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I need to add basisc infrasttucture (schools, markets, hospital...) to a specific region in the border between Senegal and Guinée Bissau. I am using JOSM to edit the map, and although some pre-determined tags exist, they are not as specific as I would like them to be (eg: these tags do not differenciate between different levels of education). Do you know how can I create my own tags?

Also, I would like to create a new layer for each infrastructure in order to orgaize better the information, however, the software is not allowing me to do so. Am I doing it right? How would you recommend to do it?

Thank you very much in advance! All the best (; Paula Botella

asked 29 Sep '16, 05:46

PaulaBotella's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


do you mean creating new tagging presets? Or do you just want to add whatever tags (which is very easy)?

(29 Sep '16, 20:04) aseerel4c26 ♦

Thank you! Very useful information, I will keep working (;

(01 Oct '16, 09:48) PaulaBotella

@PaulaBotella: could you please reply to my comment above?

(01 Oct '16, 11:49) aseerel4c26 ♦

sorry @aseerel4c26, I was asking about tagging presets, but yesterday I found out (thanks to one of the answers bellow) that the OSM community of Senegal ( has already developed their own tagging system, so I will follow it.

(02 Oct '16, 06:31) PaulaBotella

@PaulaBotella: okay, fine. :-) Could you please mark an answer as accepted if it solves your problem.

(02 Oct '16, 10:54) aseerel4c26 ♦

There are many more tags than the editors show. E.g. there is , which might be what you are looking for. In JOSM, you can just add those tags.

In case you want to create your own tags, it's best to do research whether someone else had the same idea, search our wiki (e.g. 'osm tag XXX' in a search engine will give you good results.

If you cannot find the tag you need, you can come up with your own. But it's best to document it on the wiki, so others understand what you mean and they might start using the tag as well. There is also a formal process to get a tag "approved", see

OSM has no layers. To get new tags added to the standard rendering, you have to create issues on . Do not have high expectations for rare tags to get rendered in that style.

You might better create your own map, umap might be a good place to start. Especially in combination with Overpass, read e.g.

Since this is a lot of information to digest, please do not hesitate to come back and ask more specific questions (preferably as new questions) here on this site.

Good luck

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answered 29 Sep '16, 09:19

escada's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

edited 29 Sep '16, 09:32

nevw's gravatar image


There are quite a few questions here, so my answer is quite long.

To answer your last question first:

OSM has not notion of layers for different types of data (hospitals, schools etc). Everything is held in a common data pool. This may make accessing different types of data a little harder (but see below), but comes with the immense benefit of showing explicit inter-relationships between different objects. Not only can be have a school, but also show which entrances in a school are suitable for a wheelchair user; or enable choice of routes to school which minimise crossing busy roads.

So when adding infrastructure, even if you add schools, hospitals separately, ultimately they should get interconnected as more detail is added.

Now on to what can be done in JOSM:

In JOSM it is perfectly possible to start a separate data layer for each type of object. These remain independent until you load them up to OSM.

Additional tags can be added directly in the tag edit panel once you have created the basic element (e.g., school). JOSM will also remember which tags & values you have used recently. It is also possible to configure JOSM to provide specific presets relevant directly to what you are mapping: e.g., to show school types and age ranges. Indeed, suitable preset configurations may already exist.

For retrieving data relating to a particular group of objects, the best tool to use is Overpass-turbo, for instance here schools.

Finally note that there are already widely used tags for indicating school type (primary, secondary, etc.) and age ranges of the school children.

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answered 29 Sep '16, 09:23

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

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question asked: 29 Sep '16, 05:46

question was seen: 3,012 times

last updated: 02 Oct '16, 10:54

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