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tower/mast operator and communication operators

There often two types of operators. Should we used this tagging ?

  • one tower or mast operator (not owner)
    • key: operator
  • several (one or more) communications operators
    • key: communication:operator

--Cyrille37 (talk) 16:59, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

It's not a good thing to put supports (masts, tower, whatever) and mobile telecom devices on same objects.
The support is often a single node with its own set of properties (operator's name for instance).
Telecom stuff may be cabinets, antennas, cables, or many other devices. Have a look to this chart.
Thus you shouldn't have two different level of operators on the same OSM feature. Fanfouer (talk) 09:08, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Extraterrestrial communication

I'm missing information about various kinds of extraterrestrial communication. For example stations with satellite antennas for receiving television signals, or antennas for space research. --Pbb (talk) 09:43, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Antennas and supports mapping

Radio antennas mapping proposal.png

Please consider the following chart illustrating how tags would organize the mapping of antennas, supports and telco cabinets on the ground or overhead. Fanfouer (talk) 22:21, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

cables=* not suitable for telecommunications

As key's wiki page says, cables=* gives a power conductors number for both alternative or DC electricity transmission systems.
It can be misunderstood when used in telecommunications context, because cables are mainly composed of dozen of fibres or copper lines and we don't talk about conductors.

Nevertheless it can be convenient to map a single line for many telecom cables sharing the same path, we can use telecom:cables=* instead.
BUT : finding the actual number of telecom cables in ducts may not be easy nor verifiable by others. Should we only give the number of ducts containing an undefined amount of cables ? Fanfouer (talk) 08:36, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Communication / Telecommunications / Telephone clarification

Many tags on this project involve different keys such as communication, telephone or finally telecoms.
It leads to unclear differences, inconsistent classifications.

Tags may be slowly moved to telecom=* namespace to clean this up. I've tried to find what can be interesting to do :

Current key/value Used for ? Replacement to think about
telephone=pole Poles supporting neighbourhood lines along streets or roads telecom=pole
communication=pole Poles supporting neighbourhood lines along streets or roads telecom=pole
phone=pole Poles supporting neighbourhood lines along streets or roads telecom=pole
communication=line Telecommunication lines or cables telecom=line
telecommunications=cabinet Cabinet hosting network equipment in the street man_made=street_cabinet + street_cabinet=telecom

Feel free to extend this list if needed. Fanfouer (talk) 13:05, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

A proposal is currently open on voting. Final choices has been made in favour of man_made=utility_pole instead of telecom=pole Fanfouer (talk) 18:19, 19 June 2021 (UTC)

GSM poles masts on roof?

GSM antenna?

Hi, how do you think about the GSM setups on buildings? IMHO it's not a simple man_made=mast/communication=pole but I don't think it's 'just' an antenna (from a technical pov)? Unfortunatly (at least in german) the terms aren't that easy to seperate and match to the communication components itself... (I made a list long time ago). To me it's important to seperate between masts/towers (smal landmarks) and the antennas on roofs --!i! This user is member of the wiki team of OSM 18:22, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

CLLI name

Is there a tag for Central Office CLLI code that are used in North America?

Have a look to Key:clli. It should be moved to ref:US:CLLI=* Fanfouer (talk) 23:01, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Fibre optic cable

Are there tags for fibre optic cable that run between Central Offices?

Look at the table upside. communication=line is ok but should be moved to telecom=line for sake of consistency. Fanfouer (talk) 23:02, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Telephone poles rendered?



even rendered in any layer on

If not then not too many people might spend the effort to add them to the map.

Even if in a rural area they might be an extremely important landmark. Jidanni (talk) 08:24, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

I agree on render as an easy way to get tagging adopted.
Nevertheless, let's not tag for render and only use telecom=pole + operator=* to tag such poles (without any telephone=* or communication=*). Fanfouer (talk) 21:08, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
Adding telecom=pole didn't help. It still doesn't get rendered. I didn't try operator=* because they are all the same for the whole country. Should I just give up? Jidanni (talk) 02:03, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
There is no render for any telecom key. For now poles have to be added without expecting them to appear on map. Render guys don't want to render low use tags. Then use them to encourage them to add it.
telecom=* key may be the best one to do so. Fanfouer (talk) 20:40, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
Need (something as powerful as) power=pole. telecom=pole won't get it rendered. Jidanni (talk) 01:06, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
Please don't use power=pole for dedicated telecom poles, it's a bad idea despite it makes them appear on map. Fanfouer (talk) 02:37, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
OK I submitted a bug to hopefully the right place. Jidanni (talk) 03:11, 5 May 2018 (UTC) says communication=pole needs a page first. Jidanni (talk) 05:14, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
Render won't be updated as expected. Keys like communication=* or telecommunication=* should be replaced with telecom=* first. See proposals like Proposed_features/Telecom_local_loop Fanfouer (talk) 11:32, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
Note: remember to use name=xyz... if that's what the main name on the pole label says... at least it will finally show up in the iD editor! Else even a second anonymous pole is confusing when adding them to the map there in the editor. Jidanni (talk) 03:40, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

Telephone Exchange

These are not any kind of 'office'. I have only ever seen them as a separate building. So building=telephone_exchange seams reasonable to me. They may now occupy a smaller space in the building than the original equipment. Warin61 (talk) 09:21, 16 September 2018 (UTC)

This proposal is currently under RFC and building=telephone_exchange doesn't sound reasonable regarding dedicated telecom=*. building=service + telecom=exchange is more versatile. Fanfouer (talk) 18:37, 16 September 2018 (UTC)

Data centers

Under the datacenter section, shouldn't it be building=data_center and telecom=data_center? --Cartographer10 (talk) 17:56, 19 June 2021 (UTC)

That's a good point and it sounds right according to telecom=data_center page. However, OSM tagging is in British English. This implies we should write centre, fibre instead of center or fiber in US English. See Cambridge dictionary.
We currently use telecom:medium=fibre for instance. telecom=data_center hasn't been reviewed, I've asked a question on Talk before any edition Fanfouer (talk) 18:17, 19 June 2021 (UTC)
Following discussion, data_center is the value to use. Fanfouer (talk) 21:00, 19 June 2021 (UTC)
Great, thanks for the quick change and finding out what the best word is --Cartographer10 (talk) 21:04, 19 June 2021 (UTC)

Data Center internet exchange, cloud providers

I think it would be useful to classify the designation/notability/purpose of the specific data centre:

  • Non-advertised, private property of some research or financial institution.
  • Privately operated, but it's utilized for a service for the general population (i.e., local people should be concerned if something happens to it): internet service provider, cellular phone operator, cable TV.
  • It is a local facility (point of presence) for an internet exchange point: note that the operator of the data centre may be different than the operator of an IX/facility.
  • It is a B2B provider where (larger) businesses can rent computer capacity whether by placing their own hardware or not.
  • It is a public consumer "cloud" provider where individuals can rent computer capacity (computing, public web hosting, private storage) whether by placing their own hardware (dedicated) or not (VPS, shells).

-Bkil (talk) 20:59, 18 May 2022 (UTC)

node vs. way

I think it should be clarified that this should only be used on nodes, otherwise it will fail to render (i.e., together with building=data_center). And also conceptually, a data center building can be composed of multiple parts: private district, server rental, internet exchange, offices, all of which could be mapped as individual nodes within its boundary. These nodes may eventually be connected with backbones on the map later on. -Bkil (talk) 21:00, 18 May 2022 (UTC)