WikiProject Belgium/Conventions/Schools

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page aims to help mappers distinguish between the multiple school types found in Belgium.

As such, this is a belgian-centered tagging scheme, although we hope this tagging scheme will be adopted to more countries if applicable.

Furthermore, this is a draft page. Feel free to use the discussion page or the mailing list to discuss changes. Many of the ideas from my diary entry are reflected here

This tagging is an extension on amenity=school - read this page first for general tagging. Only Belgium-specific tagging is highlighted on this page.

Tagging the school level

The school level can be tagged as following:

School levels
Tag Description Common English names Common Dutch Names Common French names Common German names ISCED:2011:level
amenity=childcare A facility that takes care of kids without education Childcare, nursery Kinderopvang, creche, onthaalmoeder Garde d'enfants N/A
amenity=kindergarten A school for young kids (<6) which has some education preparing for writing and maths Kindergarten, preschool Kleuterschool Maternelle 0 (early_childhood)
amenity=school + school=primary A school for kids aged 6 till 12 where basic literacy, mathematics and other skills are given Elementery school, primary school Lagere school Primaire 1 (primary)
amenity=school + school=kindergarten;primary A school where the kindergarten and the primary school are integrated in the same buildings. (If possible, map the kindergarten separately) Elementary school (some dialects) Basisschool 0, (early_childhood), 1 (primary)
amenity=school + school=secondary A school for kids aged 12 till 18 where further skills are taught. Depending on the school and the chosen orientation, different topics are taught. Secondary school, high school Middelbaar onderwijs, secundair onderwijs, ASO, TSO, BSO Secondaire 2 (lower_secondary)
amenity=school + school=lower_secondary A school for kids aged 12 till 14 where further skills are taught. Depending on the school and the chosen orientation, different topics are taught. Secondary school, high school Middenschool (enkel met 1ste graad, dus jaren 1 en 2) 2 (lower_secondary)
amenity=school + school=middle_secondary A school for kids aged 14 till 16 where further skills are taught. Depending on the school and the chosen orientation, different topics are taught. Note that there are very little schools which 'only' teach grades 3 and 4; often they'll teach either grades 1 till 4 or grades 3 till 6. Secondary school, high school Middenschool (enkel met 2de graad, dus jaren 3 en 4) 2 (lower_secondary); 3 (upper_secondary)
amenity=school + school=upper_secondary A school for kids aged 14 till 18 where further skills are taught. Depending on the school and the chosen orientation, different topics are taught. Secondary school, high school (school enkel met 2de en 3de graad, dus jaren 3 t.e.m. 6) 3 (upper_secondary)
school=post_secondary Some schools (mostly vocational schools) offer a 7th year of with further skills following their vocational training. Secondary school, high school with specialisation year Specialisatiejaar, 7de jaar 4 (isced:2011:level=post_secondary non-tertiary education)
amenity=college A school for adults which have completed secondary schooling. Courses typically last one (or two) year (or half a year) and often have a more vocational orientation. Often, these courses can be followed during the evening. The level is below a bachelor. Associate degree Syntra, VDAB-opleidingscentrum, HBO5, Thomas More, ... 5 (isced:2011:level=short_cycle tertiary education)
amenity=university + isced:2011:level=bachelor An educational institution for adults which gives out bachelor degrees. OpenStreetMap uses university for everything that awards bachelor degrees and/or higher ? Hogeschool Haute École 6 (bachelor)
amenity=university + isced:2011:level=master + isced:2011:level=doctor An educational institution for adults which gives out masters and/or doctoral degrees. Having completed a bachelor is required to enter. University Universiteit Université 7 (master), 8 (doctor)

What if multiple types of schools are mixed?

If e.g. a primary school also has a kindergarten:

1. If they are separated, e.g. in separate buildings, they can be mapped as different facilities 2. If they are intertwined (e.g. they use the same building, have the same team, ...) then tag according to the highest level of school and add school=[[Tag:school=<level0>;<level1>;...|<level0>;<level1>;...]] as applicable.

E.g. a primary school which also has a single classroom for preschoolers, then this can be tagged with amenity=school with school=kindergarten;primary

In a similar vein, a secondary school offering grades 3 till 7 would get school=middle_secondary;upper_secondary;post_secondary

Some common terms

There are many relevant terms around which are possible synonyms or shorthands for combinations of educational levels and can thus be confusing. Some of them can be found below; feel free to add more below (also language-specific values).

  • Peutertuin is a childcare facility which takes care of kids between 18 months and 36 months. A creche also takes care of babies <18 months. The distinction can be made with min_age=* and max_age=*
  • Basisschool is a primary school including a preschool. They are tagged with amenity=school + school=kindergarten;primary
  • Elementary school has different meanings according the the dialect of english. In some countries, this would indicate a kindergarten, in others it indicates primary school (with or without kindergarten). As such, it is discouraged to use this in tagging.
  • Buitenschoolse kinderopvang: before- and after-school childcare & activity is tagged with amenity=kindergarten + after_school=yes
  • Humaniora is an old term for secondary eduction (more specifically ASO)
  • College is a term which has different meanings in different languages and dialects. In Flanders, het college was formerly used for a secondary school. Other regions use this word to indicate a hogeschool or haute-ecole; yet other regions use it for educational facilities in between (ISCED-2011 level 5) or as part of university.
  • Graduaatsopleiding (formerly known as HBO5) corresponds with isced:2011-level 5 (short-cycle tertiary education) and mostly focuses on vocational training. See wikipedia for more relevant information
  • Schakeljaren which prepare for a bachelor- or masters degree fall under ISCED level 5 (short-cycle tertiary education). This can be indicated by adding an isced:2011:level=short_cycle to the POI.


Sometimes, small variations on the name exist. For example: "De Binding", "Vrije Basisschool De Binding", "VBS De Binding" or "Basisschool De Binding". We currently have no convention on this . It's suggested to use the name as written on their website.


Consider adding school:language=*, especially in Brussels (bilingual territory but most schools are either Dutch- or French-speaking), in municipalities with facilities or when the main language used in the school differs from the official local language. This tag makes it much easier to retrieve schools for the same language.

Some common mistakes in Belgium

How to map the 'playground' within a school?

In dutch, the area within a school where the pupils can play is often called the playground or speelplaats and is thus often wrongly tagged with leisure=playground. This is better tagged with leisure=schoolyard. Of course, if the playground is public if the school is only using it during school hours, leisure=playground is the preferred tag. However, access=* should be added to confirm that this is a public playground after all.

See also

On how to deal with a campus: Tag:amenity=school#Multiple school on one site and Tag:amenity=school#Campus details

Other interesting data sources and links