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Available languagesHelp translate this into skybunny/key!Key:place
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Public-images-osm logo.svg place
The place tag is used on a single node to mark the centre of a named settlement as well as on the whole area to mark its extent. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: Places
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Documented values: 28
Useful combination

(On nodes)

See also
Status: de facto

Main article: PlacesHelp translate this into skybunny/key!

The place key is used to indicate that a particular location is known by a particular name, and to indicate what sort of "place" it is. Place keys exist on single nodes by themselves, to show the center of a "place" and as an aid for rendering a label or as a navigation waypoint. They also can exist on a relation, to additionally show the extent of an area.

A place tag should exist on an OSM object for every significant human settlement (city, town, suburb, etc.) and also for notable unpopulated, named places.



The simplest way to tag a place is to position a node node at the recognized centre of a place, which may be the location of the town hall, central square, or similar for a populated place.


You may further define a place by also defining a boundary for it. The best way to do this is by creating a place relation.

If you choose to map a place with a relation, and a previously existing node node for the place=* exists, keep tags for the place on that node, and assign it the waypoint relation, to ensure no information about the place=* is lost, and that that information is easily accessible to machine interpreters.


An encouraged usage until recently was to apply the place=* tag to areas. The problem is that OSM Areas, by themselves, cannot have associated nodes. Historical experience has shown that relation member nodes are extremely useful (especially for machine data consumers) to help interpret and render place "areas" created in OSM, whether to provide additional information, or for backwards compatibility.

See the place relation for best practices for creating boundary relation shapes.

Additional tags

If you have a way of knowing the population of a place (from a free data source), the population=* tag typically is added to the place. Also useful is the addition of wikidata=*/wikipedia=*. For a standalone node, these tags belong on the node the place tag appears on. In a place relation, this belongs on the node with role waypoint.


See below for the main tag values

See: Generic:Map Features:place

Administratively declared places

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Populated settlements, urban

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Populated settlements, urban and rural

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Other places

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See also

  • border_type=*
  • place:ph=* - a Philippines-specific tag used on places unique in the Philippines. It is still proposed, but already used.