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Public-images-osm logo.svg historic = cemetery
Way to the Primitive English Cemetery.jpg
A cemetery with historic significance. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: Historic
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: in use


A cemetery with historic significance. Used in combination with landuse=cemetery.

historic=cemetery is added to landuse=cemetery to map a historic cemetery. To know when a feature (e.g., a cemetery) has historic significance, see historic=*.

Some historic cemeteries continue to operate as cemeteries for new burials. Others may have stopped accepting new burials and are preserved only as a historical site. Life cycle prefixes could be used where appropriate.


As of 8 February 2021 there were 1609 matches for the combination of tagging landuse=cemetery + historic=* in Taginfo. historic=cemetery has been used 475 times (445 on ways, 22 on nodes and 8 on relations), 405 uses in combination with landuse=cemetery, mainly in Europe (notably Poland and Germany). Also in North America (mainly the United States) and Australia.

This pattern of use suggests that mappers have used this tag as a complementary tag to landuse=cemetery to indicate that this feature is a historic cemetery. The alternative for mapping a historic cemetery would be landuse=cemetery + historic=yes. For some mappers, this tagging has the disadvantage of being unspecific.

The value in the tag historic=* is used to characterise the type of feature according to historic=*. This value should be widely recognised and are in common use. The historic=cemetery tagging is a better alternative to historic=yes for some mappers in line with this approach.

However, this way of mapping historic features does not convince everyone. Other mappers consider that the "historic" category should be only a property of a previously mapped feature. From the perspective of the data consumer, they find it preferable to add only historic=yes to the previously existing feature avoiding specific complementary tagging to indicate the "historic" property.

How to map

Place a node node or draw a way area around the outline of the cemetery. Add historic=cemetery in combination with landuse=cemetery and name=*.

Tags to use in combination

  • landuse=cemetery - to map the place or the outline of the area used as a cemetery.
  • name=* - the name of the cemetery.
  • religion=* - the religion to which the cemetery is dedicated, if applicable.
  • denomination=* - the denomination of the specified religion, if applicable. For example, protestant, roman_catholic, etc.
  • start_date=* - inauguration date.
  • wikidata=* - the ID of the specific Wikidata item about the cemetery (if any).
  • heritage=* - if the cemetery is recognized as being of historic value by an authority.


Possible rendering

The rendering for a historic cemetery on the standard tile layer could be the same rendering used for landuse=cemetery but in the colour tone used for historical features.

See also

  • Historic cemetery - A draft proposal not finally proposed. Includes a relevant discussion on the tagging mailing list about the controversy surrounding the use of this tag.
  • historic=tomb - To map a specific tomb on the cemetery grounds.