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

Hi everyone,

I was just checking the details for mapping a tennis court and the wiki page mentions not to include the clearance around the edge of the court but doesn't provide any further info on how to map that area. What would be appropriate to best map this area?


asked 13 Apr '21, 15:34

Crimsonfox's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

The matter is now also discussed on the wiki talk page.

(15 Apr '21, 10:09) TZorn

I think the wiki is incorrect here: many people will map the extent of the playing surface, i.e., usually to the wire netting around the courts. Furthermore many will map a group of tennis courts as one object. For tennis clubs one can mark the whole area as leisure=sports_centre (quite a wide usage), but for discrete courts then perhaps the fence or other boundary.

We know exactly the dimensions of the actual marked tennis court so to place one at the centroid of an individually mapped court is relatively trivial (in fact I think this is what Christian Quest did for the OSM-FR rendering). I would therefore regard the whole area of the playing surface as probably of more value than the precise marked court.

Note that this is probably inconsistent, as football & rugby pitches will be mapped to the marked area, but of course outside the area is not a playing area in those sports.

permanent link

answered 13 Apr '21, 18:10

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

As a person who has mapped many tennis courts, I think the best way forward is to map the extent of the courts with a barrier=fence and leave the inside, the court(s) proper, untagged, Note that if you decide to use the fence as the outline of the tennis pitch, you should probably use a relation so as to include the other more important details.




courts=number of courts inside the pitch





I mapped most of the courts I've added the easy way, that is, no fence and with a simple area to describe the courts. Time constraints and your level of commitment will determine how you choose to map them.

Some other mapper may have a method to do what you're asking. This is just my approach.



(14 Apr '21, 01:21) AlaskaDave

@SK53 Thanks, that was my thinking too as the area of play doesn't finish at the marked lines. I'd argue this is the case for football too as throw ins, corners and the goals, all extend the players past the markings.

I think I'll raise it on the discussion page of the wiki...scratch that, someone has already asked the question, I wonder if they saw this.

(14 Apr '21, 10:38) Crimsonfox

The offending sentence has only been added to the wiki three months ago without any explanation. I think it should be removed again.

(14 Apr '21, 12:43) TZorn

I think it should be removed again. I agree. Remove the sentence beginning with "Do not include the Clearance..." entirely.

In addition, the new wording INSISTS with bold text that the pitch must be divided into individual courts. That would be fine but I don't think it's essential.

Perhaps it's better to say,

Draw an area that encompasses the entire pitch, tag it with leisure=pitch and sport=tennis or alternatively, draw each individual court and tag them leisure=pitch and sport=tennis. Or words to that effect.

(14 Apr '21, 13:27) AlaskaDave

@Crimsonfox: in the other sports the ball is out of play when it leaves the bounds of the pitch, not so in tennis. I think that is the essential difference.

(14 Apr '21, 18:54) SK53 ♦

Hmm. The wiki wording does suggest mapping every court in a group. I’m personally ok with that but it does raise challenges to decide how then to map items like a tall fence around the leisure area.

Happy to offer an example I have done for comment / fix - for better or worse - I may have done this differently to others… but am alway conscious to represent what is actually there. In this case the “fenced and paved” area that surrounds the three courts ALSO has a basketball ring there … so I marked the area as leisure and mixed, and mapped the courts individually….

Would what I have mapped be ok ?

permanent link

answered 06 Jul '21, 04:42

AussieJD's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

It's okay, yes.

You might also choose to add the courts and playing area as a polygon. Add optional tags to that polygon as suggested above, and in this case, leisure=pitch with sport=multi. Add the fence surrounding the entire playing area to the entire multipolygon.

You may then tag the individual courts with leisure=pitch and sport=tennis.

I don't think pitch=tennis is the best tag here. Although it's not illegal, it's not in common use and some renderers might miss it.

(06 Jul '21, 20:29) AlaskaDave

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 13 Apr '21, 15:34

question was seen: 1,635 times

last updated: 06 Jul '21, 20:30

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