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Mapping in Africa, in Kibera, in rural areas, has revealed many features for which there is currently no clear existing tagging scheme or cartography. Especially in Kibera, this has resulted in tagging that is inconsistent and incomplete across the area.



  • Focus on thematic areas one by one (water, health, NGOs, etc)
  • Examine existing tagging schemes in Kibera. A tag report is generated at http://files.maps.jsintl.org/tags.html and http://files.maps.jsintl.org/tags.mwatate.html. Clicking on the link for a tag will download OSM data that you can open in JOSM to work with more directly. Pay attention especially to NOTES, as these are often where the details on the actual structure are located.
  • Open all downloaded layers in JOSM together, and then Merge into a single layer ... this will remove objects that appear in multiple layers.
  • Decide on a consistent tagging scheme for the theme.
  • Fix manually is small in number. Otherwise document, and later on will explore automated methods to correct, and plan re-survey.
  • Document any new features below.
  • Once complete and consistent, new features will be presented to OSM community for adoption.

References: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Map_Features http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features

Other quality checks

  • Is node in the right place. Some problems with placement on Garmin
  • Nodes in ways ... move out
  • on the correct side of path
  • empty node removal

General editing tips

  • need to verify completeness and correctness ... does this exists, proper name/spelling, location, position (correct side of road), tags,
  • re-emphasize gps button fiddlyness
  • when editing, they should look out for existing features, not just re-add
  • possible to have josm segment types of features, layers?

Tagging Review in Kibera



Security Features


Educational Facilities


Water and Sanitation


Place of worship

Existing Tags

  • amenity=place_of_worship
  • denomination=protestant
  • denomination=Protestants
  • denomination=protestants
  • denomination=anglican
  • denomination=methodist
  • denomination=pentecostal
  • denomination=catholic
  • denomination=Many
  • denomination=jehovahs_witness
  • denomination=evangelical
  • denomination=sunni
  • denomination=quaker
  • denomination=jehova's witness
  • denomination=adventist
  • denomination=presbyterian
  • name="usually contains a name of the place of worship"
  • opening_hours="contains opening times and closing hours"
  • religion=christian
  • religion=muslim
  • religion=spiritualist
  • notes=church
  • notes=Church
  • note=also clinic and school
  • FIXME=denom catholic???
  • FIXME=Spelling????


  • fix capitalization, spelling, etc.
  • look at Unified Tagging on Kibera Map


Existing Tags

  • shop=alcohol
  • shop=bakery
  • shop=beverages
  • shop=books
  • shop=butcher
  • shop=chemist
  • shop=computer
  • shop=convenience
  • shop=doityourself
  • shop=dry_cleaning
  • shop=electronics
  • shop=florist
  • shop=furniture
  • shop=hairdresser
  • shop=hardware
  • shop=kiosk
  • shop=laundry
  • shop=organic
  • shop=shoe_repair
  • shop=shoes
  • shop=supermarket
  • shop=video
  • shop=mall
  • name
  • opening_hours
  • notes=bar
  • notes=Butchery
  • notes=Printing/photocopy services
  • notes=Computer Services
  • internet_access=public
  • notes=Posho Mill
  • notes=Store
  • NOTE=posho mill
  • cereal=posho mill
  • notes=Baber and saloon shop
  • notes=Saloon
  • NOTES=Hair dresser
  • note=barber shop
  • note=the shops includes or involves different activities like grocery, shops for household stuff etc
  • NOTES=pesa poinnt
  • notes=Food Kiosk
  • notes=Kiosk
  • notes=kiosk
  • notes=Fruits and Vegetable saler
  • NOTES=food kiosk
  • NOTES=kiosk
  • NOTES=shop
  • note=chacoal seller
  • notes=Cash Point
  • operator=TRASFORMER
  • power=sub_station
  • ref=KPLC
  • landuse=market
  • note=open air market

Other Tags

  • amenity=fuel
  • landuse=commercial
  • landuse=retail
  • area=yes
  • NOTES=kerosen kiosk
  • operator=Gitonga Kerosene Pump
  • operator=owner


As of October 11, 2010 most opening_hours tags for features in Kibera have been made uniform with the form Dd-Dd hh:mm-hh:mm, where Dd is the first two letters of a day of the week and hh is an hour in 24-hour time. Features that represent a facility that is always open were given the value "24/7".

These values shouldn't generally be taken as strictly accurate, and at best the hope is that they will give a general idea of when the places represented by these features might be expected to be available (eg, 'morning', 'always').

To Do

  • Normalize fees values to make them more easily parsed.
  • Use OSM tagging proposals for features where feasible.

Unified Tagging on Kibera Map


This is the suggestion of a tagging scheme on a map of Kibera. Different elements are divided into attributes. Main attributes are represented and described. Some exceptions are also represented and redundant attributes are preserved for further examination.

Element is the object of inquiry (ex. school, place of worship, etc.). It is represented by attributes – descriptive representations.


Health Facilities

  • health_facility:type needs post-process into proper amenity tags
  • health_facility:type and operator:type differ somewhat in classification from HDM
  • operator:type is missing detailed Faith Based Organization from Collection Key
  • Media refers to local devices. Will later post-process into flickr osm machine tags
  • maybe need tag to describe incomplete data ... Notes

Educational Facilities

These elements represent kindergartens, schools (primary, secondary, academy …) and other educational facilities (youth polytechnics …).

Attribute table (educational facility):

Attribute Description
amenity school, kindergarten, college, library
name Name of the educational facility.
note If there is some particularity.

Place of worship

All places of worship. Different religions or denominations. They all get the same tag (amenity=place_of_worship).

Attribute table (Place of worship):

Atribute Description
amenity place_of_worship
name Name of the place of worship.
denomination The subspecies (denomination) of a specific religion (ex. catholic, protestant, anglican, sunni ... ).
opening hours Opening times and closing hours.
religion Different types of religion (ex. christian, muslim, hindu, jewish ...).


Attribute table (Place of worship):

Atribute Description
shop What kind of a shop it is.
name Name of the shop.
opening hours Opening times and closing hours.
note If there is some particularity.


Atribute Description
landuse What kind of a landuse is it (comercial, market, etc).
name Name of the area.
opening hours Opening times and closing hours.
note If there is some particularity.

New Tags

Cattle Dip

  • description: it holds water and usually some sort of tick-killing substance (ticks can be a big problem in rural communities - killing livestock); used for microbes clean up
  • current tagging scheme: has no current tagging scheme
  • some potential alternatives
  • Cattle Dip

Water Infrastructure

  • water intakes - from where water usually originates; natural or built
  • water tanks - where water is stored (water storage tanks or reservoirs),
  • water points - different important water points (ex.: water distribution points, water supply reservoirs, cattle tanks, livestock water tanks in dry areas, etc.)

Community meeting points

  • traditional meeting place of the elders - where community leaders come and discuss community relevant issues, settle disputes, etc.
  • current tagging scheme: village_green
  • some potential alternatives: needs a more refined way of tagging as it represents one of the most significant areas in a community
  • Traditional meeting place of the elders in Wongonyi

Public buildings

  • chief's office, office of a community leader (example: in a local market place)
  • current tagging scheme: amenity - public_building
  • Chief's House

Sacred places

  • areas which have special (mostly spiritual) meaning to a local community and are used for ancestor worship, spirit communication and agricultural sacrifices, etc.
  • current tagging scheme: has no current tagging scheme


  • generally needs work in OSM
  • currently have the following in OSM:
    • amenity=kindergarten
    • amenity=school
    • amenity=university
    • amenity=college
    • amenity=driving_school
  • in Kibera, we have the following, none of which fit into OSM's current schema:
    • education:type=technical
    • education:type=adult
    • education:type=tailoring
    • education:type=computer
    • education:type=catering
    • education:type=hairdressing
    • education:type=language
    • health_facility:type=training_institution
  • This isn't specific to Kibera by any stretch--there are and always have been spaces outside of official public schools and universities where one could go to learn. It may be worth proposing an education or training tag that would allow for a number of sub-tags and specifying a degree of formality.


  • A place where biogas (methane) is harvested from decomposing waste.
  • currently watsan:biocentre
  • How often does this happen elsewhere?

Pee point

  • An informal place where people urinate.
  • Currently watsan:pee_point=yes
  • How similar is this to these, in London? Likely less formal?

VCT center

  • Voluntary Counseling and Testing center
  • A place where one can get cheap/free HIV tests
  • Currently health_facility:type=vct_center
  • Is there room in the healthcare proposal for this?
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