Talk:Tag:man made=lighthouse/Archive 1

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See for a potential bulk import

These are some suggested tags for the (existing) man_made=lighthouse tag. They're implemented by this script, so update that and run it on this KML file to get an OSM file.

See Proposed features/Buoy for some more buoy-specific tags

Sea Mark

Lighthouse is a Sea Mark. We use the master-tag "seamark" for light houses, buoys etc.

See: - the free nautical map.

--Markus 18:18, 19 July 2009 (UTC)


General tags

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon

name * node Name of the buoy    

man_made buoy node A buoy    

man_made lighthouse node A lighthouse   Lighthouse rendering.png

source * node Who supplied the data Commissioners of Irish Lights

start_date year node year of building/installation 1882

External links

See Proposed features/External links

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon

website * node Link to a website describing this feature

operator * node Who runs this lighthouse or buoy Larne Harbour Ltd

website:operator * node Link to the operator's website, if known

navigation aids

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon

dgps boolean node Is this a Differential GPS station? yes, no

daymark SPHER node Spherical    

daymark CAN node Cylinder    

daymark NUN node cylinder with cone on top    

daymark CON node Conical    

daymark SW node Safe Water (normally red/white vertical stripes, with a red ball on top; light: white, usually occulting or isophase)    

daymark ISDANG node Isolated Danger (normally black/red horizontal stripes with two black balls on top; light: white double flash)    

daymark HFP node Unknown - please edit if you know what HFP is    

daymark P*C node Ordinal daymark, saying which direction (NSEW) the safe water is PSC, PWC, PEC, PNC

lighting:ranges * node The range at which each colour is visible, in nautical miles 13/11 nmi

lighting:range * node The maximum of all supplied ranges, if available. May be converted to km 13 km

navaid:sea:racon * node Morse [letter] transmitted by the racon Morse G

navaid:sea:fog_signal * node Audio transmission when it's foggy 'Horn(3) 45s', 'whistle', 'no'

navaid:sea:tube_or_skirt * node ? S, T, dstt, STT

navaid:sea:restricted_visibility boolean node whether the max range is limited by terrain rather than optics? yes, no

navaid:sea:body_type boolean node For buoys, the style of construction (see the proposed features page for buoys) 8, 2, Mobilis, ODAS

lighting:sequence * node Flash sequence for lights Fl (2) WR 5s
Dir Oc WRG 5s

lighting:sequence:auxiliary * node Same values as lighting:sequence    

navaid:sea:radar_target_enhancer boolean node radar_target_enhancer yes,no

navaid:sea:buoy_class * node Unknown - please edit this if you know what these buoy classes mean 1st, H/O, ODAS, Super, 2nd, 3rd

navaid:sea:automatic_identification_system boolean node automatic_identification_system yes, no

navaid:sea:buoy_diameter * node Physical size of a buoy/buoy_ 2300mm


Key Value Element Comment Example Icon

description * node Describe the structure (see Sample lighthouse description tags) White square concrete tower on column

Building atttributes

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon

building tower node The 'standard' lighthouse shape    

building pillar node    

building hut node    

building mast node    

building building node A generic tag from the CIL data. Use building=lighthouse or something instead for new data    

building platform node    

building column node same as building=pillar?    

building house node    

building structure node Another generic tag from the CIL data. Use building=lighthouse or something instead for new data    

building:cladding * node May be used if colour is not available. e.g. "white concrete tower" has both bulding:colour and building:cladding, but for "granite tower" you might want to assume that it's granite-coloured since no building:colour is available granite, concrete

building:colour * node Main/background colour of the building white, black, green, red

building:decoration:band * node For buildings with one horizontal coloured stripe white, black, green, red

building:decoration:bands * node For buildings with multiple horizontal coloured stripes white, black, green, red

building:lantern:colour * node Colour of structure which contains the lantern white, black, green, red

building:lantern:colour default node Indicates that lantern structure is same colour as the building {{{example}}}

building:shape * node Cross-sectional shape of the building? 8-sided, square, round, conical

building:height * node Height of the structure (base to top) 8 metres

See Proposed features/Building attributes for some other tags that can be used on buildings

Light details

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon

navaid:sea:optic_and_light * node Description of the bulbs, the power supplies, optics, and anything you want to record about the light-generation equipment 250mm Catadioptric Cylindrical Refractor. Electric L3 lamps in UVLA28 Lamp Charger

lighting no node Used to describe an unlit buoy or lighthouse (TODO: merge with lit=* ?)    

lighting value pair or list of value pairs node Used to describe the light sectors clockwise from north. just a single word (green) indicates a 360 degree arch of light 010,red;114,white;270,green;355,no

character value node The character of the light house, meaning what pattern the light switch on and off Oc (3) 5s (Occulting 3 times in 5 seconds)

Other tags

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon

ele:mhws * node Height above mean high water (spring) level (=19-year average of spring tides?) 62 metres


Convert 'Height_of_Tower/Structure' into a proper height tag of some sort?

Height of lighthouses are normally measured in meters (feet...) above sea level to allow range to be determined easier, and that is more important than the height of structure. Imagine a lighthouse with 10 m structure on a 50m cliff edge. Is that tagged as 60 or as 10 ? --Stefanb 14:57, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Can you see anything in the CIL data which would provide this information? They only seem to have the structure height, and the elevation above spring high tide water-level

Can we find wikipedia links for any of the lighthouses?

Is this proposal intended to include buoyage? If so, the tags should include a method of specifying lateral buoys and their properties (e.g. port/starboard/bifurcation and possibly which harbor they belong to) and cardinals and their properties (north/south/east/west/point). Care must be taken for rendering lateral markers since the Americans swap the red and green colours. Also, there are other buoys to consider, such as mooring buoys, race markers, data collection buoys, etc. I think I'd prefer to see a separate, simpler tagging system for buoys though. Steve Hill 22:56, 2 April 2008 (BST)

Could you start a section with some ideas for tagging buoys? This page is just based around what I found in the CIL dataset (which seems to only include very prominent buoys). Ojw 23:19, 2 April 2008 (BST)
It does have some information you might find useful - e.g. the daymarks PSC, PWC, PEC, and PNC refer to ordinal markings, and you can get some information about buoy colour from the lighting:sequence (e.g. "Q G" means it's green)
I've put together a bare-bones proposal for buoys: Proposed_features/Buoy - I'd appreciate comments and suggestions from people more knowledgeable than myself. :) Steve Hill 10:51, 3 April 2008 (BST)

We should have some tags for more DGPS data, such as: dgps:range=185Km dgps:frequency=307.5KHz dgps:bitrate=100bps etc. Trinity House has information on the DGPS stations they operate on their web site: They also mention that you can get a database of the aids to navigation they operate - the documentation on their website suggests it is an MS Access database but I can't find anywhere to download it. Steve Hill 21:45, 6 April 2008 (BST)


I've added basic support for buoys (blue diamonds) and lighthouses (blue triangles) to the KosmosStandardRules#Navaids. Would be cool to have dominant color as a separate tag, not hidden somewhere in navaid:sea:Structure/description. I've chosen blue to make it associated with sea and not implying any color that is actually used for navaids in real life (red, green, white, black, yellow).

I've uploaded a new copy of the OSM file, containing these tags which you can use for colouring-in the lighthouses and their lights:
What color is the "default"? Is it white?
Here, the script is trying to covert a description like "Black tower and lantern"
You then need to ask someone familiar with the data exactly what that means. Is it...
  • black tower with standard lantern (meaning default=white)
  • black tower with black lantern (meaning default = same as building:colour) - see question above on what 'lantern colour' means
  • something else? (like emitting black light perhaps? :) )
Once we've got a good list of questions like this, can we either contact a sailor to answer them, or even ask CIL themselves?
I'm a hobby sailor and can tell you that the most important thing (in Adriatic sea at least) is the light characteristics (color, flash pattern, period, range/height above sea level, darkened sectors). The structure/building characteristics of a lighthouse is not nearly as important. Some guides do have it, but you can safely assume it will be of the same color as the light (or granite). So lighthouses could just have one dominant color. For unlit marks (buoys, towers...) are a bit more complex regarding description (shape, colors, pattern) - see [1] --Stefanb 12:45, 31 March 2008 (BST)
We have descriptions of the light characteristics in the data (see Lighthouses/light patterns for a list) which could be displayed as a label. Ojw 19:23, 31 March 2008 (BST)
There should also be building=* tags for the type of building (tower, mast, column, etc.)
Depending how flexible your symbol-drawing code is, it could potentially pull-in these colours and use them to draw something very like the actual lighthouse
Lighthouse rendering.png
It would be interesting to have the rendering engine fill in the gaps in the icon outlines with colors, like in the coloring books. --Stefanb

Obviously parsing "Red triangle and white lantern on framework tower" is difficult for a conversion script, so somebody will need to double-check the tagging after it's been created by the computer

Hi. I've changed the tags yet again ;)

  • instead of lighting:colour we now have building:lantern:colour -- the lantern colour refers to the outside of the structure containing the lantern, not to the light itself. The light colour is only available encoded within lighting:sequence. building:lantern:colour=default means that it's the same as building:colour
  • lighting=no is added, for unlit buoys and unlit lighthouses
  • navaid:sea:* tags are all lowercase now
  • added a lighting:range tag (in km) for the maximum range. Moved the 'maximum range' stuff into lighting:ranges (this is a list of values in nautical miles; one for each colour in the light pattern)
  • changed meters to metres in building:height
  • moved the colour bands to building:decoration:band (if one) and building:decoration:bands (if more than one)
  • added lighting:sequence:auxiliary (was auxiliary character)

Other sources of lighthouse data

Permission to use these has not yet been sought!:

    Thank you for your enquiry.
    Panar is an MS Access database that was issued free of charge to authorities that are responsible for maintaining aids to navigation. It is a requirement for such authorities to report the availability performance of their AtoN to Trinity House on a quarterly basis. Whilst we are happy to continue to provide this database to the authorities, it is not available to the general public.

    (emphasis mine) Ojw 18:53, 7 April 2008 (BST)