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Other tags that are already in use

User:Emka 19:10, 10 June 2009

Yes. I use 'phone' rather than 'contact:phone' because that's what most other mappers do. This is no coincidence. It's simpler. I generally disapprove of most proposals to introduce "namespaces". While they have the feel of something nice and rational and organised, that comes at a price. Tags are supposed to be simple. We're not developing a programming language here. New mappers have to learn to type these things in and remember them. The 'contact:' prefix offers very little real benefit but makes a tag much less simple.
(Copied from my diary I realised I should post this here)
-- Harry Wood 10:21, 25 August 2011 (BST)
Yes you are right, I also don't use the contact:-prefix, but afaik it is pushed by the JOSM default preset-template. --Fabi2 04:40, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Types of phone numbers

What do you think about tagging various types of phone numbers? Like mobile phone (or cell phone), fixed phone or sip phone for example. I thought:

  • contact:phone:fixed=1234
  • contact:phone:mobile=1234

--Dirk86 15:12, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

I like it, especially mobile phones are in wide use and are often given together with a fixed phone number.--Scai 09:20, 22 September 2010 (BST)
Drowning in colon characters. How about good old simple tags like phone=* ...and maybe mobilephone=* ? -- Harry Wood 11:38, 22 September 2010 (BST)

More than one phone number

When a business has more than one phone number, what's the best way to capture this?

  • adding a contact:phone for each number
  • including all phone numbers in contact:phone

Mafeu 12:58, 26 October 2010 (BST)

you can't add several identical tags, so probably something like contact:phone=phone1;phone2;phone3 --Richlv 19:45, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Each business has several phone numbers...This is usually solved by a central phone number. (Wow. What a low level of problem solving). --Lulu-Ann 12:40, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

More than 1 phone,fax,mobile number is entered by adding a semicolon after the first number followed by the 2nd number, semicolon, 3rd number and so on. Of course we do not forget to preface phone numbers in OSM with the international prefix and a space, such as contact:phone=+39 123 456 7890;+39 123 456 7891;+39 123 456 7892.

SekeRob 09:15, 22 August 2022 (CET)


A webcam shall be a means to contact somebody? What are you planning, jumping up and down in front of the webcam, hoping to catch some attention? Lulu-Ann

I confirm. Webcams are normaly not a communication-channel--CMartin (talk) 17:37, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

additional forms of communication

i think we could add some more forms of communication:

  1. contact:skype
  2. contact:twitter
  3. contact:facebook

what's your opinion?

I agree. Gallaecio 19:52, 27 July 2011 (BST)
I certainly agree for the Facebook page. Must have. These are now often used instead of a Website home page. --Neil Dewhurst, Lyon France (talk) 08:31, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I propose to add a social network VKontakte with key contact:vk --Cvb (talk)


Many small shop is known by owners name, I think contact:name would be the best way to tag. --BáthoryPéter 11:14, 28 July 2011 (BST)

Isn't operator=* usable? --phobie m d 21:49, 28 July 2011 (BST)

Deprecate this tag family

Stats (taginfo) and usage (editors presets) show that the old tags without the prefix "contact:" remain more popular even after two years of coexistence. After a discussion on the tagging list, I suggest to deprecate this tag serie on the wiki and recommand the old but simple keys.--Pieren 22:13, 1 May 2012 (BST)

AGREE! for the reasons given in the discussion above -- Harry Wood 01:41, 12 September 2012 (BST)
I think it is useful to maintain the namespace setaside, but NOT for general mapping use; rather as a reserved namespace to support content transformation, that is "contact:phone" as a synonym for "phone" for data conversion purposes but not for user mapping purposes. To this end, suggest creating a bot to revise instances of "contact:phone" to "phone" where "phone" is not currently in use, and to highlight where both are present for manual resolution. This would also mean retiring this page and creating a few wiki redirects. --Ceyockey (talk) 15:39, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
So what was decided? Did this even go through a voting process or so? Dhiegov (talk) 12:10, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
The situation is largely unchanged: Keys without a contact prefix remain far more commonly used (and are being added in greater numbers, too, so it's not just existing tagging), but there are mappers who really like the contact prefix and would oppose a deprecation. As far as I know, no one has attempted to put the issue to a vote. --Tordanik 20:52, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
I made the first step and explicitly described at Wiki page that alternative is considered as preferable by mappers Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 12:57, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
I want to add, the popularity is not really a good argument for anything here. Its not likely most new tags are 'chosen'. People just use whats available in iD most of the time and iD does not use the contact:*=* shemeat all. If iD decides to use that instead that "popularity" graph would change as well over time in my opinion. Negreheb 15:00, 11 Februar 2021 (UTC)

format inconsistency with the key “phone”

See [1]

conact:housenumber / Bremen Schema / extended Karlsruhe Schema

I recently started to discuss to introduce the tagging-scheme contact:housenumber as the extended Karlsruhe Schema. The Discussion is here Talk:Addresses#conact:housenumber_.2F_Bremen_Schema_.2F_extended_Karlsruhe_Schema. --Cracklinrain (talk) 00:50, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Review websites

I have seen a few mappers adding contact:[ yelp | tripadvisor | foursquare ] to businesses. IMHO these are not means of contact, instead these are review website. While I personally think that we do not need them in OSM at all, they certainly do not belong in the contact:* namespace. --Polarbear w (talk) 21:03, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

In a discussion on the Tagging list, adding those websites was discouraged by most contributors. They are not designed as means of contact to the businesses, and focus on individual reviews. They are seen as an instrument of search engine optimizers and spammers. --Polarbear w (talk) 19:50, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Personally, id put 99% of the Facebook links I've seen in that category also. Even if you can technically contact the business through Facebook, its main purpose is to make the business look overly good and they use of a lot of the same SEO/spam tactics. Would something like Yelp qualify also? --Adamant1 (talk) 17:31, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

contact:website vs website

Is there any difference in meaning between contact:website and website tag? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 18:52, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Not in my opinion. It was just the attempt by some mappers to group "phone, fax, email, website" under a common key prefix. --Polarbear w (talk) 19:37, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
It might be splitting hairs, but I think there is a difference. To me, visiting a website doesn't qualify as "contact." Anymore then it would be if I stand outside of a business and look at the hours on their door (Maybe that's more to do with it being a bad tag though and not them having different meanings per say).--Adamant1 (talk) 17:26, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
Totally agree with Adamant1. --The knife (talk) 22:23, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
I also agree that contact:website makes tagging more complex, because it eludes to the differentiation of websites which include contact possibilities and those that don't. IMHO we should discourage the use of contact:website for this reason. --Dieterdreist (talk) 15:16, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Deletion of older tags

I've seen a few people around that have deleted the older more widely accepted tags like phone=* and replaced them with these. It wasn't on a mass scale or anything, one person in particular did it a lot though, but there should still be something on this page about how its inappropriate replace the old tags with these ones. As they can coexist. Hopeful it will help the situation at least a little. I don't think banner at the top is sufficient enough. --Adamant1 (talk) 07:46, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

While it's unfortunate that we have two synonymous keys and I wish we could just finally decide which set of keys to use (it's been 10 years!), deleting them like that isn't really acceptable and a recipe for edit wars. Feel free to add something to the page. --Tordanik 20:14, 14 January 2019 (UTC)


Is it just me, or is it quite absurd to describe it as a contact method? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:22, 19 May 2020 (UTC)

Just as absurd as contact:website, maybe more. --The knife (talk) 13:37, 19 May 2020 (UTC)
Just ignore it Mateusz, the "contact"-prefix is not about sense. Sooner or later it will disappear, if we simply do not use it. --Dieterdreist (talk) 14:42, 19 May 2020 (UTC)
contact:website in theory can work and link to a contact form - though it is basically never used in that way Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 16:05, 19 May 2020 (UTC)
It still makes sense in this respect. The extent and nature of contact:*=* isn't well-defined. You can comment on videos, reply to Community posts, (these 2 alone already make contact:youtube=* more directly contact=*-fiting than most contact:website=* tags you observe) and there will be a list of email address and links in the About section. Keys like contact:webcam=* (cf Talk:Key:contact#Webcam.3F could be worse than contact:website=* - there's usually not even any contact channel listed. We simply need to clarify how to use contact:*=*, *:website=* and *:url=*, etc. -- Kovposch (talk) 10:34, 20 May 2020 (UTC)


These tags IMHO are not about Addresses, let’s remove the group or find a better one.—-Dieterdreist (talk) 17:42, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

emergency phone number

Is there any way to include emergency numbers? Eg. the opening_hours of a vet are Mo-Fr 08:00-16:00, but in case of emergency you can call under phone number X. (Mabye contact:emergencyphone ?) --TBKMrt (talk) 07:45, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

I am not aware of any. There is emergency_telephone_code=* which has 90% values of "112" and might eventually apply, although the term "code" seems strange? Also it is not documented in the wiki. Some usage also for emergency:phone=* (4191 uses, undocumented but eventually suitable) and much less for emergency_phone=* (337 instances, undocumented but from the values it looks as if it could be suitable for your scope). From this short lookup it seems emergency:phone=* is the best available option. The contact prefix should be avoided unless you want to make everyone's life harder by using multiple keys with the same meaning. For completely there is also "emergency:contact:phone=*" with 115 uses and contact:phone:emergency with 106 uses, i.e. both combined are at 5% of emergency:phone=*. --Dieterdreist (talk) 09:03, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
@Dieterdreist: I really did not expect an answer that quickly so thanks for the quick reply!
@ emergency_telephone_code: I also thought about that code does not really sound as if it would fit the rest of contact:*
@ emergency:phone: I saw that one, but I honestly don't really like it since it's awfully close to emergency=phone and this is something completelly else. I thought about using the emergency key in general, but the key as such seems to be more in use for public emergencies (eg. fire_hydrant, life_ring, phone, siren).
Because of the existing mixes of contact, phone and emergency I would more tend to use emergency_phone as key even it does not have a huge ammount of uses. The reason simply is that it's name is short and descriptive and it would fit the rest of the contact key. So phone = contact:phone and emergency_phone = contact:emergency_phone. But after all I don't really mind the way how it is included.
Usecase would be this vet that has a public phone number for cases of emergency.
--TBKMrt (talk) 16:20, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
I don't know if this would help in any way. I checked/searched taginfo. If you want use a mix of contact & phone & emergency i found two schemes which people starts to use:
=> 115x emergency:contact:phone:
=> 106x contact:phone:emergency:
Additionally you could look to the values which are used for these both versions and look to the taginfo chronology tab to see if there is organic growth --MalgiK (talk) 17:00, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
@MalgiK: If possible I do not want to mix contact, emergency and phone with a colon as seperator. I agree with Dieterdreist that this is not really a good mix and should be avoided. --TBKMrt (talk) 23:39, 4 December 2020 (UTC)


In some countries LINE has already surpassed websites and phones as the main communication method. Please add an entry for it on this page. Jidanni (talk) 00:55, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

Which tag is used for it? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 09:19, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
First of all you need to decide on contact:line=*'s format. is very diverse. Nearly half the instance are contact:line=yes wrongly tagged from contact_line=yes on electrified=contact_line.
---- Kovposch (talk) 14:08, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

Internal phone extension number

Seemingly in, a confusion between ITU-T E.123 and DIN 5008 was unintededly introduced for the internal phone extension number used by a company or facility using a PABX. There has also been discrepancy between the English article here and German one DE:Key:contact (also looks like misinterpretations, without reading Greman).


At least for any value containing a ext term, Taginfo should be showing 455 phone=* ( and 536 contact:phone=* ( instances.

I have edited the key:contact article itself here ( and Template:Map_Features:contact ( to narrow down the scope, leaving key:phone which has no mention of this untouched for now. There's a slight possibility that tiny proportion of usage on phone=* and contact:phone=* may differ over this, notwithstanding the already highly varied formats (due to a lack of standard).

This was asked on and in Talk:Key:phone#Extension_numbers

-- Kovposch (talk) 20:58, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

NANP is just a numbering plan. There's no official standard for phone number formatting in the U.S. or Canada, and industry style guides differ, but the typical notations in order of prevalence are:

  • "555-1234" or "(555) 555-1234"
  • "555-555-1234", especially in areas with ten-digit dialing but increasingly everywhere because of mobile number portability
  • Stylized variants like "555.555.1234", "555/555-1234", and "555 555 1234" occasionally appear on signs, but they're commonly understood to be nonstandard

All these formats can be stylized in creative ways for memorability, for example the phoneword "55-KLICK" (555-5425). Extensions are typically written "555-1234, ext. 10", "555-1234 ext. 10", or "555-1234 x10". Otherwise, the three-digit area code, three-digit exchange code, and four-digit line number are always separated by something, and a space is rarely used as a separator. Approximately three Americans know that "-" is ever used as an extension delimiter anywhere in the world.

If OSM continues to prefer a global standard, then it should not be DIN 5008, which is designed for German-language publications and does not apply to foreign languages, let alone database input. We don't adhere to the rest of DIN 5008 by tagging height=10,8 or start_date=12.06.2021, but of course an editor or data consumer is free to format these values according to DIN 5008 for display to German users. From a practical standpoint, it's already difficult enough to get contributors to tag phone=* according to E.123 instead of the national conventions, so DIN 5008 would only exacerbate the problem. E.123 at least addresses internationalization, even if it unfortunately does so in a machine-unreadable way by allowing the "ext." to be localized. On the other hand, if OSM would like to devise its own standard that happens to match DIN 5008 but not E.123, then editors and data consumers would need to perform more frontend internationalization before that can be a reality.

 – Minh Nguyễn 💬 22:56, 12 June 2021 (UTC)

Addendum: The Canadian telecom industry prefers "1 555 555-1234" in areas with ten-digit dialing, but U.S. and Canadian authorities prefer "1-555-555-1234". [2] The full text of E.123 distinguishes between national and international numbers, allowing for national numbers to contain hyphens but calling for spaces in international numbers (with a diplomatically worded footnote observing that it may take some time for hyphens to go away in actual usage). By the way, Key:phone#Parsing phone numbers recommends that data consumers parse phone=* in a way that precludes DIN 5008 extension formatting (by ignoring hyphens). – Minh Nguyễn 💬 21:12, 13 June 2021 (UTC)
I've copied the syntax ascribed by RFC3966 to phone=* for reference (e.g., phone=+44 20 8452 7891\;ext=42) Bkil (talk) 19:04, 16 November 2023 (UTC)

What is the point of...

I've looked for a reason 'contact:' prefix exists. I may have skimmed over a valid suggestion as the only explanation came from someone who appears to be against this form of tagging: 'to group "phone, fax, email, website" under a common key prefix'.

I'm struggling to see a purpose in this. If someone wishes to do a scrape of the OSM database for 'contacts' they still have to filter further for 'telephone, website' etc to make any use of it.

Can anyone sell this key to me, or should it be recommended to be discouraged or even deprecated?--DaveF63 (talk) 20:44, 17 January 2023 (UTC)