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Discuss Tag:tourism=museum here

Some past discussion can be found at Proposed features/Museum


Looking at the tag -watch, operator is not often used with the tourism=museum tag. What is missing is a description of the kind of museum. The theme of the collections it has. Technical, art, nature, whatever. Any ideas what can be used? User:Heinz 12:08, 23 October 2008

I would propose the key subject=* where the values for * could be discussed here. Since there are many similarities, I would suggest to keep as close as possible to related subjects or curses which could be taught at school or university. Some suggestions:
  • arts
  • arts:paintings
  • arts:sculptures
  • culture
  • nature
  • history
  • archeology
  • technique
These could also be allowed to be multiple, for example subject=arts;history if the museum houses more then one subejct. What do you think? --1248 19:03, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Some years later, it seems that the most common way of tagging this is with the key museum=* (though most of the current usage is museum=railway). There is some use of the key subject=*, though much of it isn't for museums. --sinh (talk) 10:07, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmm yeah I think I prefer museum=* but I see Dieterdreist documented the subject tag on here. Maybe I'll just add the other tag on there for the moment, and note the "TODO decide on the best tag" -- Harry Wood (talk) 11:50, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
For the record: subject=* sounds like it is pointing to an actual, particular, individual subject in arbitrary text format, supported by a Wikidata object like subject:wikidata=*; more than the category. Of course, a museum can be dealing with the general field of the subject as well. I would want something like subject:type=* for this. I considered museum=*, but I'm not sure if it would conflict with the idea of the different parts of a museum. -- Kovposch (talk) 13:17, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

Open Air

User:Falcius suggested museum=open_air.

I think an open_air museum could be tagged as area=yes and / or explicitly setting building=no.
--1248 23:25, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
building=no is probably a good idea yes. To make it explicit. That should go on the outer way drawn around the whole area of the outdoor museum. And then regarding buildings in general, the outdoor museum might have some small buildings within it. So we just treat that as is standard for things like schools and hospitals. One outer way with the tourism=museum tag on it (and perhaps building=no to be explicit), and then small buildings drawn inside which do not have the tourism=museum tag on them, because One feature, one OSM element.
The original suggestion museum=open_air is not such a good idea, because museum=* seems to be commonly used for classifying the type of exhibit. So you might have an outdoor railway museum with museum=railway.
-- Harry Wood (talk) 11:37, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
This does not solve the problem since a museum has at least two seperated areas. I suggest to solve this with a site-relation as it is done with universities. --Cracklinrain (talk) 11:11, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Well... different problem :-) But the answer is yes. As with any large area POI, it might be split onto multiple sites in which case you might start representing that with relations (either Relations/Proposed/Site or Relation:multipolygon) -- Harry Wood (talk) 11:37, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Children's Museums

I would suggest setting museum=children for children's museums. Currently the museum= tagging appears be the most common, with museum=railway the most popular value. Brianegge (talk) 13:33, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Sounds sensible. On thing to be clear on here. A "childrens museum" is a museum where the theme/topic of the exhibits is children? museum=children is not the tag for saying the museum is for child visitors, after all quite of lot of museum=science (museums where the theme/topic is science) are very child oriented, so that would be a clash -- Harry Wood (talk) 11:41, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, please be more explicit and define what you intend. I suggest museums which are in total or in part dedicated to children visiting them should get an attribute for this, e.g. for_children=yes/no/only and not a different museum type. --Dieterdreist (talk) 12:16, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
I agree that we need a dedicated tag. A bit of background: a children's museum is a collection of educational, entertainment and activity areas exclusively for children. Adults are usually prohibited unless they are accompanying children. With that in mind, these are not a type of museum, and this tag should be under tourism or under leisure. This would avoid creating complicated secondary tags that are hard to search for. --HubMiner (talk) 12:56, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree with HubMiner, following his description a new top-level tag seems to make most sense. --Dieterdreist (talk) 12:28, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
So is there an established way of tagging this now? museum:for=children might work. Invidious (talk) 16:32, 18 July 2021 (UTC)
I would agree that following the *:for=* logic makes a lot of sense. So I will use museum:for=children muyself. Joost schouppe (talk) 07:53, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

On subtypes and topics / museum subjects

It should be noted, that only 1% of all museums have the museum=* key, and some 30% less the museum_type=* key (which is used with different semantics apparently). As "type" does not anything meaningful, we should probably support museum=*. The wiki also mentions subject=* (while this has only half the number of museum_type, it is descriptive, and after all, usage of these subtags is so small that the usage relations can change quickly as soon as some tag gains traction. --Dieterdreist (talk) 12:28, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

If there is a majority for museum=*, I would change the status to defacto at museum=* and write a note on museum_type=* to uses museum=* better. --geozeisig (talk) 06:56, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
It is not that easy, unfortunately, because museum_type has these values as mostly used: municipal (135 / 28.24%), departmental (55 / 11.51%), republican (43 / 9.00%), private (32 / 6.69%), national (30 / 6.28%), public (24 / 5.02%), Historical␣Personalities (23 / 4.81%), institutional (18). This is a pretty consistent list and indicates to use if for the operator / owner type of the museum. The value "Historical␣Personalities" is an outlier, but it also seems generally not structured well (has a space and capitalization, which are not recommended for formal values, in other words, this "stinks" aside from the questions here).
The tag "museum" also has a pretty consistent list of values, indicating the topic / subject of the museum: railway (148 / 23.79%), art (77 / 12.38%), history (73 / 11.74%), apis␣mellifera (38 / 6.11%), open_air (27 / 4.34%), yes (20 / 3.22%), science (19 / 3.05%), local. Also here there are outliers (yes is probably for the key used as a property, but "open_air" clearly does not fit in either of the two classification systems, unless it is an exhibition about "open air"). I would suggest to make "open_air" a property and change to key to one of the established tags "indoor=no" or (less established) "outdoor=yes" (or "only", "partial", etc.)
Both key names do not tell about what they are, but describe - according to the most used values - different aspects of museums. My personal favorite would be the key "subject", which does tell what it is about. IMHO the numbers of all 3 tags are still so close that choosing a "winner" would be premature.--Dieterdreist (talk) 10:22, 22 June 2018 (UTC)
I could support any of the three options. But I do not think it makes sense to postpone a decision in the future. It would be good if the wiki says what you should take. I'm not saying that we should change the old data after that. But we could create new pages for museum=railway, museum=art, museum=history etc. or museum_type=railway, museum_type=art, museum_type=history. You could include this option in JOSM so it will be used more often. The tag is not used very often, so we now have the opportunity to influence things.
For me it is not so important that the wording of the tag is correct, because you can make the exact definition on the wiki page.--geozeisig (talk) 05:42, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
A pointer: In Talk:Key:museum_type#Not_very_clear, I tried to comment on the possibility of museum_type=* being referred to the level of collection rather than operator:type=*, similar to libraries. (or maybe we should consider a new musuem:type=* in lieu of a better key, despite type=* conflict and well-known ambiguity.) -- Kovposch (talk) 13:24, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
IMHO you could take the lead on this, and for example create pages for anything museum=* which has at least some usage (e.g. more than 20): (or for anything of these in which you are interested). Ideally we should discuss about the definitions (e.g. you could set up the page and then send a message to tagging and ask for reviews / modifications). --Dieterdreist (talk) 12:43, 5 March 2020 (UTC)


What about the description=*-tag (maybe in the form of description:en=*, description:de=*, …)? -- MapFlea 15:50, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

You can always add a description tag to anything yes -- Harry Wood (talk) 11:42, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but a description is he last resort, it is not a recommendable form of adding information, because it cannot or only hardly be searched. Important properties of a thing should go into formal tags in the key/value form, not as descriptive text into a general key. --Dieterdreist (talk) 12:17, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Walled museum

I found some trouble here in my city. The museum I want to tag is composed of two different buildings which are inside a walled piece of land. I think I need some landuse=* tag, but I do not know at all which one to use. Any help? --Schumi4ever 15:25, 13 September 2012 (BST)

No I don't think you do need a landuse tag. As mentioned above, use tourism=museum around the whole area, maybe add building=no to be explicit, and then within the area do the buildings separately. These inner ways would have building=yes (or maybe building=museum) but would not have tourism=museum on them because One feature, one OSM element. This is the standard approach we see very commonly for mapping the grounds and buildings of a school or hospital. -- Harry Wood (talk) 11:46, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Tagging historical societies

Anyone know a good tag for historical societies? This is the only one I could find but they aren't really museums, So I'm hoping there's a better tag for them out there. --Adamant1 (talk) 04:15, 30 August 2021 (UTC)

Maybe it makes sense to use a combination amenity=social_facility + social_facility=* or something like that? — Grass-snake (talk) 08:19, 10 March 2022 (UTC)