Minor touristic objects of local interest only

I have come across a lot of POI with objects interisting for tourists, but limited to local visitors only, like this old steam engine:

Node History: 8507014642 | OpenStreetMap

Many of those are tagged as tourism=attraction, whereas I understand this tag to be meant for touristic attractions in the sense of the description given by Wikipedia

to say places attracting people from near and far, like the Eiffel tower or the Vic Falls. Using this tag for objects of local interest which may by chance be visited by local tourists but do not “attract” any visitor from some distance dilutes the significance of this tag imho.

I understand that no sharp definition is possible to differentiate real attractions from local POI - it depends on the personal rating of the mapper, but I think it is not too difficult to make up your mind if an object is of interregional importance (Eiffel tower) or if it is a minor local point of interest (ancient steam machine).

That is why I would favour to have a separate tag for the local stuff like

tourism=minor_attraction or
tourism=attraction + attraction:type=minor_attraction

Just another example: There is a little stand wayside of a hiking trail offering a xylophone made of hollow wood logs playable by a wooden hammer. This is a nice gimmick for people passing by but it hurts to give such object the same “attraction” tag like the Empire State Building if you know what I mean.

Thanks for your comments.

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I agree. My understanding of the attraction tag is that it way created and places where it is for the benefit of tourists. It should inform and direct them to objects and places of interest. Those objects can be otherwise ordinary objects like a train or xylophone. Both have an inate function that is unrelated to tourism. So they should not have any tourism related tags.

I disagree. For major word-class tourism attractions you can add relevant tags (we can tag for example listing on unesco list, we can add wikipedia tag if it is notable enough to have own page and so on).

I am not aware of tourism=attraction being limited to object major enough to warrant travel from another country.


I have always considered tourism= as simply a broad high level category like amenity=, a label that is not to be taken too literally (see amenity=prison).

I am not sure if you want to treat tourism=attraction differently from other tourism tags like =information or =artwork. Do you think they should also be restricted to things that people travel to see? I think that would be an impossible distinction to draw for artworks, for example, and I don’t think =attraction is much different. For me, if it provides some kind of focal point or entertainment or visual pleasure for local people, that should be enough. It is the nature of the object that matters, not how famous it is.


literally (see amenity=prison).

Or the tourism tag, not all hotels are places a tourist would ever

The term “attraction” implies that the object attracts people (to come to a certain place to see a certain object) and that is my point. I did not say from another country but interregional. I understand a tourist attraction as something people are coming from other places specially to see this object, whereas the objects of minor interest have only local visitors who came to this area for other reasons.

As such “attraction” is not comparable to tourism=information or =artwork or =hotel.

Not to mention that a tourist attraction is commonly believed to be something big and truly important, such a Big Ben, but there are quite some tourists who also prefer to see the not-so-known/important attractions. A tourist attraction remains exactly, a place/thing to attract people, regardless how those people can comprehend it.

About the minor attraction proposal, I’m not really in favor it, basically for what has already been discussed above. If we want to give a notion of the importance of the attraction to the end-user/software, without utilizing the Wikidata/Wikipedia tag, maybe it could be an additional tag to show for example if it’s important to the local people, to the regional people, to the country or internationally important. It may not be applicable for all types of tourist attractions, like something generic such as this illuminated rock and these ducks.

For me it is sufficient that it would attract someone from 500m away, at least for some people (worth changing a route of already planned trip).


I’m wondering why you refer to Wikipedia and not to the definition, we (=OSM) have for the Tag:tourism=attraction - OpenStreetMap Wiki :wink:

It suppose to be used marking locations interesting for tourists. A minimum level does not exists.

This tagging does not distinguish between major tourism features (for example a theme park) and minor tourism attractions (for example a statue inside the theme park).

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The predominant reason for thinking about a refinement of this tag was not the definition in Wikipedia but myself coming across several of these “minor local attractions” which I did not have any problem to distinguish from objects attracting visitors from beyond the community borders.

For me these are “pass-by-objects”. You have a walk, you pass by such an object, you may think “oh this is quite nice” take a selfie probably and walk on. Hardly anyone would take a detour of even 500 meters to visit such a place and in many cases there isn’t even any sign pointing you the way.

The definition in the Wiki does not mean this tag may never be touched for refinement or more specific values, does it?

Thanks for your comments. My opinion about the use of this tag has not changed but I’m getting your point. No wahalla, it is not an important issue, just a minor thing so no need to worry about it.

In my opinion it’s never a good idea to redefine a tag, which is used since many years. Though it might be helpful to add tags in order to make a general tag more specific.

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+1 that is why I talked about refinement only :wink:

Although that becomes very subjective.

It is surprising where you find overseas tourists taking selfies, have learned not to try walking over Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in the summer.

True that some tourists concentrate on and are herded around capital cities such as London or Paris but independent travellers get to surprising places. On most of my trips to France I do not go near Paris.

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Because it is not a very good idea to let OSM drift away from the common meaning of words, as we will pay for it more and more as new contributors try to make sense of it?

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No, Wikipedia does not define them so, they mention “Some attractions are reserved for the local population or are rarely advertised”.

No, Wikipedia does not define them so, they mention “Some attractions are reserved for the local population or are rarely advertised”.

Not a fan of the tag here, we could deprecate it and it would be better I think. Rather than classifying something as an “attraction” (which could be anything and doesn’t describe the nature, and is sometimes based on history (events that happened there in the past) rather than the place/object as such), we should describe what it actually is, especially in the case of technical relics like steam engines or other historic machinery. Being an attraction is a property not a feature class that fits into our descriptive tagging

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definitely! tourism=attraction is never sufficient to define object

(using only name= and tourism=attraction without actual feature tag is a common mistake, tourism=attraction is only attribute)


After looking at some examples of tourism=attraction I completely understand why you are bringing this up. There’s no denying that the Eiffel tower is more of a tourist draw than, say, Gilbert the phone box, so it’s a bit odd that both are mapped with the same tag.

But drawing an objective distinction between major and minor attractions would be hard… Thinking about @Mateusz_Konieczny’s earlier suggestion, I wonder if it would be maybe more useful to systematically add Wikidata tags, where they exist, to tourist attractions. That’s a fairly simple thing to do, and then data consumers that want to treat the two examples above differently will be able to infer how important the attraction is from linked data, for example from Wikipedia page view statistics.
Overpass query

I tried this for a few objects in my area. It’s a surprisingly fun thing to do, because you learn more about local “attractions” including some you might not know about.


and add any other relevant tags (is it protected as heritage object? Add proper tags. If it some big tree - tagging height/circumference would be nice and so one. Is it waterfall? Tag its height. and so on).