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[my user page on OpenStreetMap has more information about me and contract information]

I like to make maps.

I also participated in HOT's exploratory mission to Senegal, may-june 2012. With HOT in Haiti, on Cap Haitian/#CAP103 program, May-June 2013.

Stuff below is notes for newbies, things that I've learned as I become more experienced w/ OSM reference and that other newbies in the USA may need:

Notes for newbies: - Tags are not very strict and can be up for interpretation.

If in doubt of what to use, check here and also ask at

What does tiger:reviewed mean ?

neighborhood mapping:

To tag a 'neighborhood' in US, use the place=suburb tag. (sounds counterintuitive to use suburb; but a word's meaning in OSM is often different than what it means in American English). the neighbourhood tag is used for small neighborhoods within a place=surburb

Tag:highway=service is for turnpike rest areas,

tag:building=mixed_use for buildings that have multiple uses in them; often found in cities that have retail on the ground floor and would have residential on upper floors. [THIS IS debated]

to create a redirect in the wiki, create the page, then in the page, #REDIRECT [[nameofwikipagetoredirectto]]

[Note for myself:] (remove the no wiki)

succinct TIGER description:

Find out the changes in an area: I personally use:

How to tag one-way streets

difference between a graveyard and cemetery:

ways with no names in Cleveland:

access=private for roads that are private, that you, an average person do not have legal access to.

JOSM: how should I edit a way when the admin boundary is directly over the way i want to edit ? I haven't figured out how to select only the way not the boundary A: If you have a mouse with a middle button, click on the way and then ctrl+click it on that list; middle click and then hold Ctrl to select the one you want; also you can hide things with the filter button.

The terms on OSM are a bit British in their usage.


- I interpret it as places [with no, or minimal stands] to play sports in the USA. 'leisure=pitch', Outdoor public tennis, basketball courts, baseball fields in parks, you would tag them as leisure=pitch

- not sure with the difference with Parks and recreation grounds. ??!

- leisure=sports_centre - use this for indoor facilities [like a Y ? but at city rec centers, they have stuff besides sports, community_centre ?].

highway=motorway_link are what Americans call on-ramps and off-ramps.

Motorways is the term used in OSM that Americans would often call Highways or Freeways

Difference between highway=footway and Tag:highway=pedestrian : pedestrian is large enough where a car could go travel on it, but cars are usually restricted from it. [footway, I'd use for typical American sidewalks]... also see this

A visual map of what has been edited in the US since the TIGER imports

<Firefishy> Yes, I de-activated the wiki page view thing. Real resource hog. I can run stats from logs if needed. (in reference to gathering stats like 'which wiki page has the most views' etc)

- farmer's markets, you could you use amenity=marketplace

for tagging roads that go underneath buildings (like the one in uptown at university) (tunnel=building_passage)

US Road differences

Difference between drain and ditch ? (There were open air sewers in senegal where sewage and rainwater would be transported). [from Achadwick waterway=drain for big concrete ones or waterway=ditch for little muddy ones. As for the open sewer aspect... not sure. It may be necessary to invent tags]

for flooding areas; rivers, streams that aren't there all the time... intermittent=yes

Disused things: disused=yes disused:amenity=parking disused:capacity=20

A municipality with a population over 100,000 isn't automatically eligible to be place=city ?

Searching through US cities ranked on population,_Florida as an example which has 200,000+ people but it's also not the largest or most prominent.

The current tag structure has place=city as the largest municipality area, so in the case of Miami being the largest in population in the surrounding and I'd argue, more subjectively, the most prominent and famous, in the area, that cities

for things like pizza places or chinese restaurants in the states that do take-out, this looks to be a good scheme to use: amenity=fast_food takeaway=yes delivery=yes/no re:

Questions that I've asked

-why aren't all landuses [i.e. ] listed in josm ? A. There's a default preset chosen by josm developers. you can modify this if you want by modifying the presets file.

Q: I'm curious to find out the total length of all of the ways that have X Key/value (for example, footways) within an osm area or a bounding box. is there a tool that does this ? A: Not in OSM directly. Best off changing that data to a SHP or postgis db and go from there.

select nodes that are not in a way in JOSM:

search "type:node -(child type:way)" works - tip from <Gnonthgol>

- difference between locality and hamlet ?

Locality is used when no one lives there. Hamlet is when there's a small population a couple hundred.

how can I find out tagging for chain places like lowe's, gamestop, bed, bath, and beyond where I'm unsure of what tags to use ?!

(What I've been using):

GMC - shop=nutrition_supplements (had more than anything else containing vitamin or nutrition)

Bed, Bath, and Beyond - shop=houseware

(Bath and Body Works, shop=soap ? )

shop=video_games had 101, more than what already had been established for

shop=hairdresser_supply for places that sell hair extensions, weaves, hair care products, etc (Sally Beauty Supply)

for nail salons; shop=beauty and beauty=nails

for payday loans, shop=money_lender

for wedding venues, event places: amenity=events_venue

for indoor cycle and spinning classes ; (like soucycle, cyclebar) i use sport=spinning (there were only 10 uses of it, but only 2 of indoor_cycling ; )

Terms for OSM newbies:


This article or section may contain out-of-date information. The information may no longer be correct, or may no longer have relevance.
If you know about the current state of affairs, please help keep everyone informed by updating this information. (Discussion)
Main article: Glossary

Larger list at:




slippy map



zoom level

To ask

-how do i close a changeset that I made ?

- automatically closes after an hour or 90 minutes of inactivity, I think. 

- should I include a building=yes for amenities like schools, libraries, if I am drawing the nodes of them ? If I include the tag, then the rendering for building=yes overrides any other tag [at least in mapnik]?

- Is there a clearly legible list what content (And what tags) that are rendered in main OSM stylesheet ?

- wiki wise, when creating new articles, use underscores for spaces instead of dashes or hyphens.

- What to use to tag juice places like Jamba Juice? (I used amenity=fast_food ; cuisine=juice )

- what to use to tag bail bondsmen? (bonds, when you need to release someone from jail). (amenity=bail_bonds has 20 uses as of July 2017.

[a-zA-Z] for I want to find stuff like name:ABCD in josm.


Ask how to tag some damn American chain stores:

- Lowe's - marshall's - Wal-mart - K-Mart - Target

- also [go-kart tracks]

also batting cages (I found leisure=practice_pitch perhaps) Proposed_features/Practice_pitch


searching on taginfo took forever. place=neighbourhood and neighbourhood wiki articles.

- write a tutorial if there isn't one already: 'what do I do if there if I don't know what to tag do something or if I find conflicting information ?'

add to the question 'How do I make my own map for my website, to print out using OSM data ?'

- Refine

- - to filter for the cleveland nh map; to extract features w/in polygon .

User:Skorasaurus/usingOpenstreetmaprevised - what is this ?

amenity=ice_cream or amenity=cafe and cuisine=ice_cream ?


Imports that I have done: importing data from TIGER 2010 for Great Lakes (USA) coastlines, for odbl cleanup. (DONE)