Tagging for certain temples

I have mapped certain Chinese style temples, for example, San Chao Chomthong (ศาลเจ้าจอมทอง), as amenity=place_of_worship with religion=buddhist just as I do for wats all around Thailand. But I’m not sure if this is correct.

Do the people attending these temples practice Buddhism?

There are only a few of these temples in OSM so far but I’m curious. What does “San Chao” mean when it appears as part of the name instead of Wat, as it does in the case I mentioned?

Dave, ‘Sanchao’ means ‘shrine’, followed by a revered person’s name. It’s a shrine, bc it’s associated with a person rather than a religion. For sure not Buddhist. Yuphin says they are a mixture of Chinese religions.

There is a Thai Wikipedia page that maybe Nut can make some sense of https://th.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B8%A8%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A5%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%88%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%B2

Yep, I got the same answer concerning “San chao” from someone else. So, how does one best tag such a place?
Tags for religion aren’t correct, nor is place_of_worship. I think it might be best to use

memorial=shrine ( or maybe memorial:type=shrine)

I might take the question of proper tagging, or sub-tagging, to the tagging list because there is some controversy about the tag using semicolons. Or maybe just “do my own thing” and add both tags to cover all bases.


Precisely the religion should be described as Chinese folk religion, also referred to as Shenism. The term is rather obscure, though, and isn’t used in OSM. Most Chinese shrines are tagged with religion=taoist, which is close enough.

Thanks, Paul,

According to the Wiki the religion=* tag requires the amenity=place_of_worship tag as well. Are these places actual places_of_worship or should we just ignore the Wiki (it’s often wrong or out-of-date anyway) and simply add the religion=taoist tag to the others?

I don’t see why it shouldn’t be tagged as a place of worship. The associated persons Tom Layo mentioned are almost always gods; it fits pretty well into the religious definition.

A related, more problematic category would be the shrines dedicated to Hindu gods such as the Erawan Shrine. It’s dedicated to Bhrama, a Hindu god, but is attended by generally Buddhist Thais, not Hindu practitioners. The practice is a mix of native Thai animism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, so the current religion=hinduism is quite misleading.

Okay, I’m satisfied with what I’ve got. I will merely add the historic tag to the others, use religion=taoist and call it good.

Thanks to you both.