How does one add a Feature Type to the list?

When I am adding new things to the map, I often find that I can’t find a feature type that really fits what I’m adding.

For example, I wanted to add a day spa, and the closest thing I could find was “beauty store”, which isn’t really accurate.

In another case just now, there’s a place that sells boats and marine supplies, but nothing like “boat shop”, “boat store”, “boat seller”, “marine supply store”, “marine supplies”, “boat gear”, “boat supplies”. How do you categorize something for which there isn’t a reasonable category?

Another example from today: a fly-fishing store. Fishing? Nope. Fly fishing? Nope. Outdoors? Nope. Recreation? Nope. Specialty store? Nope. How do you classify a specialty retailer like this without some more categories, or the ability to create one?

Yet, there are often weirdly specific feature types, like “Dairy Queen - Fast Food”, which I would think should be subsumed into the more generic “Fast Food” category, with the name “Dairy Queen” as the name of the business.

So, how would I go about adding a new category, like “day spa” or “marine supply store” or “boat seller” or “fly fishing store” or “specialty store”?

Don’t know what software your using to edit OSM but the software isn’t the leading tool, it’s the OSM wiki. Your tool maybe offers just self designed templates.

If you search there for “spa” you’ll find amenity=spa or better: leisure=spa. There is also a proposal tourism=spa_resort which may fit to your aims. A look at Taginfo shows that this tags are used most.

For marine supply and boat seller maybe shop=marine or shop=boat help? See

Ah, maybe that’s it. I’m using iD (the default in-browser editor). It gives me a pretty limited list of categories, and doesn’t allow me to add any new ones. I took a look at Potlatch, and it does the same thing. JOSM or Meerkator are probably out of my interest level for now.

As noted in the shop=boat article, it is better not to over-categorise in the main tag, and rather use supplementary tags for features. Over-categorising makes it difficult for data consumers. Especially with a lot of independent shops near me it can be difficult fit them into one category, but using multiple values or a custom category will confuse most consuming applications.

Also, as far as I know, both beginners’ editor can be used to set individual tags, but you may have to put them into a special show all mode. I actually think that their tendency to hide tags that don’t fit their limited model causes problems when beginners use them to edit, rather than create.

PS I don’t like the poposed deprecation of chandlers in the shop=boat article. Whilst it may not be a well known term in the US, it is in the UK. (Your case not really a chandlers.)

As for the shop=boat/marine/chandler tag, please note that is heavily discussed on the tagging mailing list: (discussion in March 2016)
continued in April

@GnuUser , in both iD and Potlatch you can add any tags you like. In iD go to “all tags”; in Potlatch go to “advanced”.


Thanks! That’s exactly what I was looking for.

Now, I can accurately label “feature=shop” and “type=fishing”, exactly as described in the wiki:

Much better.

Why not shop=fishing?

The iD editor gives you drop down boxes. You first have to select a “feature” for which one of the options is “shop”, and then you have to select a “type” where I was finally able to enter “fishing” instead of the standard options. I’m guessing that the “=” thing is used in a more advanced editor, but don’t really know.

As SomeoneElse said, both beginners’ editors have the ability to directly do shop=fishing, which really means set the value “fishing” for the tag called “shop”.

feature=shop has no meaning on the map, it is just basically a menu selection within the editor itself.

As I said, if you are editing an existing feature on the map, this behaviour of the editors can be a liability, as you fail to see important information that may affect how you actually do the edit.

I think we’re talking about the same thing, although it would be nice to be able to upload a screenshot to be sure. I have not actually typed “feature=shop” or “type=fishing” anywhere. The iD editor gives you forms to fill out, and I entered “shop” in the feature field and “fishing” in the type field.

Just to be sure, here is the precise list of steps I took in creating the item:

When I created the item, I clicked on the button for “Point” and clicked on the map to place the new node. I was then asked to “Select Feature Type” and given a list of options like park, restaurant, cafe, etc. I selected “Shop”. There were other options like Gift Shop, Pawn Shop, etc., but nothing fit.

After selecting “Shop”, the system brought me to an “Edit Feature” screen, with fields for Name, Type, Address, etc. I entered the store’s name in the Name field, and entered “fishing” in the Type field, which automatically creates a tag “shop” with an entry next to it called “fishing”. The information button next to this tag brings up the following note:

Store where you can buy fishing equipment .
View on OpenStreetMap Wiki (

So, I’m hoping that this is correct.

If you go to you can see the actual tags and values on your latest edit. I would have put something like “Gig Harbour Fly Shop: correct shop type” as the changeset comment.

iD seems to miss the opening_hours tag from this template, although it is suggested in wiki.

It’s correct.