From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Public-images-osm logo.svg man_made = pipeline
A major pipeline carrying gas, water, oil, etc. Edit or translate this description.
Group: Man made
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal


The pipeline key is used for major pipelines carrying liquids, gases or slurry. The pipeline may be above ground, under water or underground. Common types include gas, water, oil, slurry (mineral ore), sewage.


way The following tags are used in combination with man_made=pipeline:

Tag Value Description Recommendation
man_made=* pipeline It's a pipeline mandatory
location=* Pipeline's location. Combine with layer=* if applicable. recommended
substance=* The substance transported within the pipeline. If the medium is not known, do NOT specify this tag. recommended
operator=* <Company name> Name of the company who is in charge of operating the pipeline optional
usage=* Closer classification of the network this pipeline belongs to. optional
name=* Official name of the pipeline optional
ref=* Use this tag to specify a short, unique identifier for the pipeline. This value is used to logically link pipelines and markers together. Usually, marker plates already contain such a unique identifier. optional
diameter=* The nominal diameter of the pipeline, in millimeters. optional
pressure=* The nominal pressure of the pipeline, in bar. optional
capacity=* The capacity of the pipeline. free text, only for information, since the unit commonly used usually depends on the medium. i.e. barrels/day, m³/h, l/s. optional
flow_direction=* forward/backward/both Use both to indicate that the medium within the pipeline may flow in both directions (loop configuration). use forward if the flow is in the direction of the pipeline way, backward otherwise. optional
count=* By design, some media require a pair (or more) of parallel pipelines, i.e. forward and return flow for heat pipelines. This tag specifies the number of pipelines running in parallel. Use this tag only if all pipelines run in parallel and have the same properties, like e.g. diameter. Otherwise, draw a separate way for each pipeline. optional
inspection_gauge=* yes if the pipeline features a sender or receiver for an inspection gauge, use this tag on the section of the pipeline way where the sender/receiver is located. optional
place:origin=* Specifies the place=* (town, city, ...) where the pipeline begins. If applicable, use the name as specified in the place=*'s name=* tag. optional
place:destination=* Specifies the place where the pipeline ends. optional


List of possible location=* values
Key Value Description
location underground for pipelines under ground, not visible on the surface
overground for pipelines over ground, located close to the surface, not allowing a person or vehicle to pass underneath.
overhead for pipelines over ground, located at a height allowing persons or vehicles to pass underneath. use other tags like maxheight=* on the road underneath if applicable. Where the overhead pipeline might affect commercial shipping (crossing a navigational canal or river), consider the use of seamark:type=pipeline_overhead
underwater for pipelines running below the surface of land-based bodies of water, like lakes or rivers. For pipelines at sea, use the Seamark tagging scheme.


LOADING TAG LIST... (If you do not see this tag list, you need to enable Javascript)

This table is auto-generated. See Taginfo/Taglists for a documentation on it.

Rendering in openstreetmap-carto

Drawing Description Tags (Wiki pages)
Rendering-man-made-pipeline.png Overground pipeline man_made=pipeline
location=overground / overhead
Rendering-man-made-pipeline-substance-gas.png Overground gas pipeline man_made=pipeline
location=overground / overhead
Rendering-man-made-pipeline-substance-oil.png Overground oil pipeline man_made=pipeline
location=overground / overhead
Rendering-man-made-pipeline-substance-water.png Overground water pipeline man_made=pipeline
location=overground / overhead

Pipelines at sea

use the Seamark tagging scheme for pipelines and installations at sea (over or under water), especially the CATPIP related ones. The transition between the OSM standard and the Seamark schemes takes place where the pipeline enters / leaves the sea.

This is also applicable for pipeline installations on land, which may affect commercial shipping (i.e. pipelines over canals etc.)

Related Features

LOADING TAG LIST... (If you do not see this tag list, you need to enable Javascript)

This table is auto-generated. See Taginfo/Taglists for a documentation on it.

node the following tags can be used on nodes of the pipeline:

  • depth=* the vertical distance from the pipeline to the surface of the ground or sea, in meters.
  • inlet=* defines how a fluid enters in a given pipeline.
  • outlet=* defines how a pipeline ends and release its content into open air environment.

node the following features shouldn't be used on nodes of the pipeline:

  • marker=* since markers aren't properly part of the pipeline nor of its operational process. Furthermore position=* can give indication on how far the marker is from the pipeline. Then it's more acurate to place a separate node that isn't part of the pipeline.


Photo Tags Note
Pipeline Impressions 09.jpg man_made=pipeline
name=West 4 E1-VL Sektion 2
ref=4W 020000
(temporary) open end of the W4 pipeline during construction. already underground, but not yet buried.
TransAlaskaPipeline.jpg man_made=pipeline
name=Trans Alaska Pipeline
Trans Alaska Pipeline

See also