Talk:Key:waterway

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Streams

More information now at Tag:waterway=stream

Currently, the renderers seem to render rivers larger than canals, making them about the right size for mid sized river. Some smaller ones (which might be called "streams" or similar) come out too large.

Really small waterways

I think a river of 3 meters width is not the same as a 50cm wide one. They should be tagged separately IMHO. --Bkr 15:38, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Well the definition which has been written for a long time on Tag:waterway=stream is "Too small to be classed as a river. Maybe you can jump over it". This <3 metre rule is maybe a bit more solid, except that we have to remember that rivers/streams vary in width. There's wide pools and narrow channels. What's more the flow varies with weather conditions / time of year / rainfall / snowmelt / drought (can dry up altogether). ...so maybe we should stick with "Maybe you can jump over it" ...or define it terms of flow in cubic metres per second! In fact I propose we drop the mention of 3 metres. It's misleading us into thinking we can be accurate in that way.
You're suggesting a third category? Rivers -> Streams -> Diddly little trickles? I don't think that is necessary. The idea of 'streams' is that they are very small rivers. Too small to be classed as a river. So that should satisfy what you are describing. I imagine 3 metres seems too wide as a cut off point if you're picturing a gushing 3m wide torrent... depends how fast it's flowing over that 3 metre width.
Just noticed that Talk:Tag:waterway=stream has a lot on this topic too
-- Harry Wood 08:33, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
To show that there are big differences between "stream"s and the very small variants, I just created Key:waterway/Narrow_variants. Alv 08:33, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Mapping waterways

How does one maps a river, lake, canal or other waterways? You can driver over roads and even take the train to map railways. Rivers are different. I could take my kayak and try to map it but the river doesn't has the same width on all places and some smaller waterways are simply to small to take a kayak. I could walk around a lake but would the GPS reception be precise enough when I have to duck under trees, walk around stones, etc.? Last problem, some parts are simply not reachable, the river in my town is enclosed by buildings or it runs through some private area... Cimm 6 Nov 2006

Coastline(ie the boundary between the land and sea, and river estuaries) data can be imported into OSM using the PGS coastline scripts. For other waterways, lakes rivers etc, I'd use JOSM and the Landsat plugin. This shows a satellite image of the area you are working on, and you can draw nodes over the top, wherever you need them. There may be a shift of up to 100m between the real position and the position shown by the Landsat photo, if there is an identifiable feature in the photo which can also be mapped by GPS then this will show the size and direction shift in the Landsat image, and all nodes which you have drawn can be moved in JOSM to compensate for the shift. Dmgroom 16:21, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Waterway as area

Proposed_features/Large_rivers only mentions rivers. Near my area, someone traced the outline of a canal (presumable using Yahoo! Imagery). This is currently tagged as natural=water in order to render properly, but this is obviously incorrect. Replacing this canal with a linear way is a possibility, but I'd hate the person's effort to go to waste. Is there a possibility that waterway=canal could also apply to an area? --Gyrbo 19:02, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

The area should be tagged as natural=water, water=canal (see: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:water#Possible_values). --Dru1138 (talk) 18:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Aqueducts

Having a waterway=aqueduct tag doesn't allow you to specify what sort of waterway the aqueduct is carrying. Wouldn't something more akin to the bridge tag be better? (i.e. waterway=canal, aqueduct=yes), or should bridge=yes be used instead?

In fact, you should use bridge=aqueduct -- I've updated the article. Robx 17:26, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

tunnel

what about a small stream running under a big motorway oder crossing a village in a canal (or sewer?) but under the ground - how to tag these? -- Schusch 22:41, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Similar to bridge=aqueduct how about tunnel=culvert? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culvert --EliotB 06:11, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Isn't a tunneled waterway not by definition a culvert? So would tunnel=yes as is done now by most people not be sufficient? --Eimai 13:31, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Intermittent and ephemeral streams

Many maps display intermittent and ephemeral streams different from "regular" (called perennial) streams (see wikipedia:Stream#Intermittent_and_ephemeral_streams for a definition). I would like to propose an additional tag to the waterway=* called intermittent=yes (which would include ephemeral streams). Any objections? --Colin Marquardt 15:37, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Safety equipment?

Is there any way to tag safety equipment such as life-belts next to canals, rivers, docks etc? Bruce mcadam 14:34, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Some use amenity=life_ring. Alv 07:22, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Areas

On Seamaps you find many areas. (Roadsteads,military area, restricted area, nature reserve...). I think we need a tagging-schema for this.

I found an interesting proposal for such special issues: Proposed_features/marine-tagging

and i started a discussion about areas: Talk:Proposed_features/marine-tagging#Areas

--Klabattermann 22:23, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Former rivers?

How should a river that no longer exists be mapped? In this specific area, canals have been built to modify the flow of water, and the former river alignment (in the middle of a swamp) no longer carries flowing water. --NE2 17:34, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Arbitrary Labels?

I feel there is a need for a general label for ad-hoc water features, like place=locality. Such features are generally very local names for sections, inlets, bends, moorings and the like. Place=locality will do, but it is usually rendered in a land style (black text) rather than a water style (water-blue text). Thoughts?

Really narrow canals?

Hello. I started mapping a few days ago some acequias, which are man-made waterways used for transportation of irrigation water, common in Spain and the Americas. The problem is that I've been tagging them as waterway=canal but, acequias are sometimes no more than a few centimetres wide, being the widest I know about one metre wide. The canal rendering is quite big for those purposes, so how do I get a narrower rendering or, otherwise, a more adequate tag for these acequias? --Schumi4ever 22:54, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

PS: Compare the size of the acequia to the people beside it: [1]

Ideally you'd use tags that describe its purpose, like boat=no and something for irrigation. Maybe waterway=drain is good enough for now? --NE2 02:06, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Why that 12 m remark for riverbanks?

"For larger rivers (defined as more than 12m across) see waterway=riverbank." Defined by whom? Riverbank ways make sense when the banks are irregularly shaped, it doesn't matter how wide the river is. --Tordanik 15:27, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

the edit was by User:Trs998 back in 2008, so it survived for a while without anyone complaining (and unnoticed by me)
Such measurement specs are fraught with problems. There were some debates about how to distinguish "stream" from "river". Eventually somebody came up with "Maybe you can just jump over it", which remarkably seemed to settle the argument for a while at least. I see somebody's written something far more pedantic on there now.
So we can have similar arguments about how wide a river needs to be before it gets a riverbank. I'm not sure where 12m definition comes from. Mailing list somewhere probably. I can immediately think of all sorts of problems with it, but then again... it's probably as good as any other idea.
We should definitely add a section to Tag:waterway=riverbank going into the details about consensus (or lack thereof) about making this distinction. This discussion should then be moved to that page, and perhaps we might decide to remove such details from the tag summary where it currently is.
-- Harry Wood 17:29, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
It clearly is more appropriate to have such a section on Tag:waterway=riverbank, so I agree with your suggestion. As far as the definition itself is concerned, my personal opinion is that riverbank := a river where someone bothered to draw the actual banks, rather than just the centerline. --Tordanik 00:20, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I think this definition could also vary by country and custom. In New Zealand, the concepts of the "Queen's Chain" and "paper roads" means that waterways wider than 3 metres were often designated as legal roads in early land surveys. More recently local councils may own the river banks for flood protection and other reasons. This means there is often a legal public access right within a 20 metre (or 1 chain) marginal strip or esplanade of a river or the coast. Because many of these marginal strips are not marked, showing where the river banks are can be important, even in the case of smaller streams. - Huttite (talk) 21:30, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Waterway continuity

We have big discussion on czech talk about waterway continuity. I think, we need continual tree for many purposes. So if have river with some lake for example, then river continue in lake with aprox way (there are only few lakes where we know exacly way - ie from historic materials). Without this, we have nice pictures maybe, but no map - no nav, hard to say river length ... User:Jezevec 13:52, 7 March 2011

How do you define the "length" of a river across a lake? If you put the way in the middle (because there are probably tributaries on both sides), then you're probably wrong anyway. Unless there are defined "lanes" for traffic, and do we really want to get into mapping that? Seems like the only nav solution is raw GPS across a free-movement area, similar to a plaza (highway=pedestrian area=yes), which admittedly is rarely handled correctly either. StephenTX (talk) 15:59, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

Water divide or watershed

Which one of both (or is there better expression) should we use? I just start with waterway=water_divide Greetings, -- Schusch 09:23, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Watershed is unfortunately ambiguous (it can refer to the divide or the basin). I used natural=divide on the Continental Divide in Colorado, but I have no particular attachment to this. I do think it's not necessarily a good idea to use a waterway value. --NE2 10:34, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
well ok ... here is the example. It is a waterway which splits up, see the article. And there exist a lot of these water divides for smaller waterbodies. -- Schusch 11:18, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
What is it you want to map? If it is the streams/rivers then simply map their ways. If it is the land that divids the waterways then don't use waterway tags! Use land tags - natural=ridge for example. Warin61 (talk) 20:45, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Strait

'A narrow channel of water between two larger bodies of water'. Does this belong here or natural=* ?

Ditch

I think it is odd that the waterway is a ditch. Having ditch as a property of the riverbank/watershore would be more logical, it would also fit better when a stream goes through a ditch part of its way. RicoZ (talk) 16:48, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Would be useful to have a drinkable=yes|no|emergency attribute

When crossing a stream or river on a hiking trail, it would be really useful to have some indication of whether or not the water is safe to drink.

I'd propose a "drinkable" attribute, taking one of the following values: yes = safe to drink in large amounts. emergency = not the cleanest water, but unlikely to do serious harm. Better than nothing in an emergency. no = avoid drinking even in an emergency.

the only I would agree to is "drinkable=no" when it is a clear case.
Better approach to your case would be to map likely/possible upstream pollutants and combine that with "water_characteristic" (part of hot_spring proposal) to get an assessment of possible problems and dangers. RicoZ (talk) 11:29, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Stream Order

I think an optional order tag would be a good idea, see http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/streamorder.htm. Josh_G 17:11 31 October 2014

The linked article is very vague, how do I tell that a river is stream_order=7? Is it the plain water flow in cbm, some authority saying so, relative importance? RicoZ (talk) 10:14, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
http://usgs-mrs.cr.usgs.gov/NHDHelp/WebHelp/NHD_Help/Introduction_to_the_NHD/Feature_Attribution/Stream_Order.htm is a better article - but I think that there would be a better way of tagging the streams I had in mind. Josh_G ((talk) 10:34, 6 November 2014
This kind of stream order can be derived from existing data pretty easily so there is no reason to do it manually. Also this stream order is likely to change very often if someone would map an additional creek upstream or even move one confluence of streams, highly unpractical for mapping. RicoZ (talk) 11:00, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Boatyards

The present wiki says these are on land only. If that is so they are not part of a water way and should not use waterway tags.

Possible tags are landuse=industrial, industrial=boatyard or industrial=shipyard. Warin61 (talk) 20:48, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

riffle=yes

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riffle : A riffle is a shallow section of a stream or river with rapid current and a surface broken by gravel, rubble or boulders. At least in relativly plain areas in streams and ditches these places are easy to find and clearly defined. I was searching for a tag - and didn't find one. Here I don't want to tag something which has to do with rafting or other sports but with nature. I used to tag these places with rapid=yes - but according to the whitewater sports people this is "wrong". I'm not at all interested in difficulties, grades etc. Most of the ditches are even not appropriate for boats. So I propose tagging these nodes (or short ways) with riffle=yes. (if somebody wants to make this a proposal, you are welcome) -- Schusch (talk) 07:37, 31 March 2016 (UTC)