Tag:place=region

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Public-images-osm logo.svg place = region
ChileRegionAtacama.png
Description
Used both as a broad tag for geographic or historical areas with no clear boundary and for distinct administration areas (with specific boundaries) in some countries. 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

place=region is used both as a broad tag for geographic or historical areas with no clear boundary and for distinct administration areas (with specific boundaries) in some countries.

This is a tag from the earliest days of OpenStreetMap, is used in various ways, was never clearly defined and is rarely used by data consumers.

Examples

It is used to describe an area with no specific political signification linked to admin_level=*, but it is part of an area with admin_level=6: https://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/74607493

It is used for The Triangle and The Triad, both of which encompass multiple cities and have ambiguous boundaries, because no other place=* seemed appropriate. Rendering based on population=* would probably seem reasonable to the author who is not sure how many non-locals would recognize the names.

In Czech Republic it is used to mark  Kraj = NUTS 3 (Region) which is admin_level=6.

Natural regions

As of 2022, it is also used to describe natural regions, in which case it is often used with boundary=natural, and region:type with two main values:

  1. region:type=natural_area, for a plain natural region (Saintois, for instance);
  2. region:type=mountain_range, for a mountain range (Massif des Bauges, for instance). Beware, though, that place=region+region:type=mountain_range (about 440 such entities in early 2022) may be a duplicate of natural=mountain_range, which is far more widespread (almost 3,8k entities as of 2022).

As of 2022, the Standard tile layer does not render such natural regions, but OpenTopoMap does.

Discouraged for administrative regions

Use of place=region for administrative regions is discouraged. Instead create a relation with the following tags (at a minimum), no place=* tag is necessary:

In most situations, do not apply any tags to the ways (role of "outer") which forms part of that relation. The use of this tag is redundant, however convention may change in the future. For the time being and until a formal convention is established, the use of this tag should be limited to historical edits only.

Refer to the admin_level=* Country specific values in boundary=administrative.