[RFC] Feature Proposal - coat of arms

The goal is to add a tag for coat of arms to all austrian municipality which have one. The information for the coat of arms is available at wikipedia/wikimedia.

E.g. For the municipality Sattledt in upper austria this would be https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Wappen_at_sattledt.png.

The proposed tag would be coat_of_arms. The wikimedia data is in the public domain and shouldn’t be a problem to use it.

My personal use case is to use the images in an application as an icon. The tag could simplify the access to coat of arms for a certain region as the access is way easier on osm than on wikipedia/wikidata. This could benefit other people.


Lieber Nikolaus,

Herzlich willkommen in der OSM Community. Schön, dass du dein Projekt hier einbringst.

Da du neu hier bist, vermute ich ein Missverständnis, was ein offizielles Proposal benötigt und wie man das angeht.

Wenn du einfach etwas in OSM eintrafen willst, brauchst du kein Proposal, sondern du kannst einfach loslegen.

Wenn du Hilfe benötigst oder dich mit anderen Mapper:innen abstimmen willst, wie man etwas am besten eintragen sollte, dann fragst du am besten hier im Forum nach (ohne offizielles Proposal)

Wenn du ein neues Tagging einführen willst, dann KANNST du ein Proposal starten. Musst du aber nicht. Du darfst auch eigens ausgedachte Tags einfach so eintragen. Ein Proposal führt zu vielen und durchaus intensiv geführten Diskussionen, die dich als Neuling wahrscheinlich überfordern würden. Ich rate dir, dass du dein Proposal stoppst und mal im Österreichischen Community-Bereich dein Projekt vorstellst. Wir sind viele gescheite Leute und können dir hoffebtlich viele Möglichkeiten aufzeigen, wie du dein Ziel erreichen kannst. Und wahrscheinlich gibt es Wege, die weniger aufwändig sind als ein Proposal.

Liebe Grüße

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You will need to consider this with whether to add flags on boundary=administrative . There are only 2 flag:wikidata= with such use. Wikidata shouldn’t be very difficult with SPARQL or something, which is more general than Overpass for OSM only.
Instead or alongside similar to flag:wikidata= on =flagpole , this might be used for the physical emblems mounted or printed on structures , doors and gates, etc. But then it should be coat_of_arms:wikimedia_commons= (3 flag:wikipedia_commons= , and 4 flag:image= that can be converted to the former). This logically doesn’t neglect the use of coat_of_arms:wikidata= either. The 63 coat_of_arms | Keys | OpenStreetMap Taginfo are already in the =File:* format, but lacking this suffix specification.

This already existing flag:* tagging schema in combination with man_made=flagpole could be a good starting point for coat_of_arms:*.

As you hint at, this data is already available in Wikidata. When you look at the Wikidata entries for Austrian municipality, they typically have a “coat of arms image” property.

As one random example, the OSM element for Altenberg bei Linz has the wikidata=Q436729 tag. Using this ID gets you to the wikidata entry for the municipality:

That Wikidata entry, in turn, has a lot of machine-readable data, including a coat of arms image.

I think it’s best not to duplicate the efforts of another open data project. It’s better if each project focuses on their respective strengths. As an application developer, I would encourage you to use the wikidata=* tags available in OSM to access that additional information.


flag:* indicates something apparent on the ground: a man_made=flagpole flies a particular flag or, more rarely, a building is painted up in a tricolor.

An analogy would be if we were to coin an artwork_type=coat_of_arms so that the following display of arms over a doorway could be tagged as tourism=artwork artwork_type=coat_of_arms coat_of_arms=Frecheville coat_of_arms:wikidata=Q94520838:

But that seems quite different than this proposal, which would tag the Frecheville boundary itself with its coat of arms.

flag | Keys | OpenStreetMap Taginfo for UK bus stop poles has been “abused” to include what’s equivalent to a flag:wikimedia_commons= on both =flagpole and boundary=

Interesting question - is coat_of_arms:=* a valid tagging on boundaries?

From my point of view, coat of arms are identifiers like written names, so yes, I think it’s a valid combination.

Well, I suppose that its validity depends on this proposal. The proposal to set the value to a URL pointing to an image of the coat of arms. This immediately raises some technical issues:

  • Can the image be hosted on any arbitrary website, or only Wikimedia Commons? Most data consumers would be averse to displaying an image from anywhere on the Internet, due to the risk of a security vulnerability, domain squatting leading to inappropriate imagery, etc.
  • In some jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, official coats of arms can be copyrighted. Commons can only host openly licensed images, such as a reproduction of a coat of arms that someone has drawn from scratch based on the heraldic description; typically, this representation visually differs from the original.
  • Commons often hosts a given coat of arms as multiple files in different formats. The proposal cites a PNG, which is tagged as needing conversion to SVG. What if an SVG is also available? What if the SVG is cruder or doesn’t render well in some browsers?

With a key named as generically as coat_of_arms, it’s bound to be used by others well beyond Austria, and on other kinds of features. After all, municipalities aren’t the only entities that can be granted arms. Why not a country, a school, a diocesan cathedral, or the residence of a politician?

In some countries, there’s technically no such thing as an official coat of arms. In Munich’s town hall, there is a display of the coats of arms of Munich’s sister cities. Cincinnati (United States) and Sapporo (Japan) don’t have coats of arms, so it depicts their seals instead:

Perhaps we could waive this distinction and allow seals and emblems too. On second thought, some cities are rather lacking in artistic talent; they’ve adopted logo-like emblems that would make KFC’s Colonel Sanders blush. :blush:

Perhaps you could provide more details about how you’re building your application – what languages or frameworks you’re using. With that information, the community here would be able to help you come up with a straightforward way to associate the boundary relations with Commons image URLs. There are a lot of APIs and tools for working with Wikidata or Commons that wouldn’t require manually tagging OSM elements and wouldn’t require a complicated tag voting process.

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