Archipelagos in Sweden

Hello everyone, I have a question about the archipelagos in Sweeden. Per Wikipedia, there are 2 Stockholm Archipelago - Wikipedia and Gothenburg archipelago - Wikipedia but on OSM every small islet or bare rock that is a part of them is having a place=archipelago tag. Should these tags be removed from each element and put in one relation for each of the Archipelagos since by its definition it is a group of a lot of small islands?

I have learnt that a relation should not be a list of items of same type. Like group all house addresses of a town in a relation.

See: Relations are not categories - OpenStreetMap Wiki

Putting all Archipelagos in one and same relation looks like an error.

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No, not putting all archipelagos into one more archipelago relation. The idea is to remove archipelago tag from all small islets and bare rocks and create one archipelago with all its members. My point is that you have Stockholm Archipelago which has 100 small named islets, but you do not have 100 small archipelagos. Does is makes more sense now?


I’m not sure about what is best.

I have posted this question in the general Help and Support category.

Stockholm Archipelago which has 100 small named islets, but you do not have 100 small archipelagos.

Personally I would map the single 100 islands as place=island or islet and then using them as outers for a place=archipelago multipolygon relation.


Is it even possible to say exactly which islands or islets make up the Stockholm archipelagos? Otherwise I think the place=archipelago should just go as a node somewhere in the middle of the archipelago.


Maybe this is what you are looking for Stockholm Archipelago - Wikipedia?

There is no formal definition. The corresponding Swedish Wikipedia page clearly says in the introduction “Området saknar formell avgränsning”.

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But now you have bunch of wrong archipelagos, the idea is to have 2, with all current ones tagged as archipelagos. You dont have correct info on the map, this is just step forward. Once when someone posts the list of islets etc we can update the Archipelagos relations.

is this ok?

I feel that a relation of with only of the islands would be as bad as one without the mainland coastline and I just cant figure out what is a good action. So a node it is.

Ok, I agree after all is said, but we still need to remove the archipelago tag from the other islets, bare rocks, etc. Do you agree?

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Did you remove them now?

I’ve thought about it some more and now I think I remember why we are/I am using archipelago in Stockholm. Look a this relation: Relation: ‪Gallskären‬ (‪11620953‬) | OpenStreetMap I am guessing what happened was that I did not really want to create a relation and then tagged the islands with archipelago instead. Probably because I am not a big fan of relations. If those islands were created by me then they should be converted to relations named by the specific island group they belong to.

I put that node there because I think there should be one, but I thought this discussion was about Stockholm Archipelago rather than about “a group of islands”. Have you looked around how the other archipelagos are tagged? There is a long list on wikipedia. List of archipelagos - Wikipedia I also tried searching for archpelagos on overpass turbo

So basically what has happened here is that archipelago has several meanings, one “an area of islands that needs to be grouped together”, a “cultural socioeconomic area”, a “spefically named place that is named archipelago”, a “OSM specific way to tag something”.

No, I haven’t removed anything, I wanted to get approval from the local community first. I find it rude to just go and do it as I wish, so this is why I am contacting you all on Telegram and this forum. What you have sent me (the relation that you have created) is exactly the issue I am referring to. So this Gallskaren is a group of bare rocks, so place=archipelago is wrong. I was thinking about cleaning these up. For example, look at this relation of Frisian Islands. This is the modeling I would like to recommend.
If you take a look at overpass turbo there are more than 200 archipelagos around Göteborg, there are a couple of archipelagos in the lakes, which is not how they should be defined.
If there is no consensus on creating a relation, I am fine with placing a node to have the correct info on the map but would like approval from the community to replace place=archipelago on bare rocks, etc, that are not really archipelagos. Am I clear with the request, I have a feeling that we are on the same page, but just not saying the same sentences :wink:

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Also I have found this article about Stockholms skärgård – Wikipedia

Sorry. I was on the same page but not now.

I understood why those are tagged like that. In this case I’m guessing @archie tagged Gallskären as an Archipelago. It is used here as a reference to “a group of islands”, like in “Galapagos islandS” or GallskärEN".

Do you want to remove those kinds of relations, and what do you want to replace them with?

Gallskären and all other group of small islets on the west coast of Sweden are thougthfully editet and tagged acc to wiki (

About the wiki article (Gothenburg archipelago - Wikipedia).
Göteborgs norra skärgård and Göteborgs södra skärgård denotes the totality of islands and islets north and south of the city of Gothenburg. It would be a rather important news item in Sweden if you would come forward with a definition of exact which islands and islets are included in either. The northern boundary of the city of Gothenburg is however the boundary between norra and södra skärgården. But, again this is not official. There might be people, which count in islands in norra skärgården while others count in the same in södra skärgården. Göteborgs norra skärgård resp Göteborgs södra skärgård is just as saying “the islands off the southern coast of Göteborg” or “the islands off the northern coast of Götborg”. Nothing more.
It is rather futile to bother more about these things. There are no clear definitions here. People here have for hundreds of years refered to either norra or södra skärgården refering to where there had been things happening (drownings, good fishinng, smuggling etc).

I like that idea, but to me it seems the wiki explicitly contradicts that, stating that archipelago in OSM shouldn’t be used for an archipelago the size of a whole sea, but rather a few islands clustered together.

I think the main contradiction is between using of the tag description with the description of the Archipelago itself. Not every group of islands should be archipelago, but if you blindly follow the description, you will use it for every named group. I think that Sweden should have some list of archipelagos, at least someone from the geography department should know this. Is there such an institution that we can ask for clarification?

Lots of governmental institutions dealing with such questions, and I don’t know which one would be the best to ask off the top of my head.
However, Wikipedia has lots of them in a category: Kategori:Skärgårdar i Sverige – Wikipedia
It seems to be most common that there’s no formal definition for what islands and islets are included.

NB! The topmost link goes to the category with lists of “island-groups”, ie what OSM calls archipelago.