Tag:waterway=stream

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Public-images-osm logo.svg waterway = stream
450px-Marshall-county-indiana-yellow-river.jpg
Description
A naturally-forming waterway that is too thin to be classed as a river.
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodes
may be used on ways
should not be used on areas
use on relations unspecified
Useful combination
Status: In use

Use waterway=stream for a naturally-forming waterway that is too narrow to be classed as waterway=river (the commonly accepted rule for OpenStreetMap is that a stream can be jumped across by an active, able-bodied person). A stream may not be permanently filled with water. In case of varying size or intermittent waterways the distinction from larger rivers based on the above criterion should be made with respect to the high water level.

For artificial (man made) small watercourse used for drainage consider using waterway=ditch or waterway=drain. For a wider man-made watercourse created for navigation use waterway=canal. If the feature you are mapping never contains water or if its primary use is to prevent access to the other side, you should use barrier=ditch.

How to map

See also: Waterways

To map a stream, make a simple way and add the waterway=stream tag to it. If a flow exists, the direction of the way must be downstream (i.e. the way direction follows the flow). If the stream discharges into another stream, a river or the ocean you should make sure both are connected through a shared node.

Additional tags:

  • name=* to specify the name of the stream, for example 'Little Creek'.
  • width=* to indicate the width of the stream. This is an approximate average width of the stream throughout most of length of that bit of stream.
  • intermittent=yes to indicate that a stream does not have a permanent flow.
  • tunnel=culvert if the stream flows under a road, railroad, trail, or similar feature.