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Public-images-osm logo.svg bay = fjord
Geirangerfjord (6-2007).jpg
Long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial erosion.
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasuse on relations unspecified
Useful combination
Status: Proposed


See Wikipedia-16px.png fjord on Wikipedia

Note: Fjords can exist both in the sea and in freshwater/lakes.

How to map

The following guidelines are proposed:

Alternative 1:

  • large fjords (such as the 179 km long Wikipedia-16px.png Hardangerfjorden on Wikipedia) should be mapped as area/polygon, following the coastline along land, but using a simplified geometry.
  • smaller fjords should be mapped as area/polygon, either coinciding with the coastline or as a multipolygon using the coastline directly.
  • narrow fjords without branches may be mapped using a way, but an area is preferred.
  • small fjords may be mapped using a single node, but an area is preferred.

Alternative 2:

  • fjords should in general be mapped as linear ways.
  • branches with names may have a separate way connected to the main branch/trunk of the fjord.
  • branches may be collected in a relation, together with the main branch/trunk of the fjord, in order to indicate separate names for each branch but still indicate which fjord they belong to.
  • small fjords may be mapped using a single node, but a linear way is preferred.
  • mapping fjords as areas instead of ways is permitted, but not recommended.

Pros and cons:

  • The "simplified geometry" of large fjords (in Alt.1) will generate some redundancy (since the more detailed coastline is already there).
  • The "simplified geometry" of large fjords (in Alt.1) may make it harder to maintain.
  • Using ways (Alt.2) is faster and easier than making a separate simplified area (Alt.2).
  • Using area (Alt.1) instead of a linear way (Alt.2) gives a better "importance" calculation, e.g. for a (relatively) short and wide fjord compared to a long and narrow one with the same approximate area.
  • Using area (Alt.1) instead of a linear way (Alt.2) makes it possible to detect whether e.g. an island or a fish farm is in a specific fjord.

Common Tagging Mistakes

natural=fjord - 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!

See also