Hi all

I'm new to this mapping game and I'm adding mosques to my local area. There are two options:

amenity=place_of_worship or religion=muslim building=mosque

Issue 1

For the building=mosque option (ie, a building built as a mosque), should the tags indicate if it has a dome, or a minaret (sometimes both)? Is this sort of info what OSM should contain?

eg, Government mapping in the UK distinguishes churches with a tower, versus a spire, versus without those: this is useful when using the map for navigation without GPS.

eg, there are tags as follows: tower:construction=dome and landmark=dome and tower:type=minaret

How to map a... doesn't have either church or mosque listed, so any thoughts appreciated.

Issue 2

I edited a building: Before it was coded amenity=place_of_worship but it is really a building=mosque (ie, it was built as a mosque). For some reason the MapNix layer is not showing the mosque symbol (crescent and star). Does anyone know why?

Many thanks. If I should be pointed elsewhere to a FAQ or something, please let me know!


asked 28 Sep '18, 18:00

eteb3's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

edited 29 Sep '18, 10:29

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


I see a crescent-and-star right in the centre of the building.

Maybe the tiles hadn't updated yet when you looked, or your browser had cached an older copy locally.

(28 Sep '18, 20:22) alan_gr

The tag building=mosque doesn't give any indication of what type of place of worship it is; it simply says that the building is in the form of a mosque. To specify that it's a muslim place of worship, you'd need to add the tag religion=muslim.

(28 Sep '18, 22:21) alester

Thanks again @alan_gr and also @alester - looks like both of those applied. All tags added now and hopefully all showing as it should.

(29 Sep '18, 05:32) eteb3

The correct way is imho to add all 3 tags

  • amenity=place_of_worship
  • religion=muslim
  • building=mosque

Actually they represent 2 different objects: a place of worship (can be a field, a building, a cave, etc.) together with the religion of th worshipping; and a building in which the worshipping takes place. The building could originally be build as a mosque, but it could have been a warehouse, a hut, etc.

Some people will represent the building as a polygon (area) and the amenity as a node inside it.

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answered 28 Sep '18, 19:26

escada's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Thank you both, that's Issue 2 solved.

@alan_gr, I cleary need to learn to read!

Issue 1 is still open, if anyone can help.

(28 Sep '18, 20:00) eteb3

As for the dome and minaret, this is of course information that can be placed in OSM. However, it seems like a level of detail that was not recorded a lot before, see Taginfo on dome-values and minaret. The word "should" is a bit misplaced, can is better.

It just that is many places around the world people are still busy adding more "essential" information like roads, houses, addresses and POIs. I guess most people will find it more important to locate the mosque than to know its architectural details.

(29 Sep '18, 06:42) escada

I thought the building=mosque tag was reserved for buildings in the architectural style of a mosque. While there are plenty of different styles of mosque, they are visually identifiable as a mosque.

My neighbourhood doesn't have a large Muslim community, and the only mosque was converted from a house, and is in the architectural style of the surrounding buildings, with nothing external to identify it as a mosque, other than the signboard. It does not have the building=mosque tag set, and I think this is correct.

(26 Dec '18, 18:58) keithonearth

Welcome to OpenStreetMap!

I can only comment on Issue 2. Adding the building=mosque tag was fine: it is useful to know that the building is a purpose-built mosque. But I don't think you should have removed the amenity= and religion= tags. Now there is no way of being sure that the building is currently in use as a mosque (e.g. lots of places tagged as building=church are no longer places of worship).

Note these sentences in the places of worship wiki page you linked to: "All places of worship independently of the religion or denomination get the tag amenity=place_of_worship." "The building=* should be applied according to the architectural type, often such religious buildings are recognisable landmarks". Your approach is consistent with the second sentence but not the first - both amenity and building can be used together (and probably should be in this situation).

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answered 28 Sep '18, 19:27

alan_gr's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%


Thanks to @escada and @alan_gr, I've now added the tag amenity=place_of_worship to that building, and also two others that I added recently.

This seems to do curious things with the rendering: MapNix gives some of these a crescent-and-star, and some of them not.

Three examples:

amenity=place_of_worship only: shows crescent

amenity=place_of_worship + building=mosque: shows crescent

amenity=place_of_worship + building=mosque: doesn't show crescent

Perhaps someone can explain why this is? It would seem sensible if all mosques have a crescent and star, just like all building=church have a cross (if I've understood correctly).

I may be missing something obvious again, though...

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answered 28 Sep '18, 20:19

eteb3's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

edited 28 Sep '18, 20:22

It's the religion tag, not the building tag, that determines whether a crescent will appear in the standard map style. A couple of your examples have been edited since your answer here so all now do show as a crescent.

The standard map style shows the minaret at https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/277148064#map=19/52.58035/-0.24900 as a generic tower; in a different map style I've changed it to show in the same way as a church spire does (see https://map.atownsend.org.uk/maps/map/map.html#zoom=20&lat=52.5803468&lon=-0.249044 in a month or so's time).

(25 Dec '18, 22:18) SomeoneElse ♦

Hi, another issue regarding Relation: Faizan-e-Madina Mosque (9108603).

With a multipolygon relation, you are actually depicting the building as having the minaret and dome areas as two cutouts of the main building. The dome and minaret are unseparated parts of the same building, they could be tagged as building parts, please see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:building:part The relation could then be removed thus eliminating cutouts.

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answered 26 Dec '18, 07:15

BCNorwich's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

edited 27 Dec '18, 14:25

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question asked: 28 Sep '18, 18:00

question was seen: 1,187 times

last updated: 27 Dec '18, 14:25

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