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Public-images-osm logo.svg landuse = public_works
Osm element tag.svg
non-military government-owned land (not buildings) not generally accessible to the public and for which no other landuse tag applies. Such uses include waterworks, wastewater treatment planta, vehicle depots, highway maintenance yards, closed research stations, municipal power plants, and similar infrastructure.
Group: Landuse
Used on these elements
use on nodes unspecifieduse on ways unspecifieduse on areas unspecifieduse on relations unspecified
See also
Status: proposedPage for proposal

Note that as of 2021-10-22 this tag is very rarely used. See also Proposed features/landuse=public works

Note that landuse=industrial applies to features like waterworks, wastewater treatment plants, municipal power plants, and similar infrastructure.

This proposal, if approved, changes the tag for public-sector facilities. It effectively reserves the residential, retail, commercial, and industrial landuse tags principally to privately held land.

Note operator:type=* that can be used to mark type of operator.


Government owns land that it uses for various purposes. Most such land is open to the public or closed for a specific reason related to a landuse tag. Much government-owned land qualifies easily fortags like:

Some government land doesn't fit easily into these categories. Such land includes highway maintenance yards, water and sewer infrastructure, vehicle depots, postal sorting centers, and other infrastructure. Typically but not always, a fence or other barrier enforces restrictions on public access to this land.

On the federal level in the United States of America, the Agricultural Research Service, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Department of Energy own and operate large facilities that defy easy categorization. Many of the latter two bureaucracies often handle important functions (space exploration and nuclear energy) with appropriate and oftentimes military-like secrecy and technology outside the military and Department of Defense. Nevertheless, many such facilities get tagged as military landuse for lack of a better tag. (Most Agricultural Research Service facilities are in rural areas and untagged.)

This tag often applies in combination with some of these facilities:

See also

These aformentioned previous proposals with a similar meaning aimed principally at parcels with city halls, libraries, courthouses, and government offices. Those areas also need an appropriate tag. I'm open to using either this tag or one of the proposed tags or some other tag for those facilities.