A simple survey and proposal about tagging cram schools

Posted by yumean1119 on 22 May 2019 in English (English).

This is the English version of


I have wanted to organize tagging schemes of educational institutions outside school. I conducted a simple survey to understand the current situation, using cram schools as an example.

For this survey, we focused on “Meiko Gijuku”(明光義塾), which is a nationwide chain of tutoring schools.

When I typed “明光義塾” into OpenStreetMap Nominatim, 49 POIs appeared. (As of May 22, 2019)

Here is the result:

Number of tags

amenity=school 18

amenity=prep_school 14

amenity=training 5

office=educational_institution 4

office=company 2

amenity=preschool 1

shop=yes 1

only building=* 4

Findings and my opinions:

amenity=school and amenity=prep_school account for about 2/3 of the total.

*amenity=school is obviously considered inappropriate. I think this should be limited to formal schools (Both public and private).

*Both English and Japanese pages for amenity=prep_school in the OSM wiki pages have only one line . Also, as far as I have looked up the preliminary school on wikipedia,

I think it is appropriate to interpret it as a “high school” to prepare for advancing to higher education, but at least these “high schools” in Japan are nothing but amenity=school.

*amenity=training has been abandoned.

*amenity=preschool is the old tag for preschool and is now replaced by amenity=kindergarten.

The spelling is very similar to prep_school, and it is also linked from JA: How to map a, so a mapper may have used it incorrectly.

*In my opinion,the most appropriate current tag for representing cram schools is office=educational_institution.

However, as far as I can see from Meikogijuku, there is only one person who uses this other than me.

And the wiki page says it is intended to be used for public education organizations such as boards of education.

For non-public education services, we are encouraged to use amenity=prep_school.


I have to say that any tag used to describe cram schools is problematic.

So I would like to exploit Mr/Mrs erkinalp’s proposal

and suggest using a tag like office=educational_institution + education=cram_school. What do you think about this?

Feel free to give me comments and vote which of the following 1 - 4 you would like to support. Until June 30, 2019.

(1) Cram schools are indicated by office=educational_institution + education = cram_school. (My suggestion)

(2) Cram schools should be represented by amenity=prep_school. We will have to discuss the definition of amenity=prep_school and improve the wiki page description. (Proposals for improvement after confirming the current situation)

(3) We should create completely new tags.

(4) Other

Comment from ConsEbt on 23 May 2019 at 03:42

Hello, I suggest to also reach out on the Japan talk mailing list or the general tagging mailing list It is more likely you receive feedback on there.

Comment from roptat on 23 May 2019 at 11:49

The Education Features page on the wiki also says that about prep_school: “amenity=prep_school – for test prep schools; use amenity=school for college-preparatory schools”, so I don’t think it’s a high school. There’s an image of a Japanese prep_school on the wiki page. Maybe you can tell us more about what that is?

Comment from yumean1119 on 23 May 2019 at 14:39

Thank you for the comments!

To ConsEbt: Yeah, I am already subscribing the two mailing lists and talked about this issue too.

To roptat: You are right. The meaning of “prep_school” as an OSM tag is quite different from the meaning in the dictionary. I agree with you that we should use amenity=school for college-preparatory schools,

Comment from yumean1119 on 23 May 2019 at 14:45

There’s an image of a Japanese prep_school on the wiki page. It looks like a tutoring school in Taiwan, but I think the main function is very similar to that of Japanese cram schools.

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