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Available languages — Tag:place=city
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Public-images-osm logo.svg place = city
The largest urban settlement or settlements within the territory. Edit or translate this description.
Group: Places
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

Use the place=city tag to identify the largest settlement or settlements within a territory, including national, state and provincial capitals, and other major conurbations.

How to Map

Place a node at the center of the city, like the central square, a central administrative or religious building or a central road junction and tag it place=city.

The following should ideally all be included for a city:

  • name=*: for the name of the city in the primary language for the territory.
  • population=*: for the population of the city or metropolitan area.
  • wikipedia=*: Link to the Wikipedia article in the primary language for the city.
  • wikidata=*: Link to the data set item in Wikidata for this city.
  • capital=yes for the capital city of the country.
  • Use name:fr=*, name:ar=* etc for the name of the city in other languages.

Consider also creating nodes for suburbs and neighbourhoods using place=suburb and place=neighbourhood.

Mapping cities as areas

Some mappers map cities with an area instead of using a node. Cities often do not have a verifiable outline though and different interpretations of the meaning of areas representing populated places exist - more details can be found on the place key page. This method also loses the information on the city center which is important for data users, in particular for routing. Data users should not expect the area geometries of cities to have a particular meaning.


International equivalence

United States

Smaller charter cities should normally be tagged using place=town to avoid these places being promoted too highly in gazetteer search results. By way of example, the charter city of Alameda in California (population 76,000) is tagged as a town, due to its proximity to the much larger and better known cities of San Francisco (populations 805,000) and Oakland (population 309,000).