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Public-images-osm logo.svg barrier = wall
A freestanding structure, designed to restrict or prevent movement across a boundary, typically made from solid brick, concrete or rocks, and almost always built so that it is opaque to vision. Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Group: Barriers
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: approvedPage for proposal


The tag barrier=wall is used to map a wall: a freestanding structure, designed to restrict or prevent movement across a boundary, typically made from solid brick, concrete or rocks, and almost always built so that it is opaque (cannot be seen through).

Also see barrier=fence for fences, barrier=retaining_wall for retaining walls, and barrier=city_wall for town walls.

How to map

Create a line way (way) and add the tag barrier=wall

Additional tags

  • height=* is used to specify how tall the wall is.
  • width=* is used to specify the thickness of the wall. Alternatively, use est_width=* to specify approximately how thick the wall is.
  • material=* is used to define the material the wall is constructed of: stone, brick, concrete, wood, etc.
  • colour=* is used to define the colour of the wall

For historic walls the tag historic=wall can be used. If it is under preservation see heritage=*.

Mapping as an area

It is also possible to map a wall as an area area. Then draw the basic area of the wall and add area=yes.

Further tagging

There are situations a wall is on top of a building or another wall - e.g. noise protection wall on top of a building. Then use key min_height=* for the start height of the wall.

Wall details

The tag wall=* can be used to provide more detailed information about the wall.

The value should indicate the principle feature of the wall, which might be the type, purpose, or building material of the wall, as follows:

Key Value Comment OSM Carto Photo

Wall purpose

wall noise_barrier  Noise barrier - a wall which protects against noise on one of its sides
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Ekran akustyczny.jpg
wall jersey_barrier  Jersey barrier. There's also the much more common (as of 2019-02) barrier=jersey_barrier.
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Road block.jpg
wall seawall  Seawall - a wall built to protect land along the coast from erosion and flooding from the sea
Barrier fence mapnik.png
wall flood_wall  Flood wall - a wall built to protect land from flooding along a river or lake
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Flood wall towers over the riverside path - geograph.org.uk - 1594070.jpg
wall castle_wall  Castle curtain wall - also see barrier=city_wall
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Valmiera castle wall.jpg

Construction material / method - also see material=*

wall dry_stone A  dry stone wall is constructed from stones without mortar to bind them together.
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Dry stone wall in the yorkshire dales detail.jpg
wall stone  stone wall - a wall constructed from stones. See also material=stone and wall=stone_wall
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Stone wall.jpg
wall brick  brick - a wall constructed from bricks. See also material=brick
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Brick wall close-up view.jpg
wall concrete Concrete wall, constructed from concrete poured in place, or as  precast concrete wall panels. See also material=concrete
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Concrete wall in Kyoto (Unsplash).jpg
wall concrete_block  Concrete block wall, constructed from cement concrete blocks and mortar - also see wall=cement_block
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Concrete block wall 02.jpg
wall flint  Flint cobbled wall, may have brick courses and copings.
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Merton priory flint wall remains.jpg
wall gabion  Gabion wall made from cages or boxes filled with stones, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil.
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Berlin schoeneberg suedgelaende 08.08.2012 12-41-21.jpg
wall pise  Rammed earth wall made from compacted soil, chalk or clay.
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Paderne Morrish Castle 26 Nov 2007 (6).JPG

The construction material can also be tagged with material=*, if necessary, using values like stone, brick, concrete, or wood.

See wall=no for tagging of open buildings from an import in France.

Related tags