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OSM (and OpenGeoFiction) are very street-based. Some cartographic standards are neglected. So this style (Histor-style) is a compromise. Most items have the same look as in the standard-style. But for maritime features, railways, streetcars and some symbols, there is a difference in style, with new symbols being incorporated for shipping or industrial use. Some symbols in the histor-style are visible in a higher zoom-level as in the standard-style.

The tagging of the histor-style has the opinion, to see this object also in the standard-style, if the standard-style will render this object. Unusual taggings will be shown in red.

Basically the histor-style 2014 was forked from an older version of the standard-style (with the green trunk-roads and so on). Therefore the style 2020 gets an update. Some features, meanwhile realisized in the standard-style, now also are shown in the histor-style (like different sort of shops, smaller streets or different landuse).

Tagging List

englisch deutsch tag as tagging example remark
Animal Shelter Tierheim point amenity = animal_shelter [1] the "green cat" can be seen in zoom 16 - 18
Beacon Bake point man_made=beacon [2] seamark / Seezeichen
Bird sanctuary Vogelschutzgebiet point amenity = bird_sanctuary [3] often inside a Flora-Fauna-Habitat
Borehole Bohrloch point man_made=borehole [4] most used for oil
Building Gebäude area building = xyz *) [5] *) details see below at 1)
Busline Buslinie way railway=busline [6] more information see at 2)
Bus stop Bushaltestelle point railway=busline_stop see busline
Coal mine Kohlebergwerk point man-made=coal two crossed hammers as symbol
Concert Hall Konzerthalle point amenity=concert [7] Concert Hall for classic music
Container terminal Containerterminal point harbour=container [8] tag as point, the container-area as landuse=industrial
Copper mine Kupfermine point man_made=copper [9] two hammers in orange as symbol
Craftsman Handwerker point amenity=craftsman [10] tools as symbol for any craftsman there
Crane Kran point man_made=crane harbour-crane / Hafenkran
Cruise Terminal Kreuzfahrt Pier point harbour=cruise [11] marker for a cruise terminal
Depth Tiefe point natural = depth and ele=-00 [12] -00 is the depth in meters in the sea
Dog Park Hundespielplatz area leisure = dog_park [13] for our dog friends
Dyke Deich way man_made=dyke [14] a name is possible
Flagpole Flaggenmast point man_made=flagpole [15]
Harbour Hafen point harbour=main/middle/small [16] marker for great/middle/small harbours as anchor-symbol
Light_rail "Stadtbahn" way railway=light_rail now in "brick" = a dark red
Market Hall Markthalle point shop = mercado [17] most buildt around 1850 - 1910
Markpoint Prigge point man_made = tidalway [18] marker for ways only used at ebbtide
Metal Metall point man_made=metal other metal mine (iron, uranium, tin, zinc and so on)
Mineral Water Mineralwasserquelle point man_made=mineral_water [19]
Navy yard Marinestützpunkt point harbour=navy [20] like gerat harbour, but anchor-symbol in orange
Pipeline Rohrleitung way man_made=pipeline (and location=overground) [21] more info see at 3)
Railway common Eisenbahn, allgemein way railway = rail [22] railway without other specification
Railway commuter Bezirksverkehr way railway = rail and service = local [23] railway commuter-line (in green)
Railway freight Gütergleis way railway = rail and service = freight [24] railway freight-line only (in sierra-brown)
Railway hi-speed Schnellverkehr way railway = rail and service = main [25] railway hi-speed or main-line (in red)
Streetcar Straßenbahn way railway = tram [26] streetcar-lines in red - see at 4)
Streetcar Terminal Straßenbahn Endhaltestelle point railway = tram and service = terminal [27] letters in greater grade
Service streetcar Servicegleise way railway=tram and service=yard [28] tracks to the yard as dotted line
Subway / Metro Untergrundbahn way railway = subway [29] will appear in blue - see at 5)
Subway-station unused ungenutzte U-Bahn Station point railway=subway und service=metro and disused=yes [30] unused subway station - see at 6)
Tidalflat Watt area natural=wetland and wetland=tidalflat [31] more info see at 5)
Tollbooth Mautstelle point barrier=toll_booth [32]
Wetland Feuchtgebiete area now as in the standard-style see below at chapter "Wetland"
Wreck Wrack point historic = wreck [33]
  • 1) OSM (and OGF) show only few different sorts of buildings on the map. Places of worship have a different character, but in the standard-style you see all in light gray. There are many different sorts of building in towns, with shops or not and with different levels in different styles. It is not easy, to bring them all in logical categories. The histor-style will make for the moment this differences:
  • building = yes or other and amenity = place of worship are schon in heavy gray
  • building = station, railway = station, building = government are coloured in "old-rose"
  • aeroway = terminal is coloured darker
  • building = house or garage or garages or detached or terrace or apartments are shown in gray with lighter opacity 0.5
  • building = yes and the other building tags are shown in gray with the darker opacity of 0.7

"government" means townhalls, couthouses, ministeries, parliaments or other public service of town or country - but as I think no museums, theatres, libraries and such buildings.

  • 2) Yes - it is an illegetime child of the streetcar - but only in green instead of red. Here you really are mapping for rendering - but you can show your important bus-lines in your city. Name can be given to the line and to the stop. Why "busline" and not only "bus"? To avoid a key-word for mapping, which may be possible in the future by a standard-style. This tag is not foreseen for long-distance buslines from city to city - this is possible, but good looking?
  • 3) This tag may be used only for pipelines running overground. Pipelines running underground or underwater in the moment not will be rendered (this work is in progress). But in preparation for future rendering please tag this overground-pipelines also with the tag "location=overground" like the OSM-standard tagging. So you avoid a later new tagging of this lines. You also can tag "substance=oil/gaz/water/heating/other". May be in the future this different usage of the pipeline will be rendered with different colours. Also you can give your pipeline a name, which will be rendered. A ref-tag not is rendered.
  • 4) Names of Streetcar-lines will appear in red, of Light_rail in darker red and of Subway- / Metro-lines in blue. A "ref"-tag at this lines will not be rendered in the histor-style as also in the standard-style. Please give short names - the line-number or numbers may be enought.
  • 5) a station can be "unused", if the station was used and now is closed - or if the station is in construction and will be open later or the stations is closed for renovation. With this icon you can mark all three cases in the zoom-level 16 to 19.
  • 6) older tag in the histor-style for a tidalflat was (natural = mud). This tag also will be rendered in the histor-style after the update of 2020, but the standard tagging now is (natural=wetland) and (wetland=tidalflat).

Update 1-2020

Diary entry concerning the update


  • zoom 19 now visible (thanks to thilo)

points / symbols

  • some new symbols for doctors, veterinaries, post-office (in red), shipwrecks, townhall and some other
  • a symbol for a craftsman workshop (often inside a block of houses) in zoom 16 and smaller, tag is amenity = craftsman
  • a symbol for a mark point ("Prigge") at a way about tidal land (<= zoom 16 - the tag is man_made = tidalway)
  • streetcar-stops and their name now in red as the streetcar-line itself
  • a symbol for unused subway-stations or stations in construction
  • we have a symbol for an animal-shelter from zoom 16. It is a cat - sorry to all, who like dogs more
  • new symbols for dog-park, container and nightclub (music-club), artwork, Concert Halls.
  • suburb-names now in italics and in brown - to make a better difference to village.

lines, ways

  • streetcar-lines from zoom-level 14 now are in red (as at usual town-maps)
  • buslines (as streetcar-lines) in green (as usual in town-maps)
  • name of streetcar-lines in red and name of subway-lines in blue
  • colours of streets are changed
  • Motorways, truncks, primary and secondary in zoom 11 with casings
  • freight-railways now are to seen in sierra-brown, tagging with railway=rail and service=freight
  • the dyke-line is more strong now
  • also the histor-style now show the tree-row
  • steps with side-casing

areas, landuse

  • farmland = now the colour is much brighter because this landuse had made the map too dark
  • garden (tag is leisure = garden) now in a light spring-green to make a difference to public parks
  • plant-nurseries with a special pattern (tagging as usual landuse = plant_nursery)
  • the natural-reserve lost its ugly "NR" letters for a small stroke in green
  • tidalflat now with pattern "mud" as better image for this areas
  • wetland-tagging now as in the standard-style


In the standard mode, you have only "ferry-lines" - a short ferry only for people to foot or a longer ferry for cars or a very long shipping line. Now you can mark your "ferry" for different service.

In your ferry-line [route = ferry] you mark a point. Then tag this point with service = shipping oder service = car or service = no-car. To this you can give as second tag a name for your "ferry". By "shipping" the node is marked with a ship-symbol, by "car" with a car-symbol and by "no-car" with a car red striped, what means = no cars possible. In the standard-style, these markers will not appear, but they make no mistake there.


Only a decorative feature (as many OSM-symbols) - but in OSM-Standard harbours are a little bit hidden. Nevertheless - 95 % of all goods international go with the ship, so harbours have their importance.

Your harbours must not more hide in the djungle of all the city-features. You can mark the port with a symbol (an anchor in different modi). Make a node and tag it harbour = main for a great international harbour, harbour = middle for smaller ports of regional importance and harbour = small for little ports, f.e. fishing or so. You can give a name - or not, then mostly is clear, to which town the harbour belongs. A name might give you problems with the place at the rendering. So better is without name, if there are not many place.

For a military Navy-base you can use harbour = navy. Here the anchor is in a warning orange background. Visible from zoom 10 ("10 km") like [harbour = main].

"Main" is to seen from zoom 8 ("50 km"), "middle" from zoom 10 ("10 km) and "small" from zoom 12 ("3 km"). Maybe sometimes the rendering of the symbol has a problem with the place - then try an other place nearby, if the symbol is not to see.


Lighthouse for ship-traffic you see at zoom 10 ("10 km") - in standard at zoom 15 ("300 m ") - too late for the man at the bridge of the ship. Tag as usual: man_made = lighthouse

Names of Landscapes

This names for areas or landscapes are useful to mark an not-administrative area. You tag the place and then the name, the place shall show.

  • place = landscape (at zoom 8), name in dezent green-brown.
  • place = locality (at zoom 12), name in dezent green-brown.
  • place = bight (at zoom 6), name in strong blue.
  • place = strait (at zoom 10), name in strong blue.

Natural resources

To show the natural resources, OGF has no special tag. But if you had oil under the soil, now you can take it from down under the earth with the tag man_made = borehole (see 12, -15.5289, 39.7358).

Other natural ressources avaiable are:

  • copper-mine is man_made = copper. You see two crossed hammers with orange-red background
  • other metal is man made = metal. You see two crossed hammers with grey background (may be the metal gold, tin, zinc or an other)
  • coal is man_made = coal. You see two crossed hammers in black with chamois background as marker for the coal-mine
  • mineral-water spring is man_made = mineral_water. You see a little fontaine in blue (here 15, -14.2303, 46.7854).

All this units are to set as a single node. They are all visible at zoom-level 9 ("20 or 30 km"). If they stand too much dense, some are visible at zoom-level 10. A given name will not appear - I work at this problem.

Motorways in construction

Motorways in construction you can see at zoom 10 ("10 km") instead of level 12 ("3 km") as in the standard-view. Therefore both tags are necessary as usual: highway = construction and construction = motorway. Residential streets in construction in the histor-style are mapped lesser eye-catching.

Name of county

The boundary of your counties (admin_level = 6) you see in the standard-style at zoom 11 or more, but the tag county=place and the name for the county is not visible in standard mode. In this style you can see the boundaries and the names of the counties at zoom 9 ("20 km") in violet.


Roads have in OSM has many different levels as motorway, trunk, primary, secondary, tertiary, residential, service and so on. Meanwhile, rails are only just "rails" - nothing else. No difference between high-speed-traffic or commuter railways. But it varies differently on histor-style.

The first tag railway = rail is further necessary to see your rails in the standard style.

  • For Hi-speed or main lines you take as second tag service = main. These lines will appear in dark red (#812222) and they are a little bit broader as the other railways.
  • For local commuter-lines is the second tag service = local. These lines are olive (#556724).
  • for "freight-only" tracks is the second tag service = freight. This lines occur in "light-brown".
  • For "normal" railways you work as usual only with the tag [railway = rail]. These lines are grey as they now are.

In standard-style you see the "main", "freight" and "local" as usual in dark grey. An example of the coloured railways see 15, -13.4165, 39.7012. They are visible at zoom 12 ore more.

You can give your railway a short name or number, if you tag name = xyz or 123 . This markers will appear at zoom-level 15 ("300 m")

Stations (for railway and Metro)

Stations in OSM and OpenGeoFiction only are shown as blue quadrate (square) - may it be a main-station of a great city, a metro-station or a small halt in the deep offside of the prairie, where fox and rabbit say "good night". So now in histor-style you can set more difference in your map.

  • railway = station and nothing else as the name makes for you the normal station as usual, visible at zoom 11
  • railway = station and service = main makes a red square, visible at zoom 10 for your important stations or as marker for stops of your hi-speed-trains. Logically the tracks for this station too should be tagged with (service = main)
  • railway = station and service = local makes a yellow point with the same green as the local-rails. This is for stations, where only commuter-trains stops. Visible at zoom 10.
  • railway=station and service = metro makes a smaller yellow point with blue to show the metro- /underground- / U-Bahn- / subway - stations. I named the tag "metro", because I am a friend of short tags. Visible at zoom 12. In zoom 11 the metro-stations have the normal small blue square as in the standard-style.(Example in 16, -13.4898, 39.6655).

In standard-style you see for all stations as now a blue quadrat, may be tagged with a service-note or not.

The name of your stations appear - as usual in standard-style - at zoom 13.

Not in any case your station-marker will be visible at the place, you seek it (in histor-style or in standard-style). If there is not enough place for the system to show (may be there are important streets or buildings), then the station-marker is hidden. Then try please in an other zoom-level.

Subway-lines (Metro-lines)

Subway-lines will appear in blue and they are visible at zoom 11 ("5 km") * (standard is zoom 12 = "3 km" and in black). If not in tunnel, the line is at zoom 14 ("500 m") dashed blue-white like railway-tracks. The tags are to use in the same way as in the standard-style.

With name = red line or name = line 4 or only 4 you can mark your metro-line in the djungle of knotpoints in your city. This marker will appear at zoom 17 ("100 m").


The tags nature=wetland with wetland=tidalflat (older tagging nature=mud) are used for tidalflats - the land between hi- and low-water - and is to see in standard-style at zoom 13, in the histor-style at zoom 10 as important feature of the coast. On the map this area is rendered with the more realistic looking "mud"-pattern instead of the standard wetland-pattern.

Is there very wet land - this can be tagged only with natural=wetland and no futher "wetland = xy"-declaration. The renderer then show only the wetland-pattern on white ground.

If there is land almost wet, but defined as marsh, swamp or mangrove, you tag as first natural=wetland and then as second tag wetland=marsh or wetland=swamp or wetland = mangrove as usual. Here the wetland-pattern will overlay the patterns for marsh, swamp or mangrove.

Because the areas in landuse or natural are rendered first, the isolated tag natural=wetland can overlays other areas, because rendered later. Therefore you can overlay (may be partly) a tagged meadow (or other area) to show this meadow as potentially wet area. The same result give the older tag natural=marsh, but this tag in the OSM-world (and the OGF-world) shall not more be used.