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Applies on ways?

According to the green-filled description box, this tag should be given on nodes and areas. Confusingly, there is an entire example paragraph describing usage in context of ways. Should ways be considered suitable target for this tag? Lazzko 21:36, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree, wheelchair=yes|no|limited should be allowed for ways. --Lulu-Ann 07:27, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Only wondering, what is the width needed for a wheelchair? Good to write it down on the page. Related to Proposed features/duckboards.

German DIN norm requests 70cm width for wheelchairs, including the heavy electric ones. Lulu-Ann

Special Values

We want to map access and information for the event "Kulturhauptstadt Ruhr 2010". Therefor we needed special information about access and support for wheelchair users.

This special tags should be added to museums, theaters, cinema, restaurants.

Is the building accessible by wheelchair?

Use plain wheelchair=* on the way tagged with building=*, or the node with building=entrance, or the amenity within that building, or preferably all of them. Alv 09:36, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

The access tag is used if access is forbidden, not not possible. It should not be used here! --Lulu-Ann 09:14, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
You are wrong! The access tag is used if have permission to use a way by a special kind of vehicle. But I don't see any reason to use something like wheelchair:accessibility=yes or no to make a distinction here that is not needed. --BlackBike 17:33, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
What is the difference between the normal wheelchair=yes or no-tag and wheelchair:accessibility=yes or no-tag? --Raul.krauthausen 12:44, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Are there toilets that you can use with a wheelchair?

This tag is not needed. Simply use amenity=toilets and use a wheelchair=yes/no/limited. Unknown is not a valuable value and shall not be used. Lulu-Ann
This tag is very useful. With this tag you can give information if a museum, theatre, restaurant or pub has its own toilets that can be used by wheelchair drivers. The tags Lulu-Ann talked about are useful for toilets that stand alone and are not inside a museum, theater, pub, shop. --BlackBike 17:09, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
If the node amenity=toilets is within the building, it is clear, that they belong to it. It causes additional work to parse 2 different tags for the same thing in routing applications. --Lulu-Ann 10:02, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
i agree with Lulu-Ann --Raul.krauthausen 12:45, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Can you tell me how to extract a list of museums with wheelchair toilets, then? That would be a nice feature.. (And yes, for me the easiest way to do this would be to tag the building with wheelchair:toilets=yes) --t-i 12:35, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Use the is-this-node-in-this-polygon function. Lulu-Ann
What does "limited" mean, in terms of a wheelchair-toilet? User:Raul.krauthausen
It's not fully accessible if you are in a wheelchair, e.g. you need help from someone else to reach it (there's a heavy door or a step etc.). Use wheelchair:description additionally to describe. See here. --t-i 19:27, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
You don't always know the location of the toilets. Sometimes you just know that there are wheelchair-accessible toilets in a cinema, museum, ... --t-i 19:27, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
If you have not seen the toilets you should tag them on the building outline with "FIXME=Wheelchair toilets" and nothing else! I have seen many wheelchair toilets that are used as storage and are built in but not usable at all. --Lulu-Ann 15:09, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
After running for more than 2 years with lots of feedback from our users, we came to the conclusion that this tag is very important. Tagging a restaurant as wheelchair=yes implies besides the obvious accessibility parameters that a "toilet (if any) is accessible and cabin is wide enough to fit a wheelchair next to the toilet". Users get confused with the "if any" term, because this dependes on the country and society of the users. In some countries there are toilets in every postoffice, in others not. We propose to use the wheelchair tag to say, if a place can be entered with a wheelchair as it is agreed: entry stepless, rooms stepless. And the wheelchair:toilets tag defines, if a wheelchair accessible toilet is present (or not) and can be accessed with a wheelchair. Any comments on that? --Schmerzbereiter 16:25, 08 October 2012 (UTC)

Are there rooms in a hotel or hostel that are usable with wheelchair?

A tag can not contain a number and a yes/no/limited value at the same time. This does not work.
See Parking about how to handle parking spaces for the disabled and overtake the system. Lulu-Ann
I don't see why number and yes/no/limited should'nt work. --BlackBike 17:24, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, if there is no problem, then tell me how to enter it if you have 10 rooms in a hotel, and 1 room has limited accessibility, 2 have full accessibility. See the problem? Lulu-Ann

capacity:disabled=* should suffice, it's better to use generic tags that mean the same thing and are already used. Alv 09:36, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree Lulu-Ann

Are there special places for wheelchairs in theater, opera or cinema?

A tag can not contain a number and a yes/no/limited value at the same time. This does not work.
This does not make sense, als wheelchair drivers bring their own seats. Lulu-Ann
I don't see why number and yes/no/limited shouldn't work.
This tag is very useful. Wheelchair drivers bring their own seats, but there has to be a a place in theatre, opera or cinema where the wheelchair driver stays with his chair during a performance. --BlackBike 17:19, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

capacity:disabled=* should suffice, it's better to use generic tags that mean the same thing and are already used. Alv 09:36, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

This would not be enough. There are different dissabilities which need different support. In a theatre, opera or cinema blind people might get support by audio descriptions which might be available only on certain places (cable-headphone). Wheelchair drivers need a place for the wheelchair during the performance. All this can't be handled alone by capacity:disabled=*. --BlackBike 17:10, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
There are different tags for blind and deaf persons. Maybe capacity=wheelchair would be better than capacity=disabled, but disabled is established. Lulu-Ann

Are there special guided tours for wheelchair drivers?

Sounds good to me, but value unknown does not make sense. Lulu-Ann

Give the source where you got information about wheelchair accessibility

Unknown makes no sense. Local evaluation ist called survey in OSM. URLs should be tagged with an URL tag, so it can be followed in an application able to follow hyperlinks. Lulu-Ann

Useful for notes about wheelchair accessibility

What is the difference between a note and a description? Lulu-Ann
good question --Raul.krauthausen 13:20, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Can we use the International Symbol of Access?

A number of sources say that the ISA was copyrighted when it was created in 1969 and still is. For example:

--NE2 20:43, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I really don't care. If they want to take us to court that will be really bad press for them. And the icons we use can be slightly different. Lulu-Ann
This project isn't about what we can get away with. --NE2 15:34, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
It almost certainly counts as fair use Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:58, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

New suggestions for wheelchair pictograms

Moved to this discussion page from key:wheelchair --Head 11:14, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

New suggestions for wheelchair pictograms (made by Raul.krauthausen) --Holgerd 18:23, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

blue means "only"
I think it is misleading that "wheelchair=yes" is blue while "wheelchair=only" is green. In non-US street signs, blue symbolizes "only". I think the above pictograms would be fine if we swapped blue and green. --Head 11:14, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Not really, even if several blue traffic signs have such an effect. And contrary to that, a motorroad sign is in some (or even many) countries green (and blue in others) and has the meaning "only motorized vehicles (with a minimum speed of ...)" Alv 13:31, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Please see Mandatory sign on Wikipedia for what I mean. Of course not all countries have signed the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, but 52 have (see Contracting Parties), making it the most wide-spread standard on road signs. --Head 14:40, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
A implies B doesn't mean B necessarily implies A. I was talking about countries that have signed the convention and are compliant; there are other signs with blue background, signs that don't mean "only" and already the page about the convention will confirm that. Alv 15:16, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
In my understanding white on blue ground is the international color for the wheelchair sign. Given it will be very rare anyways, I suggest we drop the wheelchair=only tag. This will make the remaining tags: yes/no/limited much clearer. --Holgerd 12:33, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Simplified suggestion for wheelchair pictograms

The most common values for the wheelchair key are yes, no and limited. So I suggest to simply use these signs as a reference for now:

--Holgerd 16:50, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Coin or Eurokey

We've got wheelchair-toilets here that can be opened with either a coin (1 CHF) or for free with an Eurokey. I'm tagging them with centralkey=eurokey, fee=1 CHF, fee:centralkey=no. Any better suggestions? --t-i 21:42, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

I suggest you just tag them wheelchair=yes --Holgerd 07:31, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for being imprecise. Of course I also tag them with amenity=toilets and wheelchair=yes. --t-i 11:08, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Why not use wheelchair:description:en=eurokey (since the eurokey only applies to wheelchair accessibility anyways) --Holgerd 16:37, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
centralkey=* is already documented and easy to analyse. I use wheelchair:description for free text like "be aware of the 5cm step". I'll soon show you a map for that.. ;) Acutally, I was more concerned about the fee-Keys - but that's not widley used anyway so I'll stick with that scheme for the moment. --t-i 12:29, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Sure, why not. --Holgerd 13:13, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Special values (moved from page)

I moved this from the page to the discussion page because it is disputed since so long --Holgerd 16:44, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

These tags are not agreed - Proposal is planned:

We want to map access and information for the event "Kulturhauptstadt Ruhr 2010". Therefore we needed special information about access and support for wheelchair users. We are a group of people and mappers who want to show which objects of the event "Kulturhauptstadt Ruhr2010" are accessible by wheelchair drivers. The project Ruhr2010-barrierefrei collected this information and verified it with volunteers who visited the venues. Whith the help of local mappers and the OSM-community it should be possible to get the collected information into the OSM-database. Afterwards it should be possible to show this information on special maps. The project is working together with Rollstuhlrouting.

Of course this kind of information is of value for other parts of the world and should be added where ever possible.

Motivation for this special tags

The motivation for this keys was to give more information than the common and simple tag wheelchair=yes|no|limited can give. Often this information might be enough and than it should be used. It is possible to use both methods, simple and complex, side by side.

But on other cases the situation is more complex and the easy way of tagging doesn't provide enough information about an object. E. g. there is an object with the tags tourism=museum and wheelchair=limited. Where is the limitation?

The combination wheelchair:access=yes and wheelchair:toilets=no might shows that the limitation is the missing restroom.

Another thing might be wheelchair:access=limited wheelchair:toilets=yes wheelchair:description="No elevator to second floor, Impressionists collection". That gives more information and helps to make a decision about visiting the museum.

A short word about wheelchair:*=fixme tags. This might not give information to a user. But it is a clear sign, that here some information is missing and might cause other mappers and the osm community to find a way to get this information and put it in the osm database.

This special tags should be added to museums, theatres, cinemas, restaurants. Other POIs might also use this tags.

Is the building accessible by wheelchair?

The access tag is for legal access restrictions, not for accessibility.

Are there toilets that you can use with a wheelchair?

* wheelchair:toilets=yes

Use the established amenity=toilets + wheelchair=yes/no/limited instead.

Are there rooms in a hotel or hostel that are usable with wheelchair?

Are there special places for wheelchairs in theater, opera or cinema?

Are there special guided tours for wheelchair drivers?

Give the source where you got information about wheelchair accessibility

Useful for further information about wheelchair accessibility


In the United States we have a very specific definition of "accessible", as defined by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and a slew of implementing regulations. Are we went to use wheelchair=yes for true ADA compliant facilities, and wheelchair=limited for ones that (elsewhere in the world) might be considered wheelchair=yes? Brycenesbitt (talk) 17:50, 19 August 2013 (UTC) In the United States, if something is ADA compliant, then it should be "wheelchair=yes". --Stevevance (talk) 00:11, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

London - bus stops

I do a lot of Wheelmap tagging in London, but one thing gets a bit confusing - the Wheelmap app shows bus stops as needing tags. I can understand with Underground stations as some are wheelchair accessible, but bus stops aren't either wheelchair accessible or not - instead, buses (with the exception of Heritage Routemaster buses) have a ramp that comes down from the doors and lets wheelchair users on the bus. It seems a bit strange to be soliciting tags for bus stops. —Tom Morris (talk) 11:01, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

I don’t know specifically about London but over here in Brussels bus platforms do not all have the same height, for instance those that are part of a normal sidewalk are too low and boarding a bus is inconvenient and sometimes impossible without assistance → wheelchair=no. In some cases, the height is okay but trees or large objects make it practically impossible to reach the platform, despite the buses may be accessible. Bxl-forever (talk) 12:12, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
My experience with public transport operations is that rolling stock can change quickly on a given route, at least in larger networks who routinely rearrange routes or optimise the service. This is why we should have wheelchair=* keys on both stops (for physical accessibility) and route relations (wheelchair=yes only when all vehicles normally in operation on that route are okay). Routing algorithms should therefore look for both values. This will fix the problem when a stop is served by several routes with some of them being operated by modern buses and some not. Bxl-forever (talk) 12:12, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

toilets:wheelchair=no and wheelchair=yes and ( amenity=pub or amenity=restaurant )

If I understand the wheelchair=yes - this combination is not valid.

  • amenity=pub or amenity=restaurant
  • and wheelchair=yes
  • and toilets:wheelchair=no Am I right ? --ImreSamu (talk) 19:35, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

  • It quite obviously applies to situation when one may enter on wheelchair to restaurant, but its toilet would not be reachable (for example - toilets are in basement, reached by stairs). Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 20:40, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
The wheelchair=yes 3rd condition is strict or not important? How should I interpret the "toilet (if any): accessible and cabin is wide enough to fit a wheelchair next to the toilet"
My interpretation: wheelchair=yes  := [ "entry: stepless" AND "rooms: stepless" AND "toilet (if any): accessible and cabin is wide enough to fit a wheelchair next to the toilet" ]
and In my country (EU) every pub and restaurant should have a toalets --ImreSamu (talk) 21:43, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 23:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)


The page says "7 cm / 3 inch ('width of a hand')", but as can be see at wikipedia:Hand (unit), "hand" is a measurement standardised at 4". How should this ambiguity be resolved? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:12, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

IIUC the "hand" in "width of a hand" doesn't refer to the hand unit, specifically. Looking at diagram File:Hand Units of Measurement.PNG, this seems to be unit known as "palm" — specifically the English palm. Two relevant quotes from that article (emphasis mine):
  • The English palm, handbreadth, or handsbreadth is three inches (7.62 cm) or, equivalently, four digits. The measurement was, however, not always well distinguished from the hand or handful, which became equal to four inches by a 1541 statute of Henry VIII.
  • Over time, the hand has developed into a separate unit now used especially for measuring the height of horses. This hand, including the width of the thumb, is reckoned as 4 inches or 102 millimeters.
I will replace the ambiguous description with the more precise term "handbreadth", and link to the page section above. --Waldyrious (talk) 15:29, 16 August 2022 (UTC)