements of the university should not be tagged with amenity=university but can be mapped with operator=* and the name of the university, for example operator=University College London. Land and building owned by the university but not used for university purposes (ie not used for teaching, research, administration or accommodation - although note the below on accommodation) should not be included in this boundary. Where a university owns land and building for investment or future use these should be tagged appropriately with operator=blar university.

When the university accommodates students on a separate site to the site where teaching and research takes place, then the tagging landuse=residential + residential=university can be used (also use operator=*). Where it is not easily discernible that residential land belongs to the university (no signs, barriers or other distinct features), consider avoiding mapping the area as a university. The building itself can be included in the university relation, and the operator tag used.

Buildings, entrances (entrance=*) highway=footway, highway=steps, amenity=parking gardens, bars, restaurants, shops, and much more besides may be mapped as usual within university area.

Faculties and departments

Current usage on taginfo indicates that users start mapping faculties with the key faculty=* and departments with the key department=*. As these are likely formalized values the suggestion is to use English words, replace spaces with underscores, don't capitalize and don't concatenate refs in the faculty tag (e.g. don't tag "09 Chemistry" but use "chemistry" and put "09" in the ref).

Number of uses in OSM

faculty=* department=*

Complex areas

Many universities are spread around city. There are currently multiple ways to map this, but none works for every situation.

  • Use a multipolygon relation - works well for universities with well defined areas, including ones with disjoint parts[1]
  • Use a multipolygon that includes nodes as members - not fully OK as technically such multipolygon is not valid. Still, many data consumers can process them. In some cases nodes members may be extremely hard to turn into areas, maybe even de facto impossible (university uses just single room in building - "all you have is the door bell on the street level")[2]
  • Use amenity=university on each separate area of university, used commonly when there are multiple named campuses, use operator=* to indicate the university name. This is incorrect if each campus is not[3] a separate university[4], but there is not yet a good alternative as there is no tag for a university campus.
  • Use amenity=university on every building of university - incorrect: each building is not a university[5]

Similar tags and proposals

Photos and examples

University of Zurich (way 37345941)
  1. example: AGH in Kraków
  2. example: Universität Tübingen
  3. Note that some universities may officially consist of many campuses, but each has seperate students, courses and faculty: in this case mapping each campus separately is appropriate.
  4. example: III Kampus Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, part of UJ
  5. example: https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/25074981