From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Public-images-osm logo.svg demolished = yes
Osm element tag.svg
Please use other methods to note that feature as no longer existing to avoid remapping based on aerial images or memory Edit or translate this description.
Group: Lifecycle
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Status: deprecated


This tag is sometimes added to an object to indicate that it is no longer existing. This is a poor idea and better methods to represent such situation exists.

Examples below are using building as an example but the same apply to everything else - from canals and railways to bridges and power lines.

  • building=yes - existing building, easy to interpret by mappers and data consumers
  • building=yes with demolished=yes - no longer existing building, very hard interpret by mappers (requires checking tag list) and it is not reasonable that data consumers will handle it correctly. Incorrect, should be avoided.
  • deleting object representing any no longer existing features - impossible to be confused for existing feature by both data consumers and mappers. May confuse mappers mapping from memory or from aerial images. Correct but not recommended for recently destroyed objects that are likely to be remapped. Correct for features that are gone for a long time and at not risk of remapping.
  • demolished:building=yes (mapping using lifecycle prefix) with end_date=* and note like note=this building was destroyed in April 2017, still visible in Bing aerial images as of April 2018 - building that recently existed, is now completely destroyed but is not deleted for now from OSM database to avoid remapping. Once it is gone from typically used aerial images it may be safely deleted. Note is useful as it explains why completely demolished feature is mapped. It also makes less likely that somebody will delete it too soon (for example somebody mapping using different aerial data may delete it before Bing is updated)

See also