Key:water

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Public-images-osm logo.svg water
Nowitna river.jpg
Description
Specification of a water body
Group: Natural
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Documented values: 3
Requires
Useful combination
Status: ApprovedPage for proposal

This tag is used to specify what type of water body is tagged with natural=water, and must be used only in conjunction with it (see obsolete uses). When the latter tag is omitted, it's up to a renderer to decide whether natural=water is assumed.

Possible values

Tagging Description Sample photo
natural=water
water=lake
A lake: a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin that is surrounded by land. Artificially created lakes are ponds or reservoirs. Intermittent lakes (which disappear seasonally) should be tagged with intermittent=yes; salt lakes — with salt=yes.

This value should be considered default for natural=water, when no water or other descriptive tags are specified.

Blowdown Lake.JPG
natural=water
water=cove
A cove: a small type of bay or coastal inlet. They usually have narrow, restricted entrances, are often circular or oval, and are often inside a larger bay. May be mapped as natural=coastline. McWay cove 1.jpg
natural=water
water=lagoon
A lagoon: a body of shallow sea water or brackish water separated from the sea by some form of barrier. It's better to specify saltness of water with salt=yes/no. GlenrockLagoonFromLeichhardtLookout.JPG
natural=water
water=pond
A pond: a body of standing water, man-made in most cases, that is usually smaller than a lake. Salt evaporation ponds should be tagged with landuse=salt_pond, open-air swimming pools — with leisure=swimming_pool. Branddam-Beder.jpg
natural=water
water=reflecting_pool
A reflecting pool: a water feature found in gardens, parks, and at memorial sites. It usually consists of a shallow pool of water, undisturbed by fountain jets, for a calm reflective surface. USA 09562 Boston Luca Galuzzi 2007.jpg
natural=water
water=reservoir
A reservoir or an artificial lake is used to store water. Lakevyrnwysummer.jpg
natural=water
water=canal
A body of a canal, a man-made channel for water. Should contain waterway=canal way inside. MurtfaltalrDanubeChannel.JPG
natural=water
water=river
A body of river. Should contain waterway=river way inside. Volga Ulyanovsk-oliv.jpg
natural=water
water=fish_pass
The body of a fish pass for the fish to pass waterway dams or weirs. Should contain waterway=fish_pass way inside. Fischtreppe Isar bei Pullach.jpg
natural=water
water=oxbow
An oxbow lake: U-shaped body of water formed when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off to create a lake. Nowitna river.jpg
natural=water
water=lock
A lock chamber outline: a part of river, canal or lake system, level of which can be manipulated. The mapping of a lock and its parts is described on wiki-site lock=*. HeidelbergLock2.jpg
natural=water
water=moat
A deep, wide defensive ditch, normally filled with water, surrounding a fortified habitation. Naarden kl.JPG
natural=water
water=wastewater
A clarifier/settling basin of a wastewater treatment plant. Maybe a landuse=basin should also be added. The whole area of the plant should get a man_made=wastewater_plant, BTW. Sewage.jpg

Example

For Lake Baikal area tags would be as follows:

natural=water
water=lake
name=Baikal

Rivers and reservoirs

This tag implies that all water bodies are tagged uniformly, with natural=water and water=*. There were several cases when this pattern was broken: river bodies, reservoirs and, occasionaly, ponds. Now all those features can be tagged with natural=water, but the original tags may be preserved for legacy renderers (although there's not many cases when their processing is different from natural=water).

So, those are equivalent, while natural=water scheme is preferred:

Obsolete uses

See also

Possible Tagging Mistakes

type=lake - If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag. Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

Attention: relations with type=lake are also used to map lake depth lines, so the relation is completely unrelated to multipolygons