Mapping sun shade sails (e.g. over a pool)


I was wondering what the typical way to map a sun shade sail is in Aus/NZ? I ask as I know these are very common there.

I wouldn’t call it a roof. Perhaps man_made=canopy but this usage doesn’t seem very common in Aus/NZ especially considering their proliferation in real-life.

So am I missing something?



Great question, given there is some usage already I think man_made=canopy is ideal.


I’d add that you can also tag the feature it’s covering (e.g playground) with weather_protection=canopy. Key:weather_protection - OpenStreetMap Wiki


I think I’ve used amenity=shelter + shelter_type=sun_shelter for this sort of thing before. Perhaps man_made=canopy is a better fit though.

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I’ve done a little bit of analysis on the current usage of this tag (as I’d like to document it on the Wiki before using).

Currently there are 1,272 uses of man_made=canopy.

Of these, 418 (32.9%) are also tagged with building=*:

building=* n %
roof 336 80.4
carport 46 11.0
yes 25 6.0
shed 4 1.0
garage 3 0.7
balcony 1 0.2
hospital 1 0.2
hotel 1 0.2
school 1 0.2

Additionally, 104 (8.2%) are also tagged with amenity=*:

amenity=* n %
parking 52 50.0
fuel 18 17.3
shelter 13 12.5
dressing_room 7 6.7
place_of_worship 7 6.7
bicycle_parking 4 3.8
bar 1 1.0
trolley_bay 1 1.0
waste_disposal 1 1.0

of those tagged with amenity=shelter, 10 are also tagged with shelter_type=*:

shelter_type=* n %
picnic_shelter 6 60
public_transport 2 20
roof 1 10
weather_shelter 1 10

Only 8 (0.6%) instances of man_made=canopy are also tagged with material=* and all of these are for the value glass.

Interestingly, only 1 instance man_made=canopy was also tagged with weather_protection and the value for this was pergola.

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For me, a canopy is probably defined by being made of a fabric material hung/tied/attached to several supporting poles or walls.

I would generally not class it as a “building” or “roof” structure which feels much more permanent than a canopy. But I suppose a canopy could act as a shade structure for more than just pools/playgrounds, so maybe tagging alongside building=carport etc does make sense.

Interested to hear others’ thoughts.

See no mention similar to roof only of the obligatory layer=1. Many outdoor pools here have a ground bound capony in winter a cover. Never would i map these temporary fixtures.

Good point. Currently, 304 (23.9%) of man_made=canopy are tagged with layer=*:

layer n %
1 295 97.0
2 8 2.6
-1 1 0.3

So the downside to amenity=shelter + shelter_type=sun_shelter is that it implies a more rigid structure than what we have here? The wiki description makes it sound like a good fit, except for the mention of “roof” - I agree it’s a bit of a stretch to call these sails “roofs”.

Having said that, they do still feel to me like a kind of shelter (which made me think they should live somewhere under amenity=shelter). Perhaps I’m overthinking that though.

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It’s there to keep the sun off, so I’d agree with you. :sunny: :parasol_on_ground: :sunglasses:


If the shade sail is over a playground, shouldn’t it be leisure=playground, and if over a pool, leisure=pool? and then shelter_type=sun_shelter?

Came across this seeing a number of shade sails in and around Motueka marked as “building”


& I’d map it as 2 areas, one for the pool, then another over it as the shelter.