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Public-images-osm logo.svg cemetery = war_cemetery
American military cemetery 2003.JPG
A war cemetery Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: landuse
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
Status: in use

A war cemetery is a burial place for members of the armed forces or civilians who died during military campaigns or operations.

How to map

Place a node node in the middle of the war cemetery or map the outline area of the war cemetery.

Add landuse=cemetery + cemetery=war_cemetery.

Tags used in combination

Identifying period/conflict/affiliation

For war cemeteries, it is important to know the period or conflict which the cemeteries are related to.

There is no widespread tagging scheme for this, but a few tags seem to be used and cover this need.

  • period=* is used with values like "1943 - 1945" and "WWII".
  • cemetery:conflict=* is used with values like "WW1" and "WW2" (notice the difference of Roman vs Arabic numeral being used).
  • memorial:conflict=* also allows to identify the conflict for memorials in addition to cemeteries.

For longer-term development, it would be useful to stick with a scheme that allows to add information also to cemeteries, not directly related to conflicts. The *:conflict keys do not satisfy that.

On the other hand, separating period from conflict would allow to distinguish cemeteries that happened to be in use during some conflict, but were not associated with it (if such cemeteries exist). If both the conflict and year range are known, tagging them separately is also preferred.

Such cemeteries are often associated with a certain army or group (for example, German_army, Russian_army, Latvian_army, Latvian_riflemen, Worker-peasant_Red_army etc). Identifying such relationship would also need a decent tag. Currently settled on affiliation=*.

To have a somewhat uniform scheme, as of 2021-04 settled on:

  • Tag both period=* and cemetery/memorial:conflict. If only the event is known, same value in both tags. If years are known, they go in the period tag with syntax like "1915 - 1918".
  • Use "WW1", "WW2" for world wars (as opposed to "WWI").
  • Tag relationship with affiliation=*. Use values like German_army, Russian_army, Latvian_army, Latvian_riflemen, Worker-peasant_Red_army etc. Use semicolon to specify multiple affiliations for the same cemetery. If the burial areas are separated, map and tag them separately instead.
  • Tag the number of buried as buried=*. If the exact number is not known, use the usual range notation like "40-50" or "7-" (for "at least 7, could be more"). If a cemetery has soldiers from different affiliations buried without separate areas that could be mapped as such, use tags like "buried:German_army", "buried:Russian_army".

See also