Talk:Tag:highway=street lamp

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Gas Lighting

The estate of The Park in Nottingham is also exclusively lit by gas. It might help to work through the Dusseldorf tagging so that it is usable in the Park. I have only tagged the roads, but do have waypoints & pictures of one or two gas lights. SK53 17:59, 7 May 2011 (BST)

Roads only?

Is this tag intended only for structures and devices that provide light for roads or streets? The definition is very narrow and seems to exclude all other targets of illumination such as sports fields or industrial facilities. Furthermore, the tag is literally required to be "on the edge of a road". Is there any justification to exclude structures that are in the middle of a divided road or further to the side? What about lamps suspended above the road? --T99 18:47, 27 May 2011 (BST)

A street lamp is a street lamp no matter what someone wrote in this wiki. The usage matters. Alv 10:27, 28 May 2011 (BST)

Serial numbers

Each lamp has a serial number attached to its pole... Which is very important when reporting incident locations etc. ! So be sure to enter it somehow... Jidanni (talk) 13:23, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

ref=* works fine. Alv (talk) 15:52, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Should lamp_ref_swd=*, which is specaily only for Stadtwerke Düsseldorf (Germany), then be removed from the entry and ref=* added? --ChrissW-R1 (talk) 17:11, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

So what tag should be used for the serial number, when the serial number is not used for navigation? Doesn't seem to make sense to use anything other than ref=* - the current definition of ref=* is too strict. In the UK, the number is only used for reporting lighting faults, not for navigation. Zcapw15 (talk) 21:39, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

OK what about when we get the file from the government, and each pole has two numbers. One that is the same as seen on the pole, and the other some sort of extra number. Should the one on the pole be "name" and the other be "ref"? Jidanni (talk) 02:29, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

The city of Augsburg, Germany for example also has two numbers per pole. As I am being told, their poles have a low-hanging number, the pole ID, and a high-hanging number, a bulb ID. The bulb ID is unique, the pole ID is not unique, and the 2-tuple (street, pole) is unique again. (Unique for a given operator=, naturally.) Secondly, in case of Göttingen, Germany and nearby settlings, only the poles are numbered, and, barring spelling mistakes, are also unique. Therefore, I suggest you consult with your local authority for inquiring which numbers mean what. Now, in OSM, what is mapped is poles; bulbs are merely noted down with the "light:count" attribute. This indeed makes it a bit awkward to set an appropriate ref= for Augsburg lamps given the uniqueness characteristics described earlier. So my self-suggestion is to just note down the refs somehow first ("ref:pole"=12, "ref:light"="34;56"), and over time figure out what to do with "ref" (maybe synthesize and incoroporating an abbreviation of the street name). Jengelh (talk) 07:51, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Indeed often one sees two numbers. A bigger one which turns out to be the old number, and a smaller sticker, which turns out to be the new number. One can guess which one the public will be reading over the phone to the police on misty nights... Jidanni (talk) 03:08, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Page clean up

I have cleaned up the text on the page a bit to reflect what was discussed in the above 3 topics.

I have also removed the artificial assumption that all street lamps turn on at fixed times of day, adding an informal section explaining how varied this can be without invalidating the tag. Knowing exactly when and how lights are turned on in a given place is not always public knowledge, may be subject to arbitrary administrative changes, and typically will not be mapped.

As part of this clean up I have tried to give practical (easy to map) definitions of exactly what point should get the tag, allowing tagging of either the lamppost (next to the road or elsewhere) or where the lamp is generally focused (typically a node that is also part of the way itself), I hope that matches current practice, otherwise just change the text. Jbohmdk 21:22, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Cable Suspended Street Lamps

Has anyone got any thoughts about how to tag streetlights which are suspended at intervals from cables running down the street?

This proposal suggests using support=wire. --Tordanik 13:13, 11 May 2015 (UTC)


I was looking in this page to find out whether to place the lamp node next to or on the way that it lights.

I did find it under Tagging, which I didn't expect: "Either the point on the road that the lamp points to (below the lamp is the light is straight down), or the point on the ground where the light pole stands."

I propose moving this to another section "Positioning" above Tagging.

I would like to know the answer to which position is best before making that change, though. Can someone tell me? I assume it's easier for supporting applications to associate the lamp with the street if they share the node. -- Hubne (talk) 03:38, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

I would clearly prefer the actual position of the lamp here, and was not aware that there is even an alternative. I'm also under the impression that most renderings place the lamps (or lamp icons) where the node is, and would therefore break if the "point on the road" interpretation was used. --Tordanik 11:32, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
So there's a conflict between renderers which perform best with a disjoined node, and "intelligent applications" which benefit from a tighter relationship in the data itself. It's difficult to choose.
For my current situation, given that I already have lit=yes on the way, this is enough for any "intelligent applications" that I can imagine existing now to behave correctly. So I will separate the node in this instance. The uncertainty does not encourage me to map more of these though. -- Hubne (talk) 05:40, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I have added the Positioning section and summarised some of these points on the page. -- Hubne (talk) 06:04, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
And I've done a bit of counting with a script. It seems that placing the lamps next to the road is clearly favoured by mappers (plus much more sensible, imo), so I have rewritten the section. --Tordanik 17:14, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Currently we see

 Add the node where the light source is actually positioned (i.e. next to the way lit).

OK, then add "And not the location of the base of the pole from which the light is suspended." Better yet, have a sub tag where one can say if the location is the base of the pole, or the point on the surface of the earth directly below the light. P.S., one pole may have two or more lights... so need another subtag to count them if uploading pole positions. Anyway for me I want to actually upload light poles, not lights. Jidanni (talk) 02:36, 22 July 2017 (UTC)


(i.e. next to the way lit).

that is usually where the pole is. The light is above the way being lit. Jidanni (talk) 02:37, 22 July 2017 (UTC)


How to tag a highway=street_lamp witch is always off (probably to save money), but still clearly visible and usefull as a landmark? --Leptitmouton (talk) 19:01, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

lit=disused seems to be the way, and it seems to be recognised by the ITO streetlamp map. --Zcapw15 (talk) 19:59, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Great question, though how can you be sure it's not just broken? And you hopefully can monitor for its use changing. It's a still a streetlamp.
Until I saw Zcapw15's response, I was going to suggest adding disused=yes. Putting aside what ITO recognises, I still think this is more elegant for streetlamps. If you look at lit=*, it is for applying to other kinds of objects (tunnels, footways etc). However, the purpose of a streetlamp is illumination, so it should be enough to say say it's disused (and therefore not illuminating). I'm not a fan of unnecessary complication or variation from established generic conventions that work. I guess both can be used until this issue is resolved (if ever). --Hubne (talk) 23:32, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
In my opinion, using lit is incorrect, because that key is for the object the lamp shines on, not the lamp itself. So the main decision is between highway=street_lamp + disused=yes and disused:highway=street_lamp. --Tordanik 10:55, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Light only on streets ?

Other areas are also lit which are not streets : parking lots, stadiums and sport centers, airports/harbors, prisons. Many of them are in private areas accessible to the public, or with interest for the public.

In large areas (larger than most streets, such as stadiums and parkings) these are often over elevated on very high maasts. On pedestrian areas, lighting is frequently directly on the ground near the borders or alleys.

I wonder if "street_lamp=*" is the correct key for generalization of lighting. Of course we can set "support=*" and "heights". But when the supports are very high and support multiple lamps lioghting a large area around, they are extremely visible from far away (they are usually taller than most buildings and trees, sometimes built on top of roofs (common on stadiums with tribunes).

Given that lit=* is used to indicate the objects being exposed to light (and not the lighting system itself and its support) I think we should have other keys notably for the support structure : maast/pole, probably a man_made.

But in all cases using "highway=*" is wrong: it incorrectly mixes the lighting system (even if the structure or support) may vary and the exposed object (here a street, eventually a small pedestrian area).

But I've not found any more generic version for lighting structures. There are only specialized keys for lighthouses (whose purpose is not to lighten an area but send a visual signal and help route), or beacons (sending visual signals to planes, notably in airports/heliports, or over high structures and on high electric wires, to help aerial navigation or signal dangers, but here also not to lighten an area).

Frequently these high structures will support other systems, such as radio-emitters for radio broadcasting, or for telephony, or private communications), notably in stadiums. If there's a lighting system on top of these high structures, they should be tagged in addition to other installed equipments, and probaly also with their own height (which may be lower than the structure itself. In some cases however the light may just be directly on the border of the roof of a high building.

Finally there are lighting spots for monuments generally installed at ground level but not necessarily on the monument itself or permanently installed in outdoor theaters (they are not lit at all time, only during events).

"lit=yes" is not applicable. How can we tag the lighting structures?

I propose a "man_made=light_pole" or light_maast or light_tower... (these could also be found on highways, notably on motorways near intersection links, or over large bridges). But if we use another generic tag for the structure (not dedicated only to light), we need a tag for specifying that it supports a light equipment and the height of its installation (possibly other indicators such as the number of lamps or direction of lighting, or its role: plain lighting, decorative, signaling dangers.

Verdy_p (talk) 18:11, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Direction: all directions

iD editor wants us to add Key:direction. Mention how to tag lights that shine equally in all directions. Like a w:Gat (hat). Jidanni (talk) 05:44, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

Artistic or vanity lights

Mention how to tag artistic or vanity street lights. Electric ones but that look like a w:Gat (hat). Jidanni (talk) 05:48, 5 October 2019 (UTC)