Short URLs in OSM

When providing URLs for the documentation, for example, in posters or with QR codes, the URLs are very long and difficult to type, or they generate QR codes with many dots (for high-resolution cameras). It will be interesting to have a URL shortening mechanism based on the domain; however, I don’t know where to post this idea.

Another thing could be to have a wiki mechanism that automatically provides a short URL for the articles.

This idea came from this poster with 3 tinyurls that point to the wiki.


There are a few tricks that allow you to shave off characters from OSM urls.

First, generally forwards to This works for pretty much every first-party OSM resource.

Second, some OSM services have additional means to shorten URLs. For example:

  • The map has shortlinks.
  • This community forum allows you to omit topic titles and such from the URL. So this thread could be linked as
  • Some Wiki pages with long titles have user-created redirects. And you can omit the /wiki part of the URL for all wiki pages. (I wish MediaWiki allowed making those shorter URLs the default.)

So your example of
could be

Just 3 extra characters (32 instead of 29) and it gives the user an idea what the link is about without having to open all 3 of them first.

And of course, if you want to shave off characters from a printed URL, omitting the https:// would be an obvious next step.

A good start would be to make links like my example above more easy to discover. This could be a good addition to the wiki sidebar alongside the existing “Permalink” feature.


There is even :smile:, so you can link to


As mentioned above, there are plenty of shortcuts that can cut down URL lengths. If there’s still interest in creating truly short URLs for the wiki, the URLShortener MediaWiki extention can provide this functionality, generating links such as This sacrifices readability of the page name to create an even shorter URL.

For a demo, visit Special:UrlShortener on Wikimedia’s meta-wiki.

That means that extension should be installed in the wiki? Or how can I make it work?

You’re right - the extension would have to be installed on the OSM wiki for it to be able to shorten OSM wiki links. I should have made this clearer in my post.