[Tagging] amenity=place_of_worship | Re: Mapping of indigenous sacred / ceremonial sites

Rory McCann rory at technomancy.org
Wed Apr 3 09:26:36 UTC 2019

On 02/04/2019 23:28, Graeme Fitzpatrick wrote:
> Is there an OSM policy on mapping sacred / ceremonial sites?

Yes, OSM has had `amenity=place_of_worship` for a while now, as well as

> Are there any other places where the local original inhabitants may
> not want their sites mapped, & how did you work it out?

For controlling access, it depends on what sort of control there is.
Most sacred sites ("churches") aren't tagged as `access=private` (even
though they are). One would hope data consumers would take that as implied.

There was discussion about tagging list about "religious based access
restrictions" a few months ago (thread starts here:
). There wasn't a clear winner.

The Greek tribe has an ancestral belief system ("Christianity") which
has some sites they consider sacred, such as Mouth Athos (
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/2135921 ). That's currently
tagged as a regular `admin_level=3` even though it has strict access
control (only men are allowed there!).

And there's always `access=private` as a simple, and effective, approach.

At the far end of the spectrum, there has been a practice in OSM to
*not* map certain things, such as private/non-publicized domestic
violence shelters, or the nesting sites of endangered birds. Use this
approach with care, but don't be afraid to use it.


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