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Public-images-osm logo.svg capital
Europe capitals map.png
The capital of a country or administrative divisions within countries Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Group: Places
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: de factoPage for proposal


This property is used on place=city/town (and other place=* of type settlement) to tag the  capital of a country or administrative divisions within countries.

How to map

Using relations for capitals

relation Relations of type=boundary+boundary=administrative include the role role:admin_centre. The role members can used to get the capitals of countries (admin_level=2 on relation) and other capitals depending admin_level=* on relation.

The following Overpass API query (link) gets all national admin_centres of the world:

out meta;

The following Overpass API query (link) gets all admin_level=4 admin_centres of Germany. The country and admin_level can be adjusted.

out meta;

As of 2016 the admin_centre role can't be used in databases created by osm2pgsql: We do not have this information in the database. osm2pgsql does not have membership information and nodes as relation members do not make it into geometries.[1]

Capitals which are not tagged as city or town

Not all country capitals fit into the definition of place=city/town because of size or of definition. Please join discussion on Talk page about tagging.

This government complex is located 2 km from the center of the town of Melekeok, population 271.
The largest town and former capital of Palau is 20 km away in Koror City, population ~11,200.
The whole atoll is designated the capital, and currently this is mapped as a municipality rather than a specific settlement

See Also