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Canonical common brand names for OpenStreetMap

What is it?

The goal of this project is to maintain a canonical list of commonly used names for suggesting consistent spelling and tagging of features in OpenStreetMap.

Watch the video from our talk at State of the Map US 2019 to learn more about this project!

Browse the index

You can browse the index at to see which brands are missing Wikidata links, or have incomplete Wikipedia pages.

How it's used

When mappers create features in OpenStreetMap, they are not always consistent about how they name and tag things. For example, we may prefer McDonald's tagged as amenity=fast_food but we see many examples of other spellings (Mc Donald's, McDonalds, McDonald’s) and taggings (amenity=restaurant).

Building a canonical name index allows two very useful things:

  • We can suggest the most "correct" way to tag things as users create them while editing.
  • We can scan the OSM data for "incorrect" features and produce lists for review and cleanup.
Name Suggestion Index in use in iD

The name-suggestion-index is in use in iD when adding a new item

Currently used in:

  • iD (see above)
  • Vespucci
  • JOSM presets available


We're always looking for help! If you have any questions or want to reach out to a maintainer, ping bhousel on:


  • Node.js version 10 or newer
  • git for your platform


  • Clone this project, for example: git clone
  • cd into the project folder,
  • Run npm install to install libraries

About the index

Generated files (do not edit):

Preset files (used by OSM editors):

  • dist/name-suggestions.json - Name suggestion presets
  • dist/name-suggestions.min.json - Name suggestion presets, minified
  • dist/name-suggestions.presets.xml - Name suggestion presets, as JOSM-style preset XML

Name lists:

  • dist/names_all.json - all the frequent names and tags collected from OpenStreetMap
  • dist/names_discard.json - subset of names_all we are discarding
  • dist/names_keep.json - subset of names_all we are keeping
  • dist/wikidata.json - cached brand data retrieved from Wikidata

Configuration files (edit these):

  • config/*
    • config/filters.json- Regular expressions used to filter names_all into names_keep / names_discard
  • brands/* - Config files for each kind of branded business, organized by OpenStreetMap tag
    • brands/amenity/*.json
    • brands/leisure/*.json
    • brands/shop/*.json
    • brands/tourism/*.json
    • brands/office/*.json

👉 See for info about how to contribute to this index.

Building the index

  • npm run build
    • Regenerates dist/names_keep.json and dist/names_discard.json
    • Any new entries from names_keep not already present in the index will be added to it
    • Outputs many warnings to suggest updates to brands/**/*.json

Other commands

  • npm run wikidata - Fetch useful data from Wikidata - labels, descriptions, logos, etc.
  • npm run dist - Rebuild and minify the generated files in the dist/ folder.
  • npm run - Lists other available commands

Updating dist/names_all.json from planet

This takes a long time and a lot of disk space. It can be done occasionally by project maintainers. You do not need to do these steps in order to contribute to the index.

  • Install osmium commandline tool and node package (may only be available on some environments)
    • apt-get install osmium-tool or brew install osmium-tool or similar
    • npm install --no-save osmium
  • Download the planet
    • curl -L -o planet-latest.osm.pbf
  • Prefilter the planet file to only include named items with keys we are looking for:
    • osmium tags-filter planet-latest.osm.pbf -R name -o named.osm.pbf
    • osmium tags-filter named.osm.pbf -R amenity,shop,leisure,tourism,office -o wanted.osm.pbf
  • Run node build_all_names wanted.osm.pbf
    • results will go in dist/names_all.json
    • git add dist/names_all.json && git commit -m 'Updated dist/names_all.json'


name-suggestion-index is available under the 3-Clause BSD License. See the file for more details.


npm i name-suggestion-index

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