Talk:Key:fence type

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Idea: use a chart?

I like how there is a direct Wikipedia definition link. I'm wondering if a chart could be made out of this information; so we can have a column for "key:fence_type" (showing the Wikipedia link) "Sample Rendering" (picture of a mapnik or rendering) "Description" (a brief description of what it is, (usually the 1st sentence of the Wikipedia definition)

--acrosscanadatrails 16:57, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

different values

Following a discussion on the German talk-de mailing list, we've compiled this list of ideas for fence attributes: Proposed features/Fence_attributes. Obviously there's significant overlap between the "fence types" section and the fence_type key. What's your opinion about the values suggested there? Would you agree to merging that proposal's values into the currently used fence_type key? --Tordanik 14:32, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


Why not barrier_type? --Zverik 13:17, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Value "pole (wood)"

This value is really badly named, it contains a space and parentheses. Taginfo reports 13 uses only. According to Wikipedia, roundpole fences are very specific. I propose to use "roundpole" instead of "pole (wood)" (proposed here as well: Proposed_features/Fence_attributes). --Oligo 22:13, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree with that - the value with parentheses is clearly a bad choice. --Tordanik 23:01, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Values "chain" and "hedge"

Unexpectedly, the "chain" link points to Wikipedia chain-link article. This is very confusing as barrier=chain already exists and refers to a single chain blocking the way. I propose to update the wiki to no longer use fence_type=chain, and instead use barrier=chain or barrier=fence + fence_type=chain_link. And add fence_type=chain_link in the table (also proposed here: Proposed_features/Fence_attributes).

Same for fence_type=hedge, it doubles barrier=hedge. I’ll update the page if no one opposes. --Oligo 22:28, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

+1, another good find. Please update. :) --Tordanik 22:50, 23 January 2013 (UTC)



There are a few values on Proposed features/Fence attributes that could be integrated into this key. I would like to port the value "trellis_work", but I'm not sure whether it is correctly named. Google's image search brings up examples different from the distinct style depicted in the image, and I would like a value specifically for that style. It's a relatively common sight at least in Germany. Here is the short German Wikipedia article, it doesn't appear to have an English equivalent. --Tordanik 15:20, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Why _type?

Why is this key called "fence_type" instead of simply "fence"?

Look at our dobbelganger, the wall. We don't say wall_type=brick. We simply say wall=brick.

And look at highways. We don't say highway_type=path. We say highway=path.

I propose dropping the _type suffix.

-- T99 (talk) 06:01, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

This tag has simply got too much usage to rename the key, it would be a big hassle with not much benefit. I agree it would be nice though. --GoodClover (talk) 17:33, 22 December 2020 (UTC)

Vinyl/synthetic/plastic fence type

Proposed addition of vinyl/synthetic/plastic fence. — Which term is most common internationally? In the US, vinyl is most common in my experience. Cheers! —Todrobbins (talk) 22:11, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Material vs type

Concrete, wood and metal are materials, they should be added using the material=* tag, not using this type tag.

I am currently looking at a wall that is visually very similar to the second picture for "concrete", however it is made out of wood. This tagging doesn't work very well.

--Pbb (talk) 11:48, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

I fully agree, material of fence is far more suitable for material=* not in fence_type=* Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:33, 23 January 2021 (UTC)

I added a new value "corrugated metal". At the forum, no one spoke against:

Wire fence?

Spike on welded wire mesh fence.jpg

I'm not sure if I fully agree with either the definition or the image of fence_type=wire.

First, the image does not have any wires in it. All steel in the fence is in the form of solid bars and posts. The image is also misnamed. There is no mesh in the image. The bars are parallel (vertical, to discourage climbing). Okay, there are a few horizontal bars too, apparently for structural support and decoration (and easier climbing). A wire mesh is totally different -- generally a synonym for either fence_type=chain_link or chicken wire and not welded.

Second, the definition has some words related to electricity but they don't really form a meaningful sentence. Could the author please elaborate the intended meaning?

--T99 (talk) 08:22, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

  • This is fence with mesh panels. A welded mesh. I would use mesh as value. So I remove the actual image cause not showing a wire fence, as it is generally understood. --Chris2map (talk) 18:03, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

What is the meaning of the phrase "The meanwhile electrified version of 'electric'" in the table with the description of wire? IMHO it doesn't make sense and could be removed, does it? --Chris2map (talk) 21:40, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

I agree - this doesn't make any sense. I've removed. Casey boy (talk) 15:03, 1 November 2021 (UTC)

Just looking at fences & I agree this isn't what I'd call A wire fence? Looking & found a better photo:,_sidewalk_fence.jpg, but how do you change the existing photo in the table? --Fizzie41 (talk) 02:43, 19 December 2021 (UTC)

Hi Fizzie, that truely is a wire fence. But I think, that is quiet rare. I suppose in most cases a wire fence is shaped as kind of mesh. There seems to be some differences in linguistic usage, e.g. between English and German. - International, I assume, these examples would be both called wire fences: File:Welded wire mesh fence.jpg and File:Wire fence in Vibble, Gotland.jpg - Perhaps we should put all 3 in the table? --Chris2map (talk) 07:09, 19 December 2021 (UTC)
Agree that there are many wire fences, but the one I was mapping & that made me ask is: Another similar version is, both of which I'd call a wire fence. Agree that multiple photos would be good but how do we insert them? --Fizzie41 (talk) 22:07, 19 December 2021 (UTC)
The table is an embedded template. So you have to edit the template, not the page of the tag. The page of the template to edit is here: Template:Fence type. --Chris2map (talk) 18:33, 20 December 2021 (UTC)

Thanks for that, Chris! Edited to add extra description & photos --Fizzie41 (talk) 21:48, 20 December 2021 (UTC)

What type of fence is this?

Mixed fence.png

Should this be fence_type=metal, or something different? Rmikke (talk) 18:31, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

IMO this is special sort of picket fence. Alternative something like iron rod. So picket, iron_rod or universal type metal. --Chris2map (talk) 18:13, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
I think this is clearly a fence_type=bars as it's constructed mostly of vertical metal bars. This is definitely not a picket fence. fence_type=metal makes no sense because metal is a material, not a type, style or design. -- T99 (talk) 10:21, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

Paling Fence

I am using this type in Open Historical Map, but it applies in many modern contexts as well. Vertical posts, 2 or 3 lateral slats, and then a series of vertical boards or planks butted together, fastened to the laterals. I don't have a suitably licensed photo right now or I'd included it. --Nfgusedautoparts (talk) 15:56, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

IMO paling would be an applicable value and is missing in the table. It is currently in use 3 times ( I assume that these fences are currently being mapped with "wood". --Chris2map (talk) 18:39, 9 June 2020 (UTC)
Snow fence, A9 - - 1334243
Hi, that's not what I understand by a paling fence. In the UK a classic paling fence is made from poles of chestnut (probably about 1 inch in diameter) usually held together by 3 twisted wires (at base, mid level & top): presumably something other than drawn wire was used originally. They are common around historical parks (they are often used as deer fences) and in Scotland alongside roads & ski runs as w:snow fences (to stop the snow in the first case & keep it there in the second). There are several photos of Geograph. Perhaps we should have another specific value for these. as I see UK retailers sell fences of the type described by Nfgusedautoparts. SK53 (talk) 19:56, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
Obviously there is a divergent meaning between historical / traditional paling fences and usage of the term with modern fences, where it seems to be used as synonym for batten fence. But my English knowledge is not sufficient for choosing the best matches of terms for the variants of fences. It would be good if a native speaker could take over the paling, pale, batten, picket, lattice, etc. thing, and alike wire / mesh. --regards, Chris2map (talk) 21:21, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

See also w:sand fence. Jidanni (talk) 08:31, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Other types of wooden fences

There are a number of wooden fences in common use in the UK. Suggested tag values in brackets, all should have material=wood.

  • Post & rail. (fence_type=post_and_rail Extremely common in areas where horses & other stock are kept, but also in parks, nature reserves etc. Usually three rails with posts are fairly short intervals. A nice example on Geograph.
    Post and rail fence, Bishopstone - - 1009517
  • Slatted fence with arris rails (fence_type=slatted) . This used to be one of the commonest garden fences, but they tend to be replaced by cheaper panelled wooden fences. Posts may be wood or concrete with slots for the tapered ends of the three arris rails, the fence panels are made from feather-edge boards (i.e. tapered to one end). Panels overlap slightly to give the slatted appearance. Usually 4ft 6in or 6ft. See left hand fence in this Geograph image.
  • Panel fences (fence_type=panel . A whole range of pre-constrocuted panels (often 6-8 ft in length) which slot into grooves in the concrete fence posts. Often with a 'gravel board' below. Panels tend to be cheaper, weaker & less long-lasting than the more expensive slat style fence. Aesthetically they may also be more obtrusive because of greater predominance of concrete posts and gravel board.
  • Knee rail fences (fence_type=knee_rail . A single rail (usually diamond in cross-section, sometimes round) held at knee level. Common around car parks etc. See this Geograph image

Any others worth mentioning? SK53 (talk) 20:46, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

1. How would one distinguish it from barrier=guard_rail?
3. Is this particular example not more about height=*? I see some "knee rail" that are actually at the standard waist level.
---- Kovposch (talk) 09:09, 18 March 2021 (UTC)

Added these fences, & others, to the table, also improved some descriptions & added photos. Any comments welcome! --Fizzie41 (talk) 06:32, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

The knee rail fence name seem to apply both to those at knee height & higher (thigh rather than waist IIRC). I have always assumed that guard rails refer to things like crash barriers on fast roads and possibly things to stop children & pedestrians trying to cross at busy locations, or when visibility might be poor. The key aspect is the single top rail which is perhaps 8 cm by 8 cm square is angled at 45 degrees and supported by "V"-shaped notches in the posts. I think the proper name for slatted fence is featherboard (I need to get one replaced this winter so am a bit more au fait with the terms). SK53 (talk) 18:29, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

Reference to fence:type proposal

As far as I can tell (although perhaps a better schema) that proposal is abandoned and the tagging scheme is far less popular than the one on this page. Does it therefore really deserve its own section this page? Casey boy (talk) 15:29, 1 November 2021 (UTC)

Steel mesh

In rural Greece it is very popular to use reinforcement steel mesh ( Welded wire mesh) as fence material. Should this be tagged as fence_type=wire? Usually the segments are fixed together tightly, but some segments are only connected loosely with long wire stripes, intended to create a simple gate. Shall this be tagged as barrier=gate? --GerdHH (talk) 17:35, 21 September 2022 (UTC)

Barbed wire on the top

Many fences are chain link on the bottom and then three strands of barbed wire on the top. Not the whole fence "barbed wire". In fact who wants to snag kids and pay damages? Do mention such cases. Jidanni (talk) 19:01, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

Plus the barbed wire is inclined usually extending outwards to keep people from climbing in! So there is an in and out difference. It's not symmetrical... Jidanni (talk) 19:06, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

The abandoned Proposed features/Fence attributes had barrier:barbed_wire=yes for "additional barbed wire is present". 150 uses at the moment. --Tordanik 16:56, 10 October 2022 (UTC)