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amenity in general

I think amenity=* is not a good key at all. Defining something by its usefulness seems to me quite random. What seems to be an amenity for someone isn't for another one. For example there is an amenity=crematorium and an amenity=fire_station and an amenity=grave_yard and an amenity=prison. Isn't leisure=* an amenity or the man_made=pier or the aerialway=*? Shops and tourism attractions are also amenities in my opinion. I think these facilities should be regrouped. --Gkai 17:45, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Agree. Similar problems exist with tourism=*. After all, some amenity=librarys can be tourist attractions (like historic libraries), and some tourism=museums can be local amenities (with meeting rooms, research centres, and so on). Perhaps rather than trying to use something more generic, like feature=library though, we should accept that things like libraries can be tagged under either the amenity=* or tourism=* (or even attraction=*) depending on how they're used. Frankie Roberto 10:13, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I have a big problem with the fact that many businesses have more than one type of offerings. When mapping I usually find it very diffcult to choose only one. At least in my country it is very common that those who sell fuel also sells newspapers, tobacco and candy. Some that sells fuel also sells fast food. This is also a problem from map users point of view. If you want to make a search for a bar or pub you dont want to miss any good alternatives just because they mainly are a restaurant or a hotel. --Henriko 16:50, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I attempted to document current state at Key:amenity#Tag_history_and_naming Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 00:09, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

Rename "amenity" to "facility"?

The word "facility" should be general enough and it's neutral, unlike amenity. What do you think about facility=crematorium, facility=fire_station, facility=grave_yard, facility=prison. It should work for the existing values for amenity as well. Sakaal 13:33, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

I like the idea. An alternative might be using an even more general term like "place" or "poi" or "ploi" (place of interest). --Gkai 13:05, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
See Proposal process, but such change would require massive effort for minimal benefit Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 04:15, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
I attempted to document current state at Key:amenity#Tag_history_and_naming Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 00:10, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

Tagging residential care homes

This is my first entry, so forgive me if I'm out of place. I'm wondering whether there is a convention for tagging residential care homes (homes for the sick/elderly)? I've been looking but found none. If there is none, how about going with amenity=residential_care? Seems like a good idea to me to have these tagged. --Dragonfly 12:24, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Question about amenities

A couple questions:

  1. Any reason there isn't a grocery store or food market amenity type? I notice there is a brothel type and this seems more important :-)
    1. Related to this, how do OSM members feel about adding more retail amenity types like book stores, clothing stores, etc?
  2. Are all amenities on OSM user submitted or have there been bulk imports from other data sources?
See Key:shop for grocery store and almost any other facility for buying something. Most stuff is user submitted, only in some countries has there been imports of some individual chains. There was discussion of a similar scheme of "outside user's" contributing (in)directly quite recently on some of the mailing lists, but I couldn't find it straight away atm. Alv 21:48, 27 August 2010 (BST)

Thanks, Alv! Makes sense. Appreciate the help!

--Mrlerner 21:39, 30 August 2010 (BST)

I attempted to document current state at Key:amenity#Tag_history_and_naming Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 00:10, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

amenity = handrail

There is one instance world-wide of the use of amenity=handrail, way 37371628. It seems that the 'proper' tagging would be to isolate the section of path the handrail abuts and tag that with highway:handrail=right. Do you generally agree that the use of 'amenity' for tagging a handrail isn't quite what you would expect to see? Thanks for your input. --Ceyockey 02:48, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

@Ceyockey: - nowadays barrier=handrail is standard Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 00:11, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
Resolved: Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 00:11, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

amenity = crypt

I think we miss amenity=crypt, related with all objects tomb=sarcophagus which we have in every old church/basilica --Władysław Komorek 16:51, 4 October 2012 (BST)


Some weeks ago I found such bookcases which are accessible for the public where everybody is free to leave books or to take them. Now I would like to map them.

Please correct me, I guess this is called tradeoff (or trade-off). I would prefer to map them as "amenity=tradeoff", "books=yes", "fee=no", "access=public" (or "access=customers" if it is inside a cafe for example).


cracklinrain 01:04, 26. January 2013 (CET)

Public bookcases can be tagged with amenity=public_bookcase. --Wuzzy (talk) 20:56, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Resolved: public_bookcase value is mentioned on the page, seems fixed. Feel free to improve its description. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 00:12, 26 February 2021 (UTC)


Seen in an English Heritage site but I imagine they are elsewhere too. Parents are not allowed to take buggies into the building. This was a shelter in the nearby grounds, with padlocks supplied. Like amenity=bicycle_park but for buggies --Harg 13:18, 14 September 2015 (UTC)


Proposed. By 'visitor centre' I mean the building that welcomes you to a nature reserve, country park or similar, usually with maps, information about trails and wildlife, toilets, a cafe, perhaps a warden's station, etc. Eteb3 (talk) 21:33, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

If you want to get more feedback then tagging mailing list is a good place for that. Talk pages on Wiki usually have quite low traffic. See also Proposal process and Any tags you like Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:20, 8 October 2019 (UTC)


What is the correct status? IMO "de facto"!? — There are tags with amenity=<value> that have been proposed and approved. But I can't find a proposal for amenity=* itself. Regards --Chris2map (talk) 14:41, 10 May 2020 (UTC)

Fixed. Feel free to fix such mistakes by making a direct edit! But thanks for spotting and reporting this mistake Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:26, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
Alright. I'm careful with such time-honoured keys. Maybe there was a process launching the basic namespace keys, of which I don't know. --Chris2map (talk) 18:16, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
AFAIK none of early tags/keys went through a proposal process, most of common tags were never proposed or approved Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 18:20, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
Resolved: correctly marked as "de facto" Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 04:14, 19 February 2021 (UTC)


I started a MapRoulette challenge to fix: amenity=yes. See


Map as stand-alone or not?

For indoor objects like amenity=cafe, I often see that the amenity is mapped on the outline of the hosting building (usually at the location of the main entrance). But I also often see them as stand-alone nodes inside the building area. Is there a correct way to map? Martianfreeloader (talk) 14:19, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

Both versions are acceptable, but I would say (some may disagree) that mapping them as separate object is preferable Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 14:36, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks. Martianfreeloader (talk) 16:00, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

"How to map" section lacking clarity

I'm having trouble parsing this section. I understand that there may be different opinions on mapping, but in this case, I'm unable to discern from this section what those opinions even are.

If you map it as a node, the preferred way is to use a stand-alone node or area, i. e. if the amenity is inside a building, map the node/area inside the building area.

This sentence contradicts itself by qualifying "node" but then discussing both nodes and areas.

However, mapping it on the outline of the enclosing building is considered acceptable, if entire building is used for that feature.

By "on", is it meant that the OSM area is reused or that another area is mapped on the outline of the first? Joel Amos (talk) 00:15, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

@Joel Amos: can you look at that section again? I have rewritten it. Thanks for reporting it! Such view from less experience people is EXTREMELY useful, once you are no longer newbie it is not easy to detect confusing parts. And newbies usually are unable or unwilling to report what is unclear what makes reports like yours extremely valuable Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 04:13, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a crack at it! The first part is clearer, though I still find the last sentence ambiguous. For example, take the case where there is an existing building and a contributor wishes to add an amenity that matches the entire building area. It is unclear whether the recommendation is for the contributor to create a new amenity area on the outline of the building area or to add an amenity key to the existing building area. My assumption is that it is the latter. Cheers! Joel Amos (talk) 05:07, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
It was improved again, see - is it now clear? @Joel Amos: Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 23:24, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
This is great, thanks! I think clarity is much improved. Is it worth mentioning that, when mapped as an area, the amenity may share an OSM element with building=*? Or maybe that clarification just needs to be more prominent on Buildings (currently just a blurb in "See also"), as buildings seem to be an edge case where it is acceptable for two features to share an element. (Edit: It looks like Key:building actually does provide good guidance on this.)--Joel Amos (talk) 01:21, 26 February 2021 (UTC)