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Available languages — Tag:man made=communications tower
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Public-images-osm logo.svg man_made = communications_tower
Sender Blauen-2.jpg
A huge tower for transmitting radio applications
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: unspecified

A man_made=communications_tower is a huge tower for transmitting radio applications like television, radio, mobile phone or officials radio. It is often made from concrete and usually a far visible landmark. An indication could be a height greater than 100 meters.

Another indication is, that a man_made=communications_tower has stairs and a lift inside, whereas as man_made=tower, tower:type=communication has to be climbed on the outside.


Radio towers can either carry antennas or act directly as antenna. In latter case one speaks from mast or tower radiators. Most transmission antennas for VLF, LF and MF are mast or tower radiators. Usually mast and tower radiators are insulated against ground, but there exist also grounded structures, at which the power to be radiated has to be fed in the tower at a certain height.

For towers used as radiator, one should use


for towers and masts insulated against ground, one should use


There are two basic types of radio towers carrying antennas: such carrying antennas for transmitters whose wavelength is small to the size of the tower and those whose wavelength is in the size of the tower or greater. In the first category belong all towers carrying antennas for transmitters in the VHF/UHR/SHF-range, these are for example FM-radio-, TV-, cellphone or radio relay transmitters, in the second category belong towers carrying L-, T- or triangular antennas for VLF, LF and MF-transmissions and towers carrying shortwave transmission antennas. Towers of the first category are always grounded, while towers of the second category may be insulated against ground in order to get a better effiency.

A radio tower can serve simultanously as antenna and as antenna carrier. This is realized at towers used simltanously for FM- and AM-broadcasting. Also a tower can carry as well antennas for transmitters with wavelengthes greater than the tower height and for transmitters with wavelengthes much smaller than the tower height, which is also realized at towers transmitting AM- and FM-radio simultanously.

Antennas spun between masts, towers or other kind of fixage points can be drawn as power=line or power=minor_line with frequency=frequency_value.


Please, keep in mind, that neither this page nor any other source gives a clear verifiable way to distinguish between the objects, supposed to be tagged with man_made=communications_tower and man_made=tower tower:type=communication respectively. "Huge" or "really big" are relative non-verifiable characteristics - using it contradicts the fundamental OSM principle. Many regional broadcasting towers (supposedly meant to be tagged as man_made=communications_tower ) in hot climate or less wealthy countries have the access ladders outside and have no elevator, while many "conventional" towers with tubular design have a ladder inside it. Height greater than 100 meters can be seen even in some longwave transmission masts. So, these two features are non-distinctive.

Distinguish between other kinds of communications towers

First question: Is it a mast or a tower?

Second question: What kind of services are being provided?


Obereisesheim Sender1.JPG

Mast radiator

BTS GSM-R Jistebnik.jpg
Mobile communications mast.JPG

Mobile phone

Bayreuth - Einsatzzentrale PP Oberfranken.jpg

Police radio

Frazier Peak microwave relay tower.jpg

Microwave link(s) (German: Richtfunk)

Greifswald Funkturm Hans-Beimler-Straße July-2010 SL274692.JPG

No mast any more, but a tower

Sender Burgwindheim.jpg

Really big communications towers >= 100 m:

Possible tagging error

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
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