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These are structures at the surface where hot air from an underground railway is expelled. They can take the form of short chimneys, buildings, grates on the ground or more decorative features.

The London Undergound vents/shafts listed at show that a variety of tagging methods are used - including building=air_shaft/yes/industrial, man_made=chimney, landuse=railway, name="xxx air vent shaft". There's a few uses of railway=ventilation_shaft on the Washington metro.

Without using a descriptive name what's the best way to tag one?

asked 23 Dec '17, 13:28

lakedistrict's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

Actually, I noticed that some of the 'name="xxx air vent shaft"' ones were in areas where I was familiar with them (and I knew they weren't named). I've retagged these as either man_made= or railway= (if another man_made= tag was already used).

(26 Dec '17, 13:28) SomeoneElse ♦

I've tended to use man_made= or railway=ventilation_shaft, because when I last looked that was the most popular most sensible tagging, at least in the UK. See for example here which is rendered as a short chimney here.

As an aside, because as you mention the tagging for these can be a bit variable, that map style has some code that brings all these together here. If there's any significant usage of other options I'd be grateful if you could let me know, although "building=blah" and "man_made=chimney" will be rendered as other things elsewhere. The ones identified only by "name=XYZ" could do with a main tag adding, assuming they're genuine.

Taginfo for ventilation_shaft.

Taginfo for air_shaft.

permanent link

answered 23 Dec '17, 20:07

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

edited 23 Dec '17, 20:19

Thanks SomeoneElse. Although man_made=ventilation_shaft is slightly more popular, I've gone for railway=ventilation_shaft because I think that makes it more obvious that the ventilation shaft is for the railway. I've written a few lines at for future reference.

(26 Dec '17, 13:23) lakedistrict

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question asked: 23 Dec '17, 13:28

question was seen: 2,909 times

last updated: 26 Dec '17, 13:28

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