From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rendering proposal

This should probably be rendered as a symbol overlay, similar to the current toilets or recycling nodes.

More details

I had some ideas for more details to put into subkeys. (Maybe I should say this in the Proposed_features/Bench_detail page, but that seems to be in the voting stage already.)

  • Some benches are dedicated to the memory of some person. I always find it interesting to read those. Is it an idea to create a tag for that? It might be useful for identification of the bench too. Or are there privacy issues? Anyway, just an idea.
  • Perhaps more useful piece of information: some benches have been made anti-homeless, i.e. bars across the bench that prevent people from lying on it (e.g. here). I find those less comfortable usually. Also, it's not as nice to sit on it with two people, and some people might not fit on them if the bars are too close to each other.

Mtcv 11:20, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Oh no! More "rich people" that show how much they detest poor people! They detest them so much that in their ignorance they make bad benches for themselves with no backrest! Logictheo 18:28, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Mtcv, there's a project called OpenBenches which has its data licensed as CC BY-SA 4.0. --Reuben (talk) 08:53, 17 April 2019 (UTC)

backrest=yes/no, a great idea

I just wanted to say that the backrest option is a great idea. I have problems with my back, and other parts of the spine too. Logictheo 06:08, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

What is implied by default? --Pander (talk) 07:24, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
When it's not given, with 300 000+ benches already entered, all we can say is backrest=unknown. However, every third bench has the tag. Alv (talk) 07:56, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

picnic tables

How about picnic tables with benches? It's in a way more than only a bench. --Kslotte 18:56, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe there's already an extra tag for that with amenity=picnic_table. Not too sure anymore though, better research it.
Yes it exists. --Kslotte 15:29, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I can confirm too. I think it makes sense to add bench property tags to the picnic_table. --nicorikken 07:44, 12 July 2020 (UTC)

Why only as node?

The current feature only allows benches to be tagged as nodes. However, I recently came across a very long bench (~50 m I guess) which would be more suitable tagged as way. Are there any cavets to look for? I couldn't think of any, apart from the rendering issue of course. What would have to be done to make this open for suggestions (the approve/oppose scheme, I'm new to map features voting). Xeen 20:06, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree, sometimes there are very long benches ... maybe its possible to tag an line as bench ?? --Gauron 11:36, 4 October 2010 (BST)
Well it seems to be documented as node, way, or area now (a bench as an area??) I'll write a sentence stating that it would normally be suitable to map it as a node though - Harry Wood 11:04, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
There is a "bench" in the town where I live. It's actually a hexagonal structure. Not six benches arranged in a hexagon but a continuous, unbroken hexagon of bench. In the interior is a plant container with a shrub in it. Half a mile from that is a tall square stone structure (serving no apparent purpose) with a stone ledge that serves as a bench around the perimeter. Some benches are complex. Brian de Ford (talk) 11:22, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
I would also like to map it as an area. Proposal? --Lectrician1 (talk) 20:26, 11 November 2020 (UTC)

osmarender yes

in osmarender, currently (2011/08) it is render ok.

Render on OSM


All nodes with this property are not displayed on OSM map.

Why ??

--ComputerHotline 16:03, 6 May 2012 (BST)

They are, but only at the tightest zoom levels. I think they need to be displayed a couple of levels lower. I've wasted lots of time logging positions of benches (and bins) that didn't show on screen when I surveyed, only to find later that they're already mapped but had not been rendered. If anybody knows how to pass that on to the renderer team it would be good if they could do so.

--Harg (talk) 08:32, 23 June 2016 (UTC)


Please note, that there is now a key direction. I assume (not mentioned) that direction=north means that a person sitting on this bench will look northwards. Could anybody, please, confirm this; and possibly add this hint to this lemma?

Thanks --RalfG (talk) 22:13, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

I can confirm that this assumption is correct. A mention of the key has been added to the page since. --Tordanik 03:28, 10 August 2018 (UTC)


Many benches, especially in parks, have an inscription such as "Donated by..." or "In memory of..." Should we have an optional inscription=... tag, or maybe more specific tags such as donor=... or memorial=... ? --Harg (talk) 08:41, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

I am looking for such a tag as well (this bench). There was a proposed feature for inmemorium. I don't see any fit in the names-category. Memorial does not feel right ("too important"). Inscription does not feel perfect, but kind of the best fit here.

"allows room for several people"

So, a seat in a public place that holds only one person should not be mapped as a bench? There are many one-seater benches in Queen Elizabeth Park, London and we don't have another tag to describe them.

Actually most dictionaries define "several" as "more than two but fewer than many". So in theory even a seat for two doesn't qualify as a bench.

Rather than invent a new tag, I'd suggest changing this to "allows room for one or more people".

--Harg (talk) 06:23, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

I agree. Chrabroš (talk) 01:09, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

How to detect benched without separted seats?

The tag seats implies arm rests in between the seats on a bench. Usually to prevent people laying down. How can one differentiate in OMS between a bench doesn't have individual seats and a bench for which this details hasn't been mapped? Define for example seats=unified/undivided/unseparated ? Pander (talk) 13:17, 27 August 2017 (UTC)

Some people in France uses armrest=yes/no to say if there are armrests. --PanierAvide (talk) 13:24, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Some benches without separate seats, do have armrests only at the end, so this might be confusing unless more strictly defined. Pander (talk) 14:05, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
Maybe by refining this armrest=* tag with more precise values, like "individual", "extremities" or whatever provides a clear description of where they are located ? --PanierAvide (talk) 16:55, 27 August 2017 (UTC)

Disagree that the tag seats in any way "implies" armrests. A bench which seats 3 people still seats 3 people even if there are no armrests. A separate armrests tag is needed if we want to make it clear that a bench has armrests. The tag seats should imply only that a certain number of people can sit on it simultaneously.--Harg (talk) 07:07, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

Some benches are too short to usually allow laying down on it. So it seems that we need an explicit way to indicate whether one can lay down on a bench or not. Like in the following discussion. --Tuxayo (talk) 10:38, 3 April 2019 (UTC)


Considering the growing number of homeless people in cities all around the world, I realise it's laking a complementary tag for benchs. Since it already has many deeply descriptive additional tags at
wouldn't it be usefully informative, also with a social commitment imprint, if it could be added a tag like
sleeping=yes/no or, alternatively (if it might be in conflict with outside slepping local laws), perhaps just
continuous_seat=yes/no . Or sleeping_barrier=yes/no, homeless_barrier=yes/no. What do you think? Sergio (talk) 11:00, 24 January 2018 (UTC)

I think when choosing the tagging, we should consider two factors: It has to be verifiable, and the best tags also allow for more than one use case (as that means people with different reasons for gathering the data will be able to join forces to get better coverage).
So instead of sleeping=yes/no, it might be better to stay closer to directly observable properties. For example, this bench has gaps between separate seats, and has armrests. I would suggest to capture these facts as they are, for example using armrests=yes + separate_seats=yes. --Tordanik 14:55, 27 January 2018 (UTC)
What about benches that are too short to usually allow laying down on them? (like the all the benches of all bus stops of Marseille (2nd/3rd city in France))
--Tuxayo (talk) 19:21, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
length=*? The value doesn't need to be super precise, and it should even work for benches that are only too short for tall people. --Tordanik 19:59, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

Multiple materials

Some examples of material=* with multiple, semicolon-separated values have been added to the page. As is often the case with the semi-colon value separator, I believe this is less useful than just tagging the predominant material. A data consumer faced with iron;wood has no idea which parts of the bench are made of iron, and which are made of wood. As the seats of the benches in the example images are made from wood, I would tag them as material=wood. If people also want to map the material of other parts of the bench, I would prefer separate keys for that: material:legs, material:backrest and so on. --Tordanik 21:08, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

My fault :) Just wanted to show some practical examples and not only a simple gallery without tags. Didn't thought about that. Seems good to me using only the seat material. Zermes (talk) 12:45, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
I have specified that material=* should relate to the seating and simplified the values.--Supaplex030 (talk) 12:36, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

How to map special types of benches?

How to map this type of bench?

Ergonomische Liegebank - panoramio.jpg

maybe a bench=*-Key or we could maybe also work with the backrest=*-Key. Maybe backrest=rounded?

Maybe this is a bit similar like amenity=lounger ?--MalgiK (talk) 17:59, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
Could be an edge case for bench:type=lounger without amenity=lounger really being applicable (one cannot really lie down, rather "sit in a lying manner")?--Supaplex030 (talk) 12:41, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

Add bench:type to "see also" section

There is Key:bench:type (which did not have a wiki page until now) with nearly 900 uses. I would like to add it to the "See also" section. Any objections? --Tordans (talk) 20:05, 1 September 2020 (UTC)

I propose a chapter "Advanced properties" (or similar) for this, e.g. with bench:type=*, armrest=*, length=* or special cases such as memorial benches with inscription=* etc.--Supaplex030 (talk) 12:49, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
For this we could also look through the thread "Benches and hostile architecture" on tagging mailing list.--Supaplex030 (talk) 12:51, 2 September 2020 (UTC)