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Greece, Europe

latitude: 38.310, longitude: 24.489
boundary: 192307
Browse map of Greece 38°18′36.00″ N, 24°29′20.40″ E
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Greece is a country in Europe at latitude 38°18′36.00″ North, longitude 24°29′20.40″ East.

OpenStreetMap images (and underlying map data) are freely available under OpenStreetMap License.
Greece 640.png


WANTED: a healthy and thriving community of Greek road fans and mappers from Greece and all corners of the world. Enquire below:

People mapping in Greece can add their user page to Category:Users in Greece


Greek is the official language of Greece, written in the Greek alphabet. By default:

  • name=* is for the Greek name (e.g. Ελλάς)
  • name:el=* is also for the Greek name, optional but encouraged for sake of completeness
  • name:en=* is for the English name etc
  • int_name=* is for the Latin transliteration (transcription)*
  • official_name=* is for the long Greek name (e.g. Αποκεντρωμένη Διοίκηση Πελοποννήσου, Δυτικής Ελλάδος και Ιονίου, as opposed to just Πελοποννήσου, Δυτικής Ελλάδος και Ιονίου).

*Transcription to the Latin alphabet must be according to ISO 843 type 2 (see ISO 843, first page-second column and read the notes).

See Multilingual names.

Urban divisions

City Blocks

In Greece, city blocks (Οικοδομικό Τετράγωνο or for sort Ο.Τ.) of each municipality get a number. They should be mapped as an area with -Tag:place=city_block.

Urban Units

City blocks are grouped into Urban Unit (Πολεοδομική Ενότητα) which in most cases (1) correspond to one neighborhood. (2)Some neighorhoods (see in Athens) are divided into multiple Urban Units with the same name (Ampelokipoi I, Ampelokipoi II Greek: Αμπελόκηποι Α, Αμπελόκηποι Β etc). (3)Some urban units include many neighborhoods (Plaka-Monastiraki Greek Πλάκα-Μοναστηράκι). Urban units should be mapped as an area as Tag:place=neighbourhood where as name we put the short name in Greek for example Φλoίσβος and we add a node with Tag:place=neighbourhood in each neighborhood the urban block includes; In the first case (1) we put the node on the center of the urban unit. In the second case (2) we place the node in the center of the two units. In the third case (3) we place the node in the place of each neighborhood within the urban unit.

Urban districts

In large Greek municipalities, urban units are grouped into urban districts (Συνοικίες) which correspond to a suburb. The should me mapped as an area with as Tag:place=suburb and a node with Tag:place=suburb should be placed in the middle.


In Greece the term neighborhood (γειτονιά) corresponds to and area larger than that of other countries. In contrast to other countries they do not revolve around one street or square but they are like small settlements. That's why in Greece most neighborhoods should be mapped with the tag place=quarter. Some of them have exactly defined border in the General Poleodomic Plan of the city or town (Γενικό Πολεοδομικό Σχέδιο). In those cases the neighborhood should be mapped as an area with the tag place=quarter with name=Γειτονιά Εξαρχείων and a node should be placed in the center with place=quarter and name=Εξάρχεια (here we use Exarchia as an example).

Administrative divisions

Since 2011 (and still in 2018), Greece is administratively divided into:

  • 7 decentralized administrations (αποκεντρωμένες διοικήσεις) and 1 autonomous monastic state (αυτόνομη μοναστική πολιτεία);
  • 13 regions or peripheries (περιφέρειες), which are now administrative divisions, but previously grouped (only territorially) the former 54 prefectures or nomes (νομός); the autonomous monastic state is not subdivided into regions;
  • 74 regional units (περιφερειακή ενότητα), which are territorial (not administrative) subdivisions of regions: they replaced 45 of the 54 former prefectures, but 19 regional units were created by subdividing 9 of the 54 former prefectures (the 2 most populated former prefectures, or 7 former prefectures that were covering distant islands); the autonomous monastic state was not subvided into regional units;
  • 325 municipalities (δήμοι); they are further territorially (but no longer administratively) subdivided into municipal units (the former municipalities which were grouped into the new larger municipalities), themselves further subdivided into community (the former municipal districts). Municipalities with over 100000 citizens are divided into municipal units.
Admin level Administrative division NUTS level
3 autonomous monastic state
αυτόνομη μοναστική πολιτεία
4 decentralized administration
αποκεντρωμένη διοίκηση
5 region (or periphery)
6 regional unit / former prefecture
περιφερειακή ενότητα / πρώην νομόςπ
7 municipality
8 municipal unit / former municipality/ municipal district (for municipalities over 100000 citizens)
δημοτική ενότητα / πρώην δήμος/ δημοτικό διαμέρισμα (δήμοι άνω των 100000 κατοίκων)
9 community / former municipal district
κοινότητα / πρώην δημοτικό διαμέρισμα
10 settlement

Decentralized administrations

Highways in Greece

osm tag road class ref description
highway=motorway Motorway


  • multi-lane dual carriageways with grade separated junctions
  • they usually allow speeds up to 130km/h
highway=trunk National Highway

(Εθνική Οδός)

  • primary national network
  • highways planned to become motorways
highway=primary National Highway

(Εθνική Οδός)

  • secondary national network
  • unnumbered highways connecting cities and major POI
highway=secondary National Highway

(Εθνική Οδός)

  • tertiary national network
Old National Highway

(Παλαιά Εθνική Οδός)

  • old national highway routes
Provincial Road

(Επαρχιακή Οδός)

  • primary and secondary provincial network (unless restricted to the public or unpaved)
  • unnumbered roads connecting towns and minor POI
highway=tertiary Local Road

(Τοπική Οδός)

  • roads connecting villages
  • residential roads with priority
highway=residential Municipal Road

(Δημοτική Οδός)

  • streets only serving local residents
  • unpaved provincial roads
  • paved/unpaved rural streets serving factories, farms etc

Highway categories

Junction structure

In progress



From 1 July 2019, Bing, Maxar,[1] Esri, and Mapbox satellite imagery will all be acceptable for nearly all of Greece. All are useful for tracing routes to “isolated” villages and so on, but please respect subsequent developments, because satellite imagery can easily go out of date.

You can easily access satellite imagery from the four providers with iD, JOSM, and Potlatch 2.[2] If you used JOSM for a long time, you may have to add new satellite imagery manually, via the Preferences menu.

As with all imagery sources in the world, terrain can distort the imagery, making roads appear to deviate from the GPS traces, although GPS traces are not always accurate: sometimes, the scale of deviation can change rapidly. In such cases, the editor should realign the imagery accordingly, but consider the quality and age of the GPS trace as well.

How much you need to realign the imagery will vary by location, firstly because of the frequent updates to the imagery, and also because Greece sits on two tectonic plates (Aegean Sea and Eurasia): both are moving south-west and south respectively, at variable speeds roughly between 7 to 37 millimetres per year.

Overlays/backgrounds (web page of the former provides us with JOSM layers and detailed road maps

We can add the layers in JOSM, under imagery preferences, and then choose the road network map layer (or any other layer we want).

The legend for the road network map layer can be found here (only 1,2,3,4 and 5 "colors" are valid).

The web version of the road network map, based on the classification by the Directorate of Road Infrastructure (ΔΜΕΟ), can be found here.

Road numbers and names (based on published official documents), although helpful, they do come with some issues (multiple roads with same ref, old names, new sections, roads completely missing, lack of continuity, etc.) and should not be taken too literally. Corrections to easily overlooked errors can be explained with note:highway=*. For example, note:highway=Although OKXE shows this as ΠΕΟ1, this would have left an unacceptable gap between ΕΟ8 and ΕΟ54 ….


Quality control

Osmose (not affiliated with the train operator) is a major quality assurance tool in Greece: click here to go straight to Greece.

JOSM has a quality control tool as well, and that can be set to use Osmose’s algorithm.


  1. Following Maxar’s acquisition of DigitalGlobe, the DigitalGlobe Premium and Standard layers are no longer updated, and will be removed on 30 June 2019. The replacements, Maxar Premium and Standard, and should be used in place of the DigitalGlobe layers, and are readily available on iD and JOSM.
  2. Adobe Flash will no longer be supported in 2020, meaning that Potlatch 2 will likely be phased out at the same time.