US National Park Service Tagging: Buildings

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Most parks have a detailed and up-to-date building footpring inventory in their GIS database.

This example covers the most detailed building tagging we encounter.

Building Names

National Park Service employees are only authorized to use the OFFICIAL BUILDING name when publishing ANY mapping data for park buildings. This has created some lively discussion within the OSM community, many of whom feel that other names should be used. There is some consensus within the OSM community that the "signed" building name should be used in OSM data. OSM mappers should note that: Many, if not most, Park Service buildings are not signed. It is NPS policy to minimize the use of signs in parks in keeping with wilderness character; Official park building names are what is used when sharing data with neighboring emergency response jurisdictions. Consider a consumer of OSM data, stuck in park with an injury! If, when on the phone with E911 services, they communicate the wrong building name, the potential for delay of life-saving services is very real, and this scenario has occurred in parks due to erroneous GPS data. Therefore, NPS buildings should be tagged with "Name"

and "Official Name"

This allows government agency rendering of OSM Park Maps to keep with NPS policy for building names, yet allow OSM mappers to modify "common" or "aka" building names. However, the NPS prefers that name and official name remain the same, as to minimize any potential hazardous situtions based on building name mis-labelling.

Please do not tag building nodes unless absolutely neccessary! Building amenities, etc...should be tagged against the building itself, not its nodes.

Tags for all Buildings

All buildings should be tagged with at least


These should be tagged with

Government Quarters

Many parks provide employee/guest housing


Fire Station/Cache

Some parks maintain their own fire surpression team

Visitor Center

Loading map...


[Example a building tagged as a toilet]

Ranger Station

[Example of a building tagged as a Ranger Station]

Shared-use Buildings

Some buildings may house multiple services

[Example of a building with a Ranger Station and Information Office]

[Example of a building with toilet and store]

Historic Building

Historic Church

[Example of a Historic Church]

Trail Shelters

[Example of a Trail Shelter]

Picnic Shelter

[Example of a Picnic Shelter]

Horse Rental

Horse Stable

[Example of a Horse Stable]

National Park Service Tagging

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