Can leisure=maze be considered deprecated over attraction=maze?

For mazes, there currently exist two tags which are documented to be “in use” in the wiki: currently more popular attraction=maze and the older leisure=maze (which as of mid 2023 also has a note suggestion to please use the other tag).

I would like to bring the discussion from the following github issue to a larger audience: Deprecate `leisure=maze` (-> `attraction=maze`) by westnordost · Pull Request #1102 · openstreetmap/id-tagging-schema · GitHub

As it would be preferred to only have a single tag for Mazes in OSM: Is there a consensus that the leisure=maze tag should not be used anymore, and therefore be considered deprecated over the tag attraction=maze?

Big disclaimer: Note that it is fair to assume that the current relative popularity difference of the tags (see graph) is in large parts because iD supports only one of these tags as a dedicated preset.


Also note the abandoned attraction=maze proposal. Looks like there was some discussion at the time about the attraction key not being useful, however, it is clearly well used now with de facto status.

I’d be happy to see leisure=maze deprecated in favour of attraction=maze. Attraction seems a better key for this feature, is widely used and (obviously) has data editor support.


I prefer the leisure=maze tag to “attraction”, as it gives context.

this proposal also seems to equate the terms maze and labyrinth so it was a good idea to abandon it

I’m not sure what you mean, what context would be lacking from attraction=maze?

Do you mean that sometimes mazes might be stand-alone features? In which case, they could also be tagged with tourism=attraction.

Or improve it. But the point was to reference the discussion around the use of leisure or attraction. Though it is worth noting that the usage of attraction has substantially increased since that discussion.

No need to have two tags for the same thing.

I am somewhat indifferent which of the two tags should be used, but since by now, one of the two tags clearly won in terms of popularity, I’d stick with that.

Reverting that would only make sense if there are strong reasons why attraction=maze would be a bad idea, and I am not aware of any.

That the adoption was significantly boosted by iD is an interesting fact but ultimately this lies 5+ years in the past and already before that, since 10+ years attraction=maze was more popular that leisure=maze.


I think mazes fit in with the general nature of the leisure tag better than the attraction tag most of the time. There are probably ones that would be best described as private too and tagging something private with an attraction tag is contradictory at best.

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I’d say a maze can equally be seen as a place of leisure or an attraction as well, but I fullly agree to

(not only for mazes but many other objects as well).

As attraction=maze is by far more used I think it would be good to go on with this tag and agree to deprecate leisure=maze.

This is a good point. I had only been thinking of mazes that were attractions, but there are some private ones. A quick OT search shows there are currently 20 mazes globally tagged as attraction=maze + access=private. There are 3 tagged as leisure=maze + access=private.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get attraction=* + access=private to run on OT (probably too much data to search through, or maybe I was doing something wrong) so I’m not sure if private access tags are used very often on other attractions.

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I suspect if you stopped the proverbial person on the Clapham Omnibus and asked them to define the terms, you’d get “they mean much the same thing”, unless they know a bit of Greek mythology and mention Ariadne et al. A while back I mapped this (see here for a better view). By your definition I suspect that’s technically a labyrinth, but it is definitely signed as a maze.

Attractions often have access tags. I don’t really see that as a reason to favor moving off of the more popular tag. For example, there are plenty of attraction=water_slide that aren’t public.

definitely there can be found (and mapped) lots of labyrinths which do not match the attraction or leisure expectation, short search in commons led to these for example:

I have seen the subkey maze=meditation_labyrinth for the depiction with folks walking through it.

the wiki says, the tag is used " an area filled with footways that are separated by walls, hedges, corn plants, or other barriers. People walk through them for fun, trying to find the exit."

this isn’t the case for any of the labyrinths that I gave as examples, because these labyrinths don’t have “barriers” and most of them are not accessible / walkable, they may be wall paintings, floor decorations, engravings. In a labyrinth, “trying to find the exit” is not the thing because there is only one way.
Maybe we can have a subtype “classical_labyrinth”? Or maybe this is its own main type? It can be an artwork_subject ?
Clearly, one single tag for anything labyrinth and maze related is not sufficient, if we decide to use the same tag for mazes built in stone and those made with hedges and those created with maize plants, this is fine, but also adding small engravings to it would be too inclusive.

Aaaah, a meditation maze or mediation labyrinth… found the below in mountain area imagery 10 days ago but could not get at it so left a note, too small to be a labyrinth, JOSM measures it as 24 meters in diameter.

those engraved in church walls or otherwise can also be 24 centimeters in diameter, it’s not about the size, it is a concept

You misunderstand, too small to have walls/hedges as seen on a full labyrinth ;O)


Unfortunately I couldn’t get attraction=* + access=private to run on OT

Yeah, these kind of queries are tricky for the overpass API. The ohsome dashboard can do a bit more in such situations, e.g.: attraction tags with access=private or access tags on attraction=* objects:

There are currently almost 100 attraction features with access=private, most commonly with the following values: animal (31), water_slide (30), maze (20), summer_toboggan (5).


The examples you gave for labyrinths are most definitely out of scope of the tag in question, thus off topic for this conversation. But thanks for raising the awareness of the distinction. (PS: I would assume the original author of the proposal was experiencing a false friend on this term, like I initially did myself. PSS: I’d personally consider a tag like tourism=artwork for these kind of labyrinths.)

I’m summarizing that there seems to be a consensus in that a single tag is sufficient for tagging mazes.

Whether leisure or tourism should have been used as the primary tag key is of course debatable, but at the end of the day it does IMHO not really matter: both tags are similarly easy to remember for mappers who use raw tags, both tags do not collide with additional tags potentially used on the same object, etc.

So I guess it would be best to go on with the pragmatic solution to stick with the currently (and FWIW for the last 10+ years) more popular tag attraction=maze.


I think “has to have physical walls” is a bit more restrictive than native English speakers think of as “a maze”. I would suggest that the tag be made a bit more inclusive with various other tags for sub classes of “maze”.

A chalk drawing on the ground can very easily be “a maze” even through it has zero height IMO.