Talk:Proposed features/Tag:man made=lamp

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I can't comment much on some of the more advanced features of this proposal, however I would like to be able to make a distinction between highway=street_lamp and lamp posts along sidewalks or paths, or even adjacent to baseball fields and the like. As of today, there are about 11,000 uses of highway=street_lamp, and some 1700 uses of lamp_type=* and related tags, however the latter possibly can be converted to this scheme. I would like to see this proposal discussed and eventually approved! - Joshdoe 18:34, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

I also have a strong interest in lamp mapping. I have a dataset with 20 000+ lamp locations with detailed information which gives me ideas as to how to classify lamps. I'm best reached on IRC, or by a message to my username but do check my talk page periodically. Pnorman 07:05, 22 March 2011 (UTC)


I prefer man_made=* instead of amenity=* for such type of objects.

I agree, amenity fits better for things that are specifically sought out, not for infrastructure like lamps. --Tordanik 14:20, 23 June 2012 (BST)
Agreed, I'll change the proposal accordingly. MHohmann 18:00, 23 June 2012 (BST)
So no man_made=surveillance in the same pole without those dreaded semicolons? --Ij (talk) 23:56, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
It's common practice and not a new invention to tag two things which are within the same category and at the same location using semicolons. MHohmann (talk) 00:10, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Not to flame, but is the term "lamp" not still a bit to specific here? AFAIK native speakers would associate it more with "light bulb" than a general category? What about just using light=* that could be easily mixxed with other aspects (as lit=yes or advertising=screen? What do you think about it?--!i! This user is member of the wiki team of OSM 16:24, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Indeed, the correct term should be "light" instead of "lamp". So actually also highway=street_lamp is wrong, since the correct term should be street light, and the lamp is only the component which provides the light. But it seems that "lamp" is also commonly used, and of course a light should have a lamp as its source (at least any artificial light should come from a lamp). MHohmann (talk) 12:03, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

direction values

lamp:direction should preferably re-use the values from Key:direction#Angles and cardinal directions instead of introducing its own set of values. Tordanik 14:29, 23 June 2012 (BST)

In general I agree. However, I would like to add "up" and "down", where the latter is quite common for street lamps, which seems to be missing in Key:direction#Angles and cardinal directions. MHohmann 18:07, 23 June 2012 (BST)
I'm not quite sure about that distinction, actually, but maybe this points to a misunderstanding of the proposal. When I look at these lamps, then the light of course goes down. But the lamps themselves also have a "direction": They extend to the left (from the photograph's perspective). You could rotate the lamps around their pole by 90° or 180°, and the light would still go down, but the lamps themselves would face towards a different direction. So maybe there are actually two "directions" here: the directions of lamp head and that of the light? --Tordanik 18:24, 23 June 2012 (BST)
Indeed, it is not clear from my original proposal which of these two directions is meant. Actually I was referring to the direction of the light, which would be "down" in the example you have shown. Of course this value will apply to almost all directed street lamps, but it will be different for floodlights directed to buildings or signal lamps, and it affects the visibility of the lamp. I will change the text in the proposal to make this clear. MHohmann 13:06, 27 June 2012 (BST)

General application

It would be good if the proposed schema would be able to provide some information about lighting even if the exact position of each lamp was not mapped. Mentor 22:30, 4 October 2012 (BST)

Lacks in highway=streetlamp

Hi, I like the idea on improving the current highway=street_lamp schema as I don't like it's very specific name (what about flood light there, uh?). Another things I currently miss is the support for wall mounted lights as for housenumbers (at least in Germany) and to distinguish between the color of the street lamp itself (say a green metal street lamp, that emits orange/yellow light?). For explanation: as user:Tordanik im in the 3D visualisation topic ;) --!i! This user is member of the wiki team of OSM 16:14, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

About the wall-mounted lights: Maybe we can reuse the "support" key from amenity=clock? Among others, that page lists:
  • support=pole The clock is mounted on a pole.
  • support=wall_mounted The clock is mounted to a wall.
  • support=ground The clock is on the ground.
This easily transfers to lights. The "ground" value would let us map those newfangled lights that are embedded in the pavement and directed upwards. What do you think? --Tordanik 16:48, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Good idea, I will add this. MHohmann (talk) 12:03, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

color -> colour

We should probably use the British spelling "colour" for lamp:colour. --Tordanik 16:32, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. MHohmann (talk) 12:03, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Stadium lights

Just wonder what type of light (tag) should by added to stadium lights around the field (about 10m high)

--Władysław Komorek (talk) 14:04, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

First of all lamp:type=floodlight to determine it's a high pole shining light over a big area, or focused. Then lamp:count=* specifying how many actual lamps that are on the post. If you know what color the lamp has, tell me here and I'll tell more how to tag.

--Fringillus (talk) 21:44, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Streetlights that are off at night

Any suggestions on how to tag street lights that are off for parts of the night to save money/use less energy?

e.g. switched off from midnight to 5am in this example

--EdLoach (talk) 16:41, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

See my example lamp:duration=Mo-Fr dusk-00:00,04:00-dawn; Sa-Su dusk-dawn for a lamp which is switched on from dusk till dawn, but switched off between midnight and 4am on weekdays. Your example could be tagged as lamp:duration=Mo-Su dusk-00:00,05:00-dawn. MHohmann (talk) 18:19, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

What about currently used tags

How this proposal refers to existing tags ie: ?

Doesn't this become clear from this section of the proposal and the hint, that it does not apply to traffic signals? MHohmann (talk) 21:43, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

2 Cents from BlackBike (Mapper of 16000 Düssldorf Gaslamps)

I like this proposal in general. There are a lot of good points. But I think there are some points where it can get better.

  • Namespace I think it is better for some tags to stay in the namespace of the lamp. I think that lamp:ref and lamp:operator are better than 'ref' and 'operator'. One reason might be that (stupid) simple renderers draw all what has a name or ref.
Well, but that's a problem of the renderer (and we don't tag for those). Also objects like fire extinguishers, entrances... have ref numbers, and they have just the same meaning and tagging. MHohmann (talk) 14:45, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • lamp:light=gaslight I like that better than lamp:light=gas because I am a fan of gaslight, not gas.
Could you elaborate why? I suggested lamp:light=gas because this tag should be the light source, which would be gas. MHohmann (talk) 14:45, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • lamp:light_colour, lamp:mast_colour I prefer this tag, because lamp:colour is ambigious. Better use lamp:light_colour and lamp:mast_colour

to make clear what the colour value describes. Values for lamp:light_colour can be given in different forms: Name of the color (red, green, blue, white, warm white), in numeric values (#ff00ff) or as a light temerature (5300 K).

Sounds reasonable, but "mast" should be "pole" in proper English. The values are in any case a good suggestion.
  • lamp:mount I prefer this tag because support is ambigious. Support could also be the organisation that does service for the lamp.
Support has been taken from amenity=clock - the organisation doing service should be operator=*. MHohmann (talk) 14:45, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • lamp:direction, lamp:orientation During my survey I found, that the direction, orientation of gaslamps and their mast fall mainly in two categories:
    • Directed to the nearest street
    • Directed to the middle of the nearest crossing

It should be possible to add this simple information with a simple value like lamp:orientation=to_street or lamp:orientation=to_crossing. Most street lamps are directed towards the street and if no value is given, the default value could be to_street which is not needed to be tagged. I think in most cases it is not necessary to use a compass to get the direction. Leave this complicated things to the computers. It's possible. See the address-layer on OSM-Inspector (nearest street).

One can add these values, but this calculation is not trivial since there is no a priori information to which street a lamp belongs or to which crossing. Determining this from the geometry is considerably more complicated. MHohmann (talk) 14:45, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • lamp:operation_times This is a better tag than lit because it clearly says what the tag descibes: the time when the lamp is in function.

I don't think that sunrise and sunset are exact times for most people, except astronomers. Remember the the beautiful sunset at the beach last summer. That wasn't an exact time. It was a time period that lasted at least half an hour. So it might be the period whan lamps are lit and park gates get closed.

I suggested lamp:lit=* in analogy to lit=* for highways, which takes the same values, but another name for this would also be possible. I suggested dusk / dawn since even if one considers sunset / sunrise as time periods, lamps may not be switched within this period. MHohmann (talk) 14:45, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • lamp:model I think that it is necessary to have a tag that describes the model of the lamp. And I oppose that the language is part of the value. It should be part of the key (as in name:COUNTRYCODE). Only in this way it is possible to give the information in several languages.

Lets take a fictional lamp model with the mast in form of a swan neck. Its only possible to describe it in several languages if the language is coded into the key, not the value.

    • lamp:model=Lamp with swan neck mast
    • lamp:model:de=Lampe mit Schwanenhals-Mast
    • lamp:model:fr=Lanterne avec lampadaire de col-de-cygne
This is what I meant to cover with the more detailed street_lamp=* (since these models are sub-types of street lamps). From the wiki page on the gas lamps in Düsseldorf I thought these would be country specific fixed values (such as, there are exactly these N types in Germany), not textual descriptions. But you are right, for textual descriptions it should be different. MHohmann (talk) 14:45, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect terminology

The term lamp is not the right term for what is proposed here to be tagged. The correct term would be light_fixture, or maybe also light or lights, while lamp is refering to the part that actually creates the light (light bulb, oil lamp, lanterns). This is by the way the same in German (Leuchte vs .Lampe, Glühlampe). Also have a look at wikipedia: [1] and [2].--Dieterdreist (talk) 10:26, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately, "light_fixture" is incomprehensible to non-experts so it wouldn't work as a value. --Tordanik 10:46, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
+1. I even asked native speakers and they gave the same argument. Besides, as I already pointed out on the mailing list, the UK English term is light fitting, and not light fixture. So if you suggest a tag, please make at least sure that it's proper UK English as usual in OSM, not US English. MHohmann (talk) 11:30, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Not sure if this is true, but even if it was, it isn't an argument to use something inappropriate. Maybe a simple "light" would work? Btw: I see the problem mainly in the key, which is refering to something different than what is intended (it is refering to lamp where it should be light or light fixture or you might also argue it is a mixture and in some cases refering to the fixture and in others to the lamp).--Dieterdreist (talk) 11:26, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
This would raise exactly the problems you try to solve. If one tags the whole object as man_made=light, what would light:colour refer to - the colour of the light fixture or the colour of the emitted light? MHohmann (talk) 13:48, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Weird edit

Is this kind of edit normal? I am pretty sure as it is a bad idea as it breaks flow of people responding to previous votes. Bulwersator (talk) 21:49, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Lamp vs. light

This proposal has many good aspects, but some tags are mixing up the properties of a lamp and of its light:

  • "lamp:shape=* - Which shape does the light emission have?" -> There is a difference between the shape of a lamp and the shape of its light.
    • "lamp:shape=spherical - A spherical lamp emits light in all directions." -> Wrong. This tag indicates that the lamp itself has a spherical shape. If you want to describe its light, please use "lamp:light:shape=spherical" or "light:shape=spherical".
    • "lamp:tilt=* - What is the tilt angle for a directed lamp?" -> Wrong, same problem.
    • "lamp:direction=N/S/E/W/… - In which direction does a directed lamp emit most of its light?" -> Wrong, same problem.
    • "lamp:direction=to_street" -> Wrong, same problem.
    • "lamp:aperture=* - What is the angular aperture of a directed lamp, i.e., the angular diameter of the light cone emitted from this lamp?" -> Wrong. Property of light, not of lamp.
    • "lamp:lit=* - When is this lamp lit?" -> Please refer to lit=* instead of defining something new and conflicting. If additional values are needed, then propose them there.
    • "lamp:colour=* - What is the colour of this lamp's light?" -> Wrong. This tag would define the colour of the lamp itself. Please use "lamp:light:colour" or "light:colour". See also OpenSeaMap/Lights for similar tags.
    • "lamp:flash=* - Is this lamp flashing?" -> Not really. Its light is flashing. See also OpenSeaMap/Lights for similar tags.
    • lamp:power=* -> Please indicate that this value should be avoided. It is better to use flux.
    • lamp:flux=* -> Wrong, not property of lamp, but property of its light.


  • try to fix the confusion between lamp and light
  • refer to lit=*, and
  • try to re-use all applicable properties like "light:colour" etc. from OpenSeaMap/Lights. --Biff (talk) 00:11, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Part of the problem here is that even in English, we have different terms in common usage versus the correct jargon terms used by the lighting industry sector. Common usage can be ambiguous, for example "light" can be taken to mean lots of different things, whereas the correct jargon is unambiguous.

  • Lamp (correct jargon) = light bulb (common usage).
  • Lantern (correct jargon specific to streetlighting and other outdoor lighting) = Luminare (correct jargon, but more general including indoor lighting) = light fitting (common usage).
  • Light (correct jargon) = the visible energy emitted from a Lamp or Lantern/Luminare.
  • Column (correct jargon) = street lamp pole.
  • Tower (correct jargon) = latticework support, usually to provide more rigid and/or stronger support than can be provided by a Column, and sometimes including provision for maintenance access.
  • Outreach Arm (correct jargon) = horizontal pole/rod (or other structure) which positions the Lantern away from the Column.
  • Catenary (correct jargon) = suspension cable supporting lanterns and/or electricity cable between two (or more) points.

--Zcapw15 (talk) 13:05, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

Street_lamps are not part of the highway?

In the results section below the voting there is a statement that highway=street_lamp should be deprecated because the street lights are not parts of the highway, but I object that you can see them indeed as part of the highway. On the other hand I also do not see the point why we should group all kind of light emitting devices under the same (main) tag. In the end a street light is quite different from the floodlights in a stadium or from a light tower. --Dieterdreist (talk) 15:01, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

In my opinion, it would be preferable if the highway key was limited to highways themselves, and street furniture as well as highway-related amenities did not use the highway key.
Nevertheless, given that most of the opposition is against deprecating highway=street_lamp, removing that part of the proposal and focussing on the tags allowing more detailed tagging of any kind of lamp would be a good move. --Tordanik 16:59, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
As the comments from the voting indicate, there are both opinions in favour of highway=street_lamp and against it. I agree with Tordanik that street lights are not part of the highway itself, and thus should not be tagged using highway=*. But in any case, I am working on a new, improved proposal with a different tagging, which will replace this proposal, as soon as it is finished. It will not only solve the problem of highway=street_lamp deprecation, but also the second problem, since there will be no common (main) tag for different types of light sources. Instead, only the key is the same, but with different values (as it is also the case for amenity=*, man_made=* - these also describe very different objects). MHohmann (talk) 00:39, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Any progress on the proposal? Detailed light tagging would be useful to me. --Tordanik 13:15, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, indeed, there is. In fact, I rewrote the proposal to resolve the "lamp vs. light" issue that some people criticized, and changed the tagging scheme in order to have only one tag for things such as a street lamp / lantern (light_source=lantern), and not two tags (man_made=lamp, lamp:type=street_lamp) as in this old proposal. See Proposed features/Key:light_source for the new, updated proposal. MHohmann (talk) 13:29, 11 May 2015 (UTC)