NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum

I've been adding and correcting some New York City subway stations this morning but I was wondering how to handle stations with multiple entrances. I've looked at other stations and they're all points on the map. However, in the real world many stations have two entrances, and some can have 6 or 8 entrances sometimes blocks apart. Here's a simple example of a station I just added:

I put the POI icon at 44th Drives and 21st Street, but the other entrance is over 200m away, just to the west of 44th Drive and 23rd Street. Is there a way to "draw" the station so that the two entrances and the platforms can be three connected objects (and is there a way to draw the platform in the first place)?

Another point is that this station is connected via underground pedestrian tunnels to the Court Sq (G) station at 45th Road and Jackson Avenue, the Citigroup building at 44th Drive and Hunter Street, and in the near future to the Court Sq (7) elevated subway station.

In essence what I'm saying is that it's rather inaccurate to have the station as a single point where I located it on the map when in fact it's a complex system of connected tunnels, platforms, elevated stations, and buildings. And this is a relatively simple one. Union Square for example, at

has 4 platforms, 7 subway lines, and at least 6 entrance, and yet on the map it's represented as just a single POI. There are a number of much more complicated stations, Times Square, 34th Street and Grand Central for example.

So my point at its most basic is that a bus stop on a corner can certainly be one POI icon, but a subway station with two entrances could benefit from two icons, except that I don't want them to look like two separate POIs on the map. Is there an accepted practice for doing this?


asked 19 Dec '10, 15:51

selgart's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Hello Selgart,

This is a good question, and one which still doesn't have a definitive answer. There's lots more information available regarding the tagging of complex entities (Like Stations) on the OSM Wiki; Railway Stations Page on the Wiki

My experience of tagging stations is limited to UK Overground stations. Example; Kings Cross. In that case, I tried to add as much detail as possible starting from the ground up. I first plotted out the locations of the tracks, then added the platforms, concourses between platforms and pedestrian routes. I then marked the station as a building and added nodes in the building "Walls" for entrances etc.

I've struggled to settle upon a method for underground stations as I personally find it difficult to work out where the various tunnels actually go. Having said that.. Do you really need an accurate path between the tunnel entrance and the station platform as long as they are connected in some way?

Hope this helps a bit.

permanent link

answered 23 Dec '10, 16:10

Ashimema's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 23 Dec '10, 16:14

Tag the entrances as railway=subway_entrance. See railway=subway_entrance

permanent link

answered 30 Dec '10, 01:55

Ebenezer's gravatar image

accept rate: 9%

I started to takle this problem with in this changeset using newer indoor mapping and areaised highway features.:-

this renderer tries to show how the leveling descibe the different depths (play with the options to see more):-

Its a bit of a work in progress at the moment.

The main aim is to treat the station like a building and then add all the links and areas that describe it.

permanent link

answered 01 Mar '16, 18:51

Govanus's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 19 Dec '10, 15:51

question was seen: 7,675 times

last updated: 01 Mar '16, 18:53

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum