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My local railway station is being re-developed and one of the cafes on the station is now operating out of a small kiosk. It is only selling drinks and pastries. In South-east England this type of coffee kiosk is common on railway stations. Elsewhere you find kiosks providing tourist information, or specific types of fast food (pretzels, bratwurst ...) or selling boat cruises:

kiosk photo on
photo CC-BY-SA Michael Ely (on

The current definition on the wiki suggests that shop=kiosk should be used for kiosks which sell newspapers, magazines, sweets, tobacco (and possibly lottery tickets): the retail category known as CTN (Confectionery, Tobacco, News) in the United Kingdom. Whereas the tag value might not be perfect it seems that this is a widely accepted and useful meaning, which would therefore be devalued by using shop=kiosk for other retail and information outlets operating from kiosks.

I would therefore be interested to know :

  • any existing tagging practices
  • any suggestions as to how to map this variety of objects

asked 28 Apr '13, 17:08

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

edited 18 Aug '13, 00:59

Harry%20Wood's gravatar image

Harry Wood

My recommendation would be to avoid using shop=kiosk . It's a tag which has been documented since the early days of wiki tag docs. I had some persuading to do, to convince people that shop=newsagent was a good tag, because it's selling the same things as far as products go, so was sort of a duplicate. As we know, the word "kiosk" describes the building size. For this reason it never really should've been in the 'shop' key (Not that I'm blaming anyone. It was a very early tag as I say)

Now that shop=newsagent has bedded in a bit, if I could bring myself to start an argument on the matter, I would probably suggest that shop=kiosk should be phased out. This doesn't mean we stop mapping "kiosks". We just use a tag like building=kiosk instead (a few people starting to use this)

So in answer to your question I would do: amenity=cafe, building=kiosk ...and you could throw in seating=no for good measure.

You might say, because it's only a little kiosk, it's not really a cafe. Debatable I'm sure, but I tend to think in terms of "top level tags" to give a basic classification to a thing. In this case the most helpful basic classification would be cafe I reckon.

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answered 18 Aug '13, 00:56

Harry%20Wood's gravatar image

Harry Wood
accept rate: 14%

edited 25 Aug '13, 12:15

I agree with pretty much all of this, except the cafe. I'd be pretty much miffed to use OSM to look for a cafe only to find it was just a kiosk selling drinks to go. building=kiosk covers a decent proportion of cases, but by no means all, notable exceptions are mall kiosks. Blog post on topic coming up.

(18 Aug '13, 08:07) SK53 ♦

After much reflection I have decided to use the tag kiosk=*, where typical values are those found for the shop tag. I am not using this in conjunction with shop=kiosk as this may still be construed solely to mean a newsagent-style kiosk, there is nothing to stop others tagging in this way.

There are at present a two of kiosk=ice_cream nodes in OSM. Other values which are relevant are: yes (when also an amenity), coffee (when not amenity=cafe), tickets, information, lottery (e.g. ONCE lottery ticket kiosks). The tag kiosk could also be used to map Mall Kiosks, locally these often over mobile phone services or accessories.

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answered 23 Jun '13, 12:00

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

The wiki also says snacks and beverages (hate that word, drinks is better), so I think that covers the cafe you mention.

A kiosk is a description of the type of building/method of service and IMHO can describe anything sold in this way (where the customer remains outside), and does not need to be so restrictive.

TKTS in Leicester Square is a kiosk, although not tagged as such.

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answered 28 Apr '13, 17:37

trigpoint's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

edited 28 Apr '13, 17:54


TKTS leicester square ( ) is tagged amenity=ticket_office That's an awkward example because you could actually add shop=kiosk alongside that tag (because ticket office happens to be under the amenity key, whereas other examples would involve a clash on the shop key) ...but even so building=kiosk is a better tag to add as an additional "property tag" on the ticket office in my opinion.

(18 Aug '13, 01:06) Harry Wood

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question asked: 28 Apr '13, 17:08

question was seen: 10,381 times

last updated: 25 Aug '13, 12:15

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