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I would like to start adding solar panels in my neighborhood. Many houses around me have simple photovoltaic panels on the roof of their houses. These aren't power plants, just personal power generators.

What is the best practice to tagging solar panels on building's roofs?

I was thinking to draw the outline of the solar panels and tag it as a generator.

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about.

asked 09 Oct '18, 03:32

Kayla%20Colflesh's gravatar image

Kayla Colflesh
accept rate: 0%

edited 09 Oct '18, 03:33

Sounds fine. Additionally you can add generator:place=roof.


If you know whether these solar panels are used for producing electricity or hot water you can also either add generator:method=photovoltaic or generator:method=thermal. However as far as I know there is no real visible distinction between those two types, so better don't add this tag.

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answered 09 Oct '18, 08:25

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%


Some of us have changed over from generator:place=roof to the more conventional location=roof. More info on this wiki page:

(27 Apr '19, 15:29) mcld

@scai In most cases I think it's possible to tell them apart. Thermal installations are usually smaller, and darker on imagery. They may also be older and therefore detectable by comparing imagery layers. With good imagery or a ground survey one may detect piping connecting to the internal water system. Solar PV are usually larger arrays of fixed size modules, modern ones being recognisable by a pale surround in imagery. Some examples in my recent blog post: I have since collected many more ground level images of Solar PV & will be posting those soon.

(29 Apr '19, 16:59) SK53 ♦

@SK53 Thanks for your explanations :)

(30 Apr '19, 08:03) scai ♦

Don't you think it's personnal / private data ? I wonder if we should map these photovoltaic generators. I would love to but notre sûre if it's a good idea ...

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answered 27 Apr '19, 15:22

mawy33's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


If the info is being added from aerial imagery or from what is visible in surveys on the public street, then it must be just as non-personal as the outline of a building, surely?

(27 Apr '19, 15:31) mcld

Hi scai, is not there some thickness visible measurement on those panels. The termal ones are thicker due to the structure inside. A local survey would show it clearly.

(28 Apr '19, 14:52) Hendrikklaas

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question asked: 09 Oct '18, 03:32

question was seen: 3,747 times

last updated: 30 Apr '19, 08:03

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