Land use refers to the way humans utilize the land for different economic and cultural activities, including agriculture, residential living, industrial operations, mining, and recreation.

In HERE Vector Tile API, the landuse layer provides information about the various types of land use in a particular geographic region. This layer is crucial for map developers because it enables distinguishing between different land use types with ease and provide users with a better understanding of the geographic areas they are exploring.

The following figure illustrates sample features of the landuse layer when rendered:

Central Park in New York
Figure 1. Central Park in New York

The layer content has the following definition:

  • Layer name: landuse
  • Geometry types: point, polygon, line

The following sections provide an overview of the landuse layer in the HERE Vector Tile API:

Shared properties

Every feature in the landuse layer includes a set of properties that define it, regardless of the feature type it represents.


These properties are referred to as common properties in the Tilezen schema. For more information, see Tile layers.

  • name - The name of the landuse feature, if available. The name might be provided in multiple languages, depending on the feature and the available data.
  • id - A unique identifier for the landuse feature.
  • kind - The type of the landuse feature, for example, industrial, urban, park, and so on.
  • sort_rank - A value used to prioritize the display order of different types of landuse features on the map. A landuse feature with a higher sort_rank value is displayed on top of a landuse feature with a lower sort_rank value.
  • area - The area of the landuse feature in square meters, as measured in spherical Mercator projection. This property is valid for polygon features only.
  • min_zoom - The recommended minimum zoom level at which the landuse feature should be displayed.

The following figure shows examples of landuse features and how they can be rendered on a map: Landuse examples

Conditional properties

Some landuse features include properties that are specific only to their corresponding landuse kind. For example, the toll property is available only for landuse features whose kind corresponds to polygonal roads.


These properties are referred to as common-optional properties in the Tilezen schema. For more information, see Tile layers.

  • toll - An optional boolean property that indicates if a fee must be paid by general traffic to travel the feature. This property can only have the following values: true and is available only for such polygonal road kinds as expressway, urban_expressway, and other_road.
  • kind_detail - Additional details about the landuse kind. For more information, see Additional kind information.

Kind definitions and sort ranks

The kind and sort_rank values are important properties of the landuse features in the HERE Vector Tile API. The kind property specifies the type of landuse feature, while the sort_rank property indicates its prominence on the map.

  • urban_area (sort_rank: 16) - Neighborhood boundaries.
  • reservation (sort_rank: 17) - Reserved land for specific uses.
  • national_park (sort_rank: 18) - State parks, national parks, and national forests.
  • glacier (sort_rank: 29) - Large area of ice.
  • desert (sort_rank: 30) - Arid and uninhabitable land.
  • forest (sort_rank: 31) - Woodlands.
  • urban (sort_rank: 32) - Built-up areas.
  • military (sort_rank: 33) - Military bases and facilities.
  • low_emission_zone (sort_rank: 40-41) - Environmental and congestion zones.
  • university (sort_rank: 42) - Campuses and university grounds.
  • park (sort_rank: 43) - City parks and public gardens.
  • allotments (sort_rank: 44) - Plots of land used for growing vegetables.
  • beach (sort_rank: 45) - Sandy or pebble-covered shorelines.
  • aerodrome (sort_rank: 46) - Airports and airstrips.
  • railway (sort_rank: 47) - Tracks and stations.
  • harbour (sort_rank: 48) - Harbors, ports, and marinas.
  • theme_park (sort_rank: 54) - Amusement parks and entertainment centers.
  • industrial (sort_rank: 55) - Industrial and manufacturing areas.
  • commercial (sort_rank: 56) - Retail and commercial centers.
  • zoo (sort_rank: 57) - Zoos and wildlife parks.
  • hospital (sort_rank: 60) - Medical facilities and hospitals.
  • golf_course (sort_rank: 62) - Golf courses and driving ranges.
  • runway (sort_rank: 79) - Runways and helipads.
  • sports_centre (sort_rank: 81) - Sports centers and stadiums.
  • cemetery (sort_rank: 92) - Burial sites and cemeteries.
  • pedestrian (sort_rank: 112) - Pedestrian zones and walkways.
  • parking (sort_rank: 123) - Parking areas and garages.
  • water_park (sort_rank: 124) - Water parks and aquatic centers.
  • parcel (sort_rank: 230) - limited coverage in Australia and New Zealand at zoom 15 and higher for display of lines that represent land parcels.

Japan-specific kind definitions and sort ranks in the core layer

The following list of kind values and their corresponding sort_rank values is only applicable for some regions of the world within the core layer parameter.

For more information about the layer parameters available in the HERE Vector Tile API, see Layer Parameter.

  • underground_city (sort_rank: 0) - Underground passages.
  • city_mesh - (sort_rank: 1) - City mesh polygons that are under city areas.
  • flood_prone_area (sort_rank: 32) - Flood-prone areas.
  • attraction (sort_rank: 40) - Generic tourist attractions.
  • accomodation_facility (sort_rank: 41) - Accommodation facilities.
  • wetland (sort_rank: 42) - Swamps.
  • imperial_facility (sort_rank: 43) - Imperial facilities such as palaces with adjacent green areas.
  • outdoor_facility (sort_rank: 45) - Outdoor facilities.
  • institutional_office (sort_rank: 45) - Institutional offices.
  • transportation (sort_rank: 46) - Generic transportation infrastructure.
  • place_of_worship (sort_rank: 47) - Different religious areas.
  • railway_station (sort_rank: 47) - Simplified polygonal representation of railway station areas at lower zoom levels (13-15).
  • commuter_station (sort_rank: 48) - Simplified polygonal. representation of commuter station areas at lower zoom levels (13-15).
  • sand (sort_rank: 89) - Sandy soils, including beaches and golf course sand traps.
  • school (sort_rank: 93) - Schools.
  • grass (sort_rank: 125) - Green tracts such as lawns.
  • paved_area (sort_rank: 189) - Generic paved areas.
  • dam (sort_rank: 223) - Dam polygons.
  • breakwater (sort_rank: 224) - Breakwaters.
  • block (sort_rank: 385) - City block polygons.
  • city_divider (sort_rank: 385) - Traffic dividers at the toll booth.
  • pedestrian (sort_rank: 386) - Sidewalks in main streets; a temporary sort rank to place on top of the water.
  • outdoor_facility (sort_rank: 397) - Outdoor facilities.
  • grassland (sort_rank: 401) - Afforested areas, green areas that are not part of forest, and golf course fairways to differentiate from the rest of green areas.
  • steps (sort_rank: 403) - Stairs.
  • divider (sort_rank: 405) - Traffic dividers.
  • tunnel_entrance (sort_rank: 421) - Tunnel entrances and exits.

The following figure shows examples of Japan-specific landuse features: Landuse features in Japan

Japan-specific decorative lines in the core layer

The following lists enumerates landuse kind and sort_rank values for decorative lines in the core layer for Japan and the zoom level 14 and higher:

  • decorative_dashed_line (sort_rank: 403) - Dashed lines such as tunnel edge lines.
  • decorative_solid_line (sort_rank: 407) - Solid lines.
  • toll_gate (sort_rank: 408) - Toll gates.
  • flood_gate (sort_rank: 409) - Flood gates.
  • erosion_control_dam (sort_rank: 410) - Erosion control dams.
  • decorative_ferry_route (sort_rank: 411) - Ferry routes.
  • decorative_passenger_boat_route (sort_rank: 412) - Passenger boat routes.
  • decorative_stairs_line (sort_rank: 413) - Stairs decorative lines.
  • decorative_road_surface_or_stairs_line (sort_rank: 414) - Road surface or stairs lines.
  • decorative_center_divider (sort_rank: 415) - Center dividers.
  • decorative_road_background (sort_rank: 416) - Road backgrounds.
  • decorative_expressway (sort_rank: 417) - Expressway edge lines.
  • decorative_road_overpass (sort_rank: 418) - Road overpasses.
  • decorative_railroad_overpass (sort_rank: 419) - Railroad overpasses.
  • decorative_buffer_stop (sort_rank: 420) - Buffer stops.

Japan-specific polygonal roads in the core layer

A polygonal road is a type of road for which a polygon is used to define the extent and shape of the road segment. Such roads are commonly used to depict roads that deviate from the traditional linear shape, such as roundabouts, cul-de-sacs, or curved road segments.

The core layer in Japan-specific polygonal roads contains kind values with limited coverage at zoom 14 and higher, which allow for a detailed polygonal representation of roads. These values can be found in the is_present_in_landuse property of the roads feature. For more information, see Roads (transportation).

The following values are included:

  • other_road (sort_rank: 378) - Roads like tertiary, also present as centerlines in the roads layer.
  • major_road (sort_rank: 380) - Roads like secondary, also present as centerlines in the roads layer.
  • national_road (sort_rank: 381) - Roads like primary, also present as centerlines in the roads layer.
  • urban_expressway (sort_rank: 381) - Urban expressway roads like motorway, also present as centerlines in the roads layer.
  • expressway (sort_rank: 384) Expressway roads like motorway, also present as centerlines in the roads layer.
  • road_in_restricted_area (sort_rank: 400) - Roads in restricted areas like parks, pedestrian areas, or golf courses, not present as centerlines in the roads layer.
  • road_under_construction (sort_rank: 401) - Roads under construction, also present as centerlines in the roads layer.

The following figure shows sample landuse features representing polygonal roads in Japan: Polygonal roads in Japan

Additional kind information

Landuse kind_detail values provide additional information about the landuse feature type. They are used to describe the specific characteristics of a land use area.

For example, an object of whose kind property is other_road, might have the kind_detail value set as service to indicate that the road is designated a service function, such as a parking lot, gas station, or other amenities associated with road usage.

The following list provides the common kind_detail values:

  • environmental - For environmental zones.
  • congestion - For congestion zones.

The following list provides Japan-specific kind_detail values within the core layer:

  • primary - For national_road kind.
  • secondary_city - For major_road kind.
  • tertiary - For major_road kind.
  • tertiary_city - For major_road kind.
  • service - For other_road kind.

Low zoom consolidation

At zoom levels lower than 12, the HERE Vector Tile API combines certain types of landuse features to reduce unnecessary detail and encourage adjacent landuse features to merge together more seamlessly.


The id property is not available for consolidated landuse features.

The following mappings are currently in place:

  • commercial is consolidated into urban_area.
  • industrial is consolidated into urban_area.
  • parking is consolidated into urban_area.

Next steps

  • For more information about other layer feature types available in the HERE Vector Tile API, see Tile Layers.

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