Talk:Tag:amenity=place of worship

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Multiple religions

Many sites in the Middle East are claimed as holy sites by multiple religions, and to some extent are used by multiple religions for worship. How should these sites be classified? This seems like fertile ground for edit-warring...

Unitarian a religion according to the main page

The main page has mentioned Unitarianism among the religions. It should be denomination. Why don't we move something like the table below to the main page of this article to avoid such ambiguities? --Farzaneh 10:03, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

There is clearly a need to classify religion and denomination in a standard way. The question here is how to make the division. The specific case here is a good example of the confusion. If "Unitarian" is a denomination, under what religion should it be placed? Wikipedia documents that only 13% of Unitarians identify themselves as "Christian", so that would not be a correct classification.
"Mormon" is also on the lists as both a religion and as a denomination. Both usages are technically incorrect: formally it should be religion=christian, denomination=the_church_of_jesus_christ_of_latter-day_saints -- but who would want to type that? The informal term "mormon" is used as a convenient shorthand by both members and nonmembers of the church, but its use, while common, is discouraged. (see [1] and [2]) The terms "mormon" and "latter-day saints" appear frequently in the database, but the full name is spelled out only once. Perhaps denomination=latter-day_saints would be the best compromise.
A definite set of usage guidelines is called for.--Vernondcole 03:57, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Unitarian Universalism is not a denomination of Christianity or another religion, it is an independent religion. Both UUs and Christians widely agree on this, though historically there are close ties. There are some Christians who have a "unitarian" theology and are not members of the Unitarian Universalist movement, but only a few churches in the US that would label themselves that way, compared to about a thousand UU congregations. --nealmcb 21:14, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Deconsecrated Churches

What should we do with buildings that once were churches, but now out of use? Is the purpose of classifying something as a place of worship so that it gets the right symbol on the map because it looks like a church, or to help people locate somewhere to go and worship?

I am inclined to mark such ex-churches as a historic=monument, with a description saying it is a deconsecrated church.

Another option could be to have religion=out_of_use or similar.

Any advice?

I think the the amenity key implies that the structure provides a particular function. Therefore, I don't think amenity=church should be used for deconsecrated churches. For something that looks like a church, perhaps we could do something with the building or man_made tags? Arj
I've just used building=church (because it still is) and historic=deconsectrated church on node 1926051460 v2 Bob Jonkman (talk) 07:02, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Selecting Values for Religion and Denomination

Religion - see all used values.
Denomination - See all used values.

denominations and types

The religion values muslim_shia and muslim_sunni should probably be merged back into "religion=muslim" and then have denomination=shia, etc. Anyone disagree?

Also, we could do with some way of indicating the importance/formal status of a place of worship. In the Church of England, you have at least

  • Cathedrals
  • Parish churches
  • Chapels-of-ease (these are basically sub-branches of a parish church)
  • other chapels, often private or associated with an institution

This isn't even covering monastic institutions or other denominations... Hah, and then there are very important non-cathedral churches, like Westminster Abbey....

Any ideas how to indicate this? Morwen 16:47, 17 April 2007 (BST)

One way of dealing with that would be to split religious features out into a separate tag rather than use the already heavily overloaded "amenity" tag. Would need some thought about what we actually want to represent and how much overlap there is between different faiths Bathterror 00:13, 18 April 2007 (BST)

Sure, I am guessing amenity=place_of_worship, religion=christian denomination=roman_catholic, place_of_worship=cathedral or somesuch. But the question is does the place_of_worship tag want to take religion-dependent values or could we come up with a religion-independent system (i'm guessing the latter is not really).
As a first step, I would suggest making lists of everything that could be representable? I'm guessing no mosques have any different formal status. Morwen 00:17, 18 April 2007 (BST)
Well, there are usually central mosques in UK cities, which might do with being more prominent. No idea about other countries & religions, I'm afraid. For something this complex and sensitive it would be worth somebody consulting some reference books, or talking to an expert in comparative religions. Any volunteers? :) TomChance 01:03, 18 April 2007 (BST)
In regards to the importance differences, think how it could be displayed and prefreably without requiring a massive key down the side. Is the name 'Someplace Cathedral' not good enough? Would number of members be helpful for size? - LastGrape 22:01, 2 July 2007 (BST)

Oh, and mormons, jehovah's witnesses (and quakers) all consider themselves to be christians, is my understanding. Having separate religion= tags for these might be seem as provocative - um, should we fix this? Morwen 13:13, 19 April 2007 (BST)

Probably, yes. With regard to Quakers, it makes sense to know their denomination because the have meeting houses, not churches, and they should be marked as such on maps. I added that when there was just religion= so yeah, move it to denomination. TomChance 20:18, 19 April 2007 (BST)
Most christian churches don't classify mormons and jehova's witnesses as christian and as such they shouldn't be classified christian even if they themselves claim so. Majority counts and if somebody counts that as provocative, the question is if that person is a member of these groups or just somebody who thinks that he knows what other people think. --LH 18:57, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses. When I was in school I was constantly approached by people who said "you do not believe in Jesus". This greatly astonished me since we teach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah (Christ) promised in the Old Testament, that he is the Son of God, and the Savior who died for our sins. His life and ministry are a constant topic of consideration at our religious meetings and in our books and magazines. I believe this makes us Christians. (Those who claim we are not assert that one must also accept the doctrine of the Trinity (that Jesus Christ is also God) in order to be considered a Christian.)
As to whether informed sources other than our critics consider Jehovah's Witnesses to be a Christian denomination, the CIA World Factbook lists Jehovah's Witnesses in the breakdown of membership in Protestant denominations. The European Court of Human Rights, in a ruling against Greece, determined that the claim that Jehovah's Witnesses is not a Christian denomination is false. The Wikipedia page "Christianity" (as of 6 February 2008) groups Jehovah's Witnesses with the Restorationists who are in turn described as a subgrouping of Protestantism. It also divides Christian denominations into Trinitarians (the majority) and Nontrinitarians (the minority).
So I would suggest that, for the purposes of OSM, Jehovah's Witnesses is a Christian denomination.--User:TomashPilshchik 6 February 2007
For the Ecumenic Council of Churches, the Christian Churches are those who proclaim the Symbol of Nicaea-Constantinople (without the filioque). I'm not sure a Jehovah's Witness would proclaim : Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. This makes the difference between Christian and non-Christian Churches.
Christian is not only Jesus-mesianists : some Jewish are also Jesus-mesianists without being Christian. Christian is : sharing the faith of the Fathers and the Symbol above is the reference as agree many Churches, the most known but also African Churches, Brazilian Churches, Churches coming from the Reformation...
I'm not sure that it is the job of the European Court of Human Right to settle in matter of faith, they have enough job in matter of right. And for the CIA, not so far, they did not understand even in matter of ethic... The French Wikipedia is not very clever in theology, maybe the English one... FrViPofm 22:56, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
While I might argue against JW theology, I’d still go with Christian for religion for them as well as “Messianic Jews.” To insist that Christian is always trinitarian and never has reverence for Torah would be to exclude others commonly considered Christian.伟思礼 (talk) 17:28, 6 March 2020 (UTC)

If nothing else, churches make useful landmarks, so following what Ordinance Survey does and providing an indication as to the shape of the building could be useful... EAi 03:19, 28 April 2007 (BST)

Can we at least agree whether values should have spaces in them or not, and whether they are capitalised? I would propose that they cannot have spaces, and so we need to have denomination=church_of_england, not "demnomination=church of england" and that they should not be capitalised. One other thing: in England, I believe that church_of_england and anglican are synonymous; anglican would apply inother parts of the world, with a meaning that was not the same as church_of_england. (There are Churches outside England that are Anglican but not Church of England, but just to confude matters greatly, the Church of England has Churches outside England as well, such as those in the Diocese in Europe ...) I would propose that we standardise on denomination=church_of_england in England.

I'd suggest to use religion dependent system with place_of_worship=* tag. Basic list will be created (cathedral, church, chapel) and users will be prompted to use any value they want but if possible document the selected value on the wiki. Also country specific values (uk:chapel-of-ease) might be useful. --Jttt 09:05, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

How can we represent more specific denominations than those listed on ? For instance, that list only provides for "lutheran", but has no way to specify ELCA, LCMS, or WELS (the major Lutheran denominations in the United States). Would denomination=lutheran;ELCA be acceptable, provided one of the values was of the general sort given on that list? --Tonyyarusso 11:04, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Should the “catholic” in the example be more specific? More than one group uses that term, which originally meant “universal.”伟思礼 (talk) 17:28, 6 March 2020 (UTC)

Jewish denomination

Because of different way to pray, I propose to distinct the different jewish "rivers" as

  • Orthodox/Sefardi_oriental
  • Orthodox/Sefardi
  • Orthodox/Ashkenazi
  • Orthodox/Italian
  • Orthodox/Yemenite
  • Reform


Buddhist denomination

I have tagged the buddhist monastery as religion=buddhist denomination=vietnam See [3] Can anybody check if "vietnam" is a valid denomination for Kongregation der Vereinigten Vietnamesisch – Buddhistischen Kirche (CVBK) Abteilung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland e.V. (gemeinnütziger Verein), please? Thanks. --Lulu-Ann 13:06, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Why is there no proper symbol for Buddhist Temples in OpenStreetMap like there are for churches, mosques (etc.)? Surely we should be able to have a unique symbol since Buddhism is one of the worlds major religions with temples in every country in the world. 13:04, 2 October 2011 (BST)

Type of Christian Churchs

There are three physical types of Christian Church that I know of which should have seperate symbols? (Like OS do on their maps).

  • Church with Tower
  • Church with Spire
  • Church with neither

Giggsey 10:50, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

See below place_of_worship:type. Katzlbt 10:38, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

"church service time"


for me it's always interesting, when there is church service on sundy when i'm in a foreign city. So maby we could invite somting like a "service" or "opening" tag? i know, i can do what i want in osm, but i would like, that there is a advice, so that more people could use it. Dktz 18:04, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I propose to reuse "opening_hours" --Cfoucher 12:13, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure, if "opening_hours" fits here. At least in Germany there are churches often opened much longer for interested or praying people - for example everytime or at some days. At least churches interesting for tourists are open most of the day. But that's not the service-time. Therefore I would say, at least "opening_hours" won't get a good result. -- Jongleur 11:59, 25 March 2010

So let's call it "service_hours", then it can be reused for similar cases. Lulu-Ann
the actual tag that is now used is service_times=* --Dieterdreist 11:55, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Tag Language of Service

I think it is also nice to add the language the place of worship uses as a tag. In a lot of places that are multicultural, the languages available might be very different then the official language of the area. --Txwikinger 01:51, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, totally agree. Even after all these years since your initial comment it doesn't seem like anything has changed here, and a short search did not reveal any appropriate tagging schemes used. Additionally, specific languages and service times might be coupled (I know a church in Switzerland that does two services each Sunday, one in German and one in Swiss German). And then there might be on-site translation that is streamed somehow, which is again different from an on-stage translation. --Xerus (talk) 11:31, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
My plan now: Create service_language as a multi-value field with the main (on-stage) service languages. Then there could be service_times:language (e.g. service_times:english) demarcating times for special service languages.
I would propose a schema for languages used, like this: For example, a church (or mosque, or whatever) with French and Swahili services would be service_language:fr=yes + service_language:sw=yes. If you would like to specify the times for each language, you could do like this: service_language:fr=Su 09:00,18:00 , service_language:sw=... This way, we would have a specific tag (service_language:xx=*) for languages, and we would leave untouched the service_times=* tag. edvac (talk) 16:00, 29 November 2022 (UTC)

place_of_worship:type (Chapels, Small POWs)

Paper Map Symbols (mostly christian incl. Alpenvereinskartensymbolik)

This tag should have one purpose: To indicate a map symbol for a renderer that can be displayed on the map. This would enhance OSM by catching up to traditional paper based, alpine hiking maps. I suggest to introducde a set of types that directly modify default map symbols if present. This should not replace pow:size or other size related tags. Note that a big chapel can have more seats than a small chrurch!

Another reason to introduce this tag is that crosses at mountain peaks (Gipfelkreuze) are currently tagged as historic=wayside_cross. Many such crosses are not historic and not on the wayside. This makes the currently approved solution questionable.

tag values Religion Map Symbols
place_of_worship:type cathedral, dome, monastery, church, chapel, shrine, cross, tree, grotto christian see illustration
place_of_worship:type mosque islam ...
place_of_worship:type temple, monastery, tree budhism ...
place_of_worship:type synagogue judaism
place_of_worship:type tabernacle, conference, pilgrimage, prayer_room, meeting_house other/multiple

A shrine is a holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, daemon or similar figure of awe and respect. A shrine at which votive offerings are made is called an altar (source Wikipedia). The German Wikipedia adds to that that the characteristic of a shrine is that it can be closed in some way (like a chest or wing altar = altar-shrine), while an altar is a table like structure.

A chapel is a building used by Christians, members of other religions, and sometimes interfaith communities, as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be attached to an institution such as a large church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building, sometimes with its own grounds (source Wikipedia).

Sanctuary has multiple meanings. A sanctuary is the consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar. An animal sanctuary is a place where animals live and are protected. In modern parlance the term is used to mean a place of safety. Sanctuary

How to tag a sanctuary or a cloister? I have some of those around where I live. --Skippern 16:11, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, cloister should be added. I have trouble with sanctuary. Does that not fall under any other category, like cloister or church? Katzlbt 08:18, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
cloister (rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries) should probably be tagged as monastery (links to German "Kloster" in Wikipedia)?
Also Stift and Wallfahrtsort (place of pilgrimage) could be discussed, though Wallfahrtsort is usually a church or chapel. Katzlbt 08:30, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I am not quite sure since I am not catholic (or christian for that matter) myself, but I have an impression that a sanctuary is more like a school, a place for people dedicating to study the religion for a temporary time, while a cloister is more of a permanent place. I have also often seen sanctuaris in connection with forts. --Skippern 14:18, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, sanctuaries seem to be often associated with other structures. Wikipedia seems to have a overview of POW types that can be adapted: Place_of_worship. Christianity seems to lead by far with different pow:types. Basilica seems to be the same as cathedral. Katzlbt 07:52, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I found a map symbol for inhabited christian cloister: It is like the church, but a filled square topped with a cross. Uninhabited used a empty square. Other alpine maps use a filled/empty triangle for chapels/shrines. A mosque uses a circle like the church but with a halfmoon on a stick Katzlbt 11:08, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Das Symbol für Kirche und Kapelle ist im Zusammenhang mit dem Symbol für Turm zu sehen: ein Ring mit kurzem, senkrechten Strich. Das Symbol für Kirche (Ring mit verlängertem Strich und Querstrich = Kreuz) stellt so gesehen eine Variante des Turmsymbols dar. Auch das Symbol für Moschee ist ein Turmsymblol in Kombination mit einem religiösen Symbol. Indem das Symbol für Kirche ausgefüllt wird (schwarzer Punkt) wird dargestellt, daß das Gebäude keinen weithin sichtbaren Tum besitzt. Auf topografischen Karten ist diese Unterscheidung von Bedeutung, weil hoch aufragende Türme wichtige Landmarken und somit Navigationshilfen sind. Da ein Kloster oftmals aus mehreren Gebäuden und Ländereien besteht,würde ich die Fläche als landuse=cloister, name=xxx anlegen (Multipolygon outer) und darauf dann für eine eventuel vorhandene große Kirche eine Umrißfläche (> Multipolygon inner) oder einen node setzen. --elmada 09:44, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I have not seen the circle with stick as symbol for tower, but a filled square with flag for castle. However, there are some differences between Alpenverein and other maps. I even saw two-tower-churches as circle with two crosses. I oppose landuse=cloister, because a cloister uses land like farms. Instead we should mark cloister buildings as buildings. The main building with church could be tagged as place_of_worship:type=cloister and in lower map resolutions (1:200000-1:50000) the map symbols could provide good abstraction. Similar as the tourism=alpine_hut icon that is rendered on top of buildings. Katzlbt 11:33, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Is there a difference between cloister and monastery? According to wikipedia cloister is sometimes used as a metonymic synonym for monastery, and A monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary. According to this definition, I would propose the TAGs monastery:church, monastery:dormitory, monastery:cloister, monastery:refectory and so on. --WalterSchloegl 09:05, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Couldn't we rather specify this information using building=* ? For instance, place_of_worship:type=church would overlap with the current tagging scheme, building=church. Why don't we follow the current approach and use building=cathedral, dome, monastery, church, chapel, shrine, cross, tree ? --solitone 09:15, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Do you then have any proposal for tagging tibetan prayer flags (Gebetsfahnen)...!?! --katpatuka (talk) 12:13, 23 January 2015 (UTC) (moved from user talk page)

How do you map them, as points, ways, areas? --talk 21:33, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, you find prayer flags as POIs (star-like nodes), ways (I saw spanning across a river; see also picture below) and areas (usually near important monasteries). See current usage --katpatuka (talk) 05:44, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I agree with solitone that the type specification should not collide with the current building tagging. It could be possible however to assign place_of_worship:type=building + building=church, thus making the type key more useful for the non-building types, such as those flags. --Polarbear w (talk) 21:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I would prefer to use landuse=religious for the monastery/cloister area, and restrain the PoW tag to the church or temple inside. --Polarbear w (talk) 22:18, 23 January 2015 (UTC)



Chapels, Small POWs: In southern Germany there are many chapels, which are clearly place_of_worships, but I think they should additionally be tagged with chapel=yes, as there are several differences to churches.

What about a religion-neutral numeric value like those for tracks?
  • grade=1: Cathedral
  • grade=2: Large church (up to XXXX people)
  • grade=3: Medium church (up to XXX people)
  • grade=4: Small church (up to XXX people)
  • grade=5: Chapel
Descriptions for other religions would of course be required.
I'd like to point out that there is indeed a strict hierarchy of churches, and it doesn't rely on the amount of people that fit into, but on the importance (rank) of the church leader that has it's seat there. -- Dieterdreist 09:23, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you that there is a need for such a thing. However, it may be better to break them down by denomination. For instance, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), there are different classes of places-of-worship as well. From largest to smallest square footage (in general):
  • Conference center (only one)
  • Tabernacle (several)
  • Temple (128 currently operating)
  • Church house (Sunday meetings)
It would be nice to have different icons for each one. However, your proposal would still provide different icons for each "size" which would be better than what currently exists. — Val42 06:52, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree, there is a need for some sort of "size" tag. I'd prefer the numeric way, because "classes" are denomination specific. I think wayside crosses and similar places should be included, too. --R kleineisel 11:40, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree we need a place_of_worship:size distinction, but please NOT a grade scale. I suggest: cathedral, church, chapel, shrine, cross, tree. This maps almost to alpine map symbols used in traditional paper maps. I am against over-splitting chrurch by occupancy. Katzlbt 08:44, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that there is indeed a strict hierarchy of churches, and I think we should adapt the official words for them. Also I wouldn't call it size but rank -- Dieterdreist 09:23, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

May I suggest place_of_worship:size=* with numerical values? Than a matrix for what each mumber means in each religion/domination can be made, and the number can refere to which zoom levels it is interesting to have them rendered. For example, in catolizism there is only one papal seat, so that will be place_of_worship:size=1, cathedrals can be 2, etc. Letting size 1 be visible on zoom level 6, size 2 on zoom 8, size 3 on zoom 9, etc. It is not necessary to fill in every number for every denomination, and if it seems appropriate, one can skip some as well so that for example the pastafarians only have size 3 and 5? Those knowing each religion/denomination is best suited to define the used values for the matrix. Different symbols can also be derived from the same matrix. --Skippern 15:59, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

size might be an additional value (height, amount of people that fit into), but the main value IMHO is rank, not size. It's like political leaders: there is an individual height, but their actual power is not derived from it ;-)
Numerical values add too much complexity for new mappers (was the wayside cross a 6 or a level 7?). Mapping size to zoom level is useless. In empty country/mountain regions it is appropriate to map trees and wayside crosses much earlier for navigational purposes and Restaurants/Huts are mapped way to late in the mountains to make mapnik a valuable resource for hiking. I am pretty much convinced this proposal will be done approximately 2015? Katzlbt
I don't like the "chapel, dome" categories, as you need to know the words in the religion to understand. I don't have the slightest idea form example, how big and small synagogues would be called, and obviously the proposer of this system does not know either.
Why not simply tag the number of seats / persons fitting in the building and let the renderer decide when to use a dome or chapel icon ?!
I propose to use place_of_worship:capacity=(number), where number can be the number of seats in churches, the number of places for kneeling in mosques and the number of parking spaces in drive-in churches. Lulu-Ann
We need a system that translates to map symbols anything else is nice to have, too. You are right. I do not know how big a synagogue should be and I do not need to. I map things that can I understand and leave the other things to other mappers that do understand them. A chapel is a little building with a door and optionally a few seats. It always has a name that indicates it is a chapel. Also dome and cathedral is always included in the name of the building, no need to make decisions. However, you do not need to know. I am not against pow:capacity, it just does not translate to a map symbol. For example, how would you render a "grade5, jewisch, 123 seats"? Note that the google image search suggests that a big chapel can have more seats than a small church. Katzlbt 06:54, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
That exactly should not be the choice of the mapper, but of the renderer!!! --Lulu-Ann 15:09, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
The type of a church/place_of_worship is assigned by the respective church organization. It is always assigned by humans, and often used on signs near the chapel, church. How should a renderer decide between cathedral, basilika and church? It is up to the renderer which symbol to choose for each type. Katzlbt 06:52, 2 May 2011 (BST)
I think I will start using pow:capacity, as I have some visitor data that I would like to integrate into OSM and use in subsequent applications. I am wondering, however, whether this should even be specific to a pow - all kinds of buildings, especially cultural ones (say, theaters) have some capacity, so this tag might be more general. --Xerus (talk) 11:42, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

As place_of_worship:type=(string) should not replace a size indicator but indicate a map-symbol, I split the discussion. I hope this is less misleading. See above. Katzlbt 07:30, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Wayside shrines

At least in southern Germany/Austria there are many places like crosses by ways (Wegkreuze) or other places which have names and often are used for orientation (at "Xaverlkreuz" turn left...). Is there a correct way to map things like that? More examples: so-called "Marterl", images depicting and verbally describing religious things of all kinds. --Da5id 19:55, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

JOSM offers these tags: historic=wayside_cross, historic=wayside_shrine, historic=memorial & historic=monument. --Godsdog 09:29, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
That JOSM offers them does not make them good. Biggest criticism is that many are not historic at all. Except for wayside_cross, these tags are not part of the agreed upon map features.Katzlbt 22:31, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Would place_of_worship:type = shrine OR cross OR tree OR chapel be a good alternative? It could be combined with the historic tag if they would be historic. In conjunction with the religion one could draw different map symbols Katzlbt 07:59, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Looks likes good suggestion --Muzirian (talk) 09:31, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Wayside chapel (german: Wegkapelle)

For "Kreuzwegkapelle without door" I would propose "wayside_chapel". At the moment, wayside_chapel is used 323x (as historic= and place_of_worship=). --WalterSchloegl 08:32, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Node and Area

I added Area, because a church is a building with an groundplan.

Do we need an aditional building=yes? or is this implicateted?

--Markus 10:40, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

It's needed to render at the moment. I drew a church (area) that didn't render until I recently set building=yes. This shouldn't be needed, in my opinion. --Erik Lundin 00:32, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
It's much better to use building=church as it has more meaning Smsm1 22:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Here's an additional question: Is the area to be used for the building and/or grounds? — Val42 18:24, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Depending on the religion, you should tag the area where the service is held. There are religions/denominations that exclusively holds their service outdoor in open air, if they have a fixed location, such as a dedicated hill or field, than this should be tagged. For a church with a surrounding field, than I would suggest you tag only the church building as amenity=place of worship, the area around are maybe landuse=cemetery? --Skippern 18:41, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Ditto on the answer above, and I think this needs to be incorporated into the article because a lot of people, including some of the best mappers, treat amenity=place of worship like a landuse. If you look at a European city with mature coverage (e.g. Rome) you never see this, but in some US areas the church is tagged as a building and the grounds as a place of worship. This is just wrong. On Mapnik these church grounds look like electrical substations. If this were correct, then the whole Vatican City should be dark gray (yuck!). Umbugbene 07:08, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Area and Symbol

I am still not sure how to make the a POW as a shaped area so that the symbol is rendered like single nodes. Mapnik seems to render symbols only for nodes. E.g., Westminster Abbey, London is currently both an area and a node with amenity=place_of_worship. Mapnik renders a single cross with a text label. Unfortunately, Osmarender renders the labels of both the node and the area, which looks ugly.

  • Is there a way to make this right for both renderers?
  • Shouldn't the right way be documented on this page?

For parking lots you can tag an area with amenity=parking and both renderers will use the P symbol. It would be nice to have something like that for POWs too. --Tobulax 08:28, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

You got it right: This is a problem of the renderer. So please post your ideas on the page of the renderer, that does not work as demanded: Osmarender

Key for URL?

Is there a special key for adding a URL? In my opinion it would be helpful to have a possibility for posting the URL of a church so that anyone who is interested can look there for further information (service times, phone number, etc) --Blauerflummi 12:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, there is: "website". See Proposed Features. --Lulu-Ann 11:36, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Related buildings.

What's with buildings that belong to a church, but are not a "place of worhsip" themself?

I would tag them building=yes, operator=Sankt Michael Lulu-Ann

Spire, Tower and Cupola

How should Spires, Towers and Cupolas on church building be tagged? This question comes up as the marine tagging of churches might require this. Generally, the highest position of the cupola, the center position of the spire or tower is of interest. See points E10.1, E10.2, E10.3, E10.4 on User:Skippern/INT-1 --Skippern 23:00, 27 August 2010 (BST)


churches normally are surrounded by either a cemetery or bigger areas of gras. non of the currently used landuses values seem to fit the latter. I decided to use landuse=religion for this kind of areas. --Flaimo 16:12, 19 May 2011 (BST)

You find the correct tagging at cemetery --Lulu-Ann 13:00, 10 June 2011 (BST)
I think cemetery is not the tag we are looking for. What is about areas of monasterys or areas where the administration of an diocese is situated (diocesan town - DE: Dombezirk)? These are areas where access is restricted. There is no tag to show that there is a special propose of these areas. I think its necessary to reactivate landuse=religious and use it for this kind of religious used areas.--Falcius 12:33, 22 April 2012 (BST)

Bell cage

Moved to Proposed_features/Bell_cage. --Biff 18:49, 15 October 2012 (BST)

Airports prayer room

Are these prayer rooms really tagged with amenity=place_of_worship? I would say it's quite a different place from a normal religious place, and should get another tag. --Jgpacker (talk) 16:49, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Per definition clearly: amenity=place_of_worship, religion=multifaith, building=chapel. Unfortunately you can only differentiate between cathedral, church, chapel with the building key. If you are just placing a POI-node this is not possible - as far as I know. -- Burts (talk) 14:21, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
place_of_worship:type=chapel is already in use as well. -- Burts (talk) 14:21, 28 September 2015 (UTC)


A Türbe on Wikipedia (or Türbesi) is small ottoman mausoleum. These can be found e.g. in Turkey and are used as places of worship as well. My tagging idea: amenity=place_of_worship religion=muslim building=chapel historic=tomb tomb=türbe tourism=attraction

I couldn't find any use of türbe with taginfo. But I don't know, how to map it precisely (tomb=mausoleum). Is the Umlaut (ü) acceptable? (The arabic word would be turba) Is the use of muslim & chapel correct? -- Burts (talk) 14:21, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
After discussion with User:katpatuka I support the folling tagging:
I am not using the tag türbe due to the ü-umlaut, but classic mausoleum. I added note=türbe to keep the information in the database. -- Burts (talk) 07:08, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Require "regular"/"often"/"typically"?

Note that current definition "A place where religious services are conducted" includes wayside shrines with single religious ceremony every year. Is it a good idea to tag them as amenity=place_of_worship? How definition may be improved? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 12:12, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

I feel it is OK to call a place of worship any place where religious services are conducted. I would not call the wayside shrine itself a place of worship (if it is "a small box" along the way (i.e. you can not go into it)), but the place in front of it might be. I would even extend the place of worship definition to other places which are dedicated to worshipping, but no services are conducted (e.g. a chapel in a big train station). --Dieterdreist (talk) 13:43, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

kids service

When choosing a pow as a parent it is important to know how much care there is for children, with three main distinctions:

  • children have no separate place, i.e. would have to join the service
  • there is a separate room where the parents can listen to the service while watching the children play without worrying about disturbing the service
  • there is childcare or some sort of children's service (which may be offered only at specific types)

Analogue to service_times and service_language I think a service_children could be helpful for the latter, specifying the service_times that have explicit childcare, or potential additional types with services only for children.
As for a separate room, something like children_friendly=yes similar to the Wheelchair tag could be helpful. --Xerus (talk) 11:57, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

service_times=* arises as a distinction from opening_hours=*. The "service" in service_*=* doesn't exactly mean "religious service". Instead of service_language=*, you may use langauge=* & language:*=* (for anyone looking them up: unconventionally there are ~5k school:language=*, and a lot of non-ISO values under other keys).
1. It would be more complex to detail the kinds of religious service in a facility. If there's an explicit age limit regulation for the whole facility, max_age=* and min_age=* are what you can use now.
2. Most interesting. No idea.
3. My guess: You could tag eg childcare=yes to the amenity=place_of_worship, then add a new access=customers + amenity=childcare? Same difficulty as 1 for a children's religious service, although perhaps one can try eg service_times:conditional= * @ (age<=12)?
children_friendly=yes would be significantly subjective, unlike the physical evaluation of wheelchair=*.
---- Kovposch (talk) 21:31, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

Church honorary titles

Please suggest a tag name for church honorary titles such as Basilica Minor, Basilica Major, Patriarchal Basilica, etc. --Władysław Komorek (talk) 09:42, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

Is official_name=* not sufficient? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:51, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
We are looking for a tag:
tag_name=Minor Basilica
tag_name=Major Basilica
tag_name=Pontifical Basilica
It will be possible to add a subtag of who gave this title in the future
for example by:tag_name=Pope Benedict XV --Władysław Komorek (talk) 12:34, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

I can only think of one suitable term: religious_status=* as optional to building=<church/cathedral>

We can also use religious_title=*

So, we can tag:

then subtag:

--Władysław Komorek (talk) 17:33, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

place_of_worship=* key

The use of place_of_worship=holy_well was recently approved. Should use of the place_of_worship=* key therefore be noted here to describe the type of place of worship? This tag could be particularly useful for when places of worship are located within larger buildings (e.g. prayer rooms in airports).

I note that the place_of_worship:type=* scheme has been suggested on this discussion page previously. The place_of_worship=* tag is the more popular of the two tags with 2,778 uses versus 1,646 (as of 10 May 2021). Casey boy (talk) 09:52, 10 May 2021 (UTC)

I was looking for a documentation regarding place_of_worship:type=*. Should be added here, I would say.--Rene78 (talk) 02:17, 26 February 2022 (UTC)

Several congregations meeting in one building - place of worship or community of worship?

There are some cases of one building (built as, and remaining, a church) being used by several separate congregations, usually same religion but different denominations, at different times. As an example we have way 33405970 also hosting node 9281390173, node 9281390174, node 9281390175, node 9281390176, node 9281390177, and node 9281390178. Should all those be mapped in OSM? My way of looking at it is one "place of worship" used by several "communities of worship", but I'm no expert in mapping religious communities. Is there a standard for this? --Jarek Piórkowski (talk) 01:34, 12 January 2023 (UTC)

disused, abandoned, ruins

How to correctly designate places of worship that are not used, abandoned, or if only ruins remain of the church? I searched for various places known to me, as well as searching through overpass, various options are used. Perhaps there is some good solution, what combination should be used?

  1. If not used, add a prefix disused:amenity=place_of_worship/​abandoned:amenity=place_of_worship/​ruins:amenity=place_of_worship/​was:amenity=place_of_worship.
  2. If not used, just don't use the amenity=place_of_worship tag and add disused=yes/​abandoned=yes/​ruins=yes.
  3. Use amenity=place_of_worship tag anyway, even if they are no longer used. If not used, add disused=yes/​abandoned=yes/​ruins=yes.

Grass-snake (talk) 15:21, 16 June 2023 (UTC)

I prefer variant 1. Something B (talk) 22:30, 16 June 2023 (UTC)