I want to add POI management functionality to an existing software project. Though providing a list of categories seems a bit tricky. On one side, I do not want to reinvent the wheel and create my own categories. On the other side, I could not find a definitive "source of truth" for categorizing POIs.

What POI lists do you know of, and what would be your advice for choosing a set of categories?

To give a bit more context: I'm aware that OSM has a quite extensive tag list. Besides OSM, there are various vendors having custom / proprietary POI lists. There may also be standards that I'm not aware of which define POI categories as well.

My software tries to address a broad range of POI categories, making it easy for existing solutions to adopt my software. Though since there is no such thing as a standard (that I'm aware of) defining POI categories, I wonder if there is something like a common denominator, e.g. a list of "default" tags that is commonly accepted by different vendors or standards, like a "restaurant" or "toilet" tag.

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    Is it enough : wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Map_features ? and I think you can trust the source. Aug 3, 2021 at 13:03
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    Which country are you mapping POI's in? I'm sure Afghanistan would have a very different opinion than say the UK... Check the national mapping agency as they may have a definitive dictionary of terms?
    – Hornbydd
    Aug 3, 2021 at 16:30
  • It‘s for a worldwide available application. The OSM list is not enough. That I mentioned and know already.
    – benjist
    Aug 4, 2021 at 20:03
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    Please clean up your tags, I don't see how any of them except for "point-of-interest" are relevant here. Aug 5, 2021 at 5:56
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    The question has only the tag openstreetmap so we can't guess, IMHO, that you have already checked the POI list and found it not enought detailled. I think you can add more context to your question to tell where did you search. An other point, I think it's more an open data stack exchange question than GIS one. Aug 5, 2021 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


I don't know if there are any off-the-shelf solutions to do what you want (perhaps by interogating the taginfo api), but it is an active research topic.

Several researchers have proposed ontologies (or methods for building ontologies) of osm POIs. The general idea is to define a reference vocabulary that allows to link the different tags naming the same type of object, which could act as a default tag list.

I think this article are a good starting point : SONET: A Semantic Ontological Network Graph for Managing Points of Interest Data Hetereogeneity


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