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Hi! I was looking for a possibility to enter graves to OSM. I believe it would be interesting to show the graves of important people on the map. I found the Project Berlin/OSM meets Six Feet Under, they are using cemetery=grave. This might be suitable for graves on cemeteries, but often graves are own buildings/tombs/places, far off any cemetery (e.g. in churches, mausoleums, pyramids, hills, ...). I would prefer a tag "historic=grave". Shall I propose a feature for this? (Btw. statistics from the europe export of 2009-04-01: cemetery=grave 184, historic=grave 4, amenity=grave 3) -- Skunk 06:26, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I think that a new tag historic=grave makes perfectly sense. No need to subtag cemeteries for this. I am using historic=tomb with subtags (see Proposed_features/tombs#Subtagging_types) to distinguish between a tumulus, a mausoleum, a rock cut tomb and I also added war_grave to this. --Dieterdreist 12:35, 5 April 2012 (BST)


I would also like to start entering cemetery survey information into OSM at some future time, perhaps working toward some partnership with a site like WeRelate, which I was an active contributor to at one time.

As an update to the number of instances for tag:cemetery=grave:

  • 12 August 2009 planet.osm → OSMdoc → 316 uses
  • (from above) 1 April 2009 'europe export' (tagwatch?) → 184 uses

The main problem I see in using the cemetery=grave construct is that you end up getting a small number of 'wrong' uses, such as tag:cemetery=yes or key:cemetery={name of cemetery}, instances of which both show up in the 12 Aug '09 planet.osm date mentioned in the listing above. However, this isn't a big deal as these exceptions can be detected easily and "fixed" as easily; I quotate 'fixed' as the content isn't really wrong, just not consistent with emerging consensus (which is reasonable as a definition for "wrong" in a freely editable wiki).

Yes, cemetery=grave seems nonsense. A cemetery contains graves, it isn't a grave itself. Combinations of A=B, B=C are usually used in OSM to subtype, i.e. C should be a subtype of A=B to make sense. --Dieterdreist 12:40, 5 April 2012 (BST)

Some recommendations / statements of support or objection

  • Tag:cemetery=grave for your typical grave in a typical cemetery
  • Tag:historic=grave for free-standing graves which aren't in established cemeteries.
    • One use for the sometimes maligned Tag:amenity=grave_yard is for small groups of otherwise free-standing graves (there's a cluster like this near where I live, likely a historical family plot which was in the middle of a field long before local development encircled it with civilization).
  • Tag:cemetery=memorial for things that would otherwise receive Tag:historic=memorial, thereby providing a distinction between free-standing and cemetery-associated memorials
  • Key:cemetery={name of cemetery} should be replaced with Tag:landuse=cemetery and Key:name={name of cemetery}
  • Tag:cemetery=yes should be replaced with Tag:landuse=cemetery
  • The term 'necropolis' should be either considered a synonym for cemetery or reserved for relations which contain multiple cemeteries as members. Presently, this term isn't used as a key or value, though.
  • Before going much farther, should decide whether things like Key:De:Friedhof or Key:Ja:墓地 are useful or confounding.
  • There are a things which could be added at the grave- and cemetery-level which would be of real and lasting value to genealogists, such as cemetery maintenance quality, headstone inscription legibility, etc. ... but those are extras on top of a core which we need to reach a solid consensus on.

--Ceyockey 03:42, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

instead of Tag:cemetery=mausoleum I propose to use historic=tomb, tomb=mausoleum. A crypt, vault or mausoleum is not a cemetery. --Dieterdreist 12:40, 5 April 2012 (BST)


Regarding "drive-in-grave-yard" I'd like to refer to Hamburg Ohlsdorf with it's bus-routes and instructions to park cars near the chapels... Link in German: Visitors information [1] -- Icy 17:47, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Sections (and locating graves)

Large cemeteries are often divided into areas to facilitate finding a given grave. This are usually denoted by a number or a letter (for instance Arlington National Cemetery, Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey. I have formulated a proposal to handle this (and some related) use cases called Proposed features/Section.

These sections may be used as part of the individual cemetery's identification of individual grave plots, although these may also just be allocated by individual numbers. At some stage we might wish to support this rather special case of addressing. SK53 16:02, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

mixed discussions (moved from main page)

Perhaps differentiate the rendering with the different religions/customs.

Or perhaps cemetery, burial mound, crematorium. PhilCole 22:40, 18 Jul 2006 (BST)

Maybe it should be landuse=cemetery rather than amenity=cemetery? 80n 09:58, 31 Jul 2006 (BST)

  • I have implemented a cemetery-background pattern. Which are some tombstones on green. If religion=christian, it draws crosses rather than tombstones. This is in osmarender4 and also in zoom levels 14-17 in the tilesAtHome client. --spaetz 08:47, 3 May 2007 (BST)
Hmm, What do orienterring maps use? ShakespeareFan00 23:17, 22 October 2007 (BST)
May be a Halfmoon. And for jewish cemeteries? I lived near the biggest jewish cemetery in europe and also maped it. But it has crosses on it. This should be changed some time. --Bahnpirat 18:29, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Tagging of ways in cemetery

  • How do I map the ways between the graves? For the smaller ones service=parking_aisle ? --Lulu-Ann 12:55, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
No, no! Footways! (This is not for cars or a car cemetary) --Bahnpirat 20:41, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

A drive-in-grave-yard? Hopefully not... Yesterday I traced a lot of footways in a cemetery. Now I have tagged them with access=destination. I think that's right, as we do not want have routing systems lead pedestrians right through cemeteries.

  • In my opinion, footways which can be used by wheelchairs should be highway=footway whereas small stone plates which can hardly be used by pedestrians should be highway=track.

--Bot47 11:19, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

  • In other people's opinion, highway=track should only be used for ways intended for and/or useable by four-wheeled vehicles. --Tordanik 15:43, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
  • When a cemetery allows access to four wheel vehicles Tordanik suggested "highway=track"; but the description of "highway=track" states "Roads for agricultural or forestry uses etc. Often rough with unpaved/unsealed". Many cemeteries have paved ways (asphalt, concrete, etc); should these paved ways still be "track" or perhaps "service"? If "service"; then driveway or alley? Nothing seems to fit well. Fbax (talk) 13:55, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
  • My intention was to state that highway=track have to be useable by four wheel vehicles (contrary to Bot47's statement that wheelchair accessibility has anything to do with it), not that highway=track should be used for all ways accessible to such vehicles. Of course highway=service is appropriate for certain ways on cemeteries and you can use it there. As for the subtags, there is not a fitting subtag for every service road. If they don't fit, don't use them. --Tordanik 21:14, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, don't use ill fitting values; there's no reason not to use your own value, when none of the recognized values fits. If you can come up with something comprehensible, that is. If there's a need for it, it will become popular, and somebody might "support" it in their software. But most grave-yard ways are footways, even if you are or were allowed to bring your old grandma to grandpa's grave with a car. There's no widely used tag to tell that; it's not motorcar=destination (not everybody may drive there even if it's their destination, nor private (land owner has nothing to do with it) etc. Alv (talk) 14:46, 31 August 2013 (UTC)