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Proposal status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: dmgroom
Tagging: natural=waterfall

Rendered as: for a linear feature as a cliff, but coloured blue.
Draft started:
Proposed on: 2009-03-17

For current mapping practice see waterfalls.


A key to tag waterfalls, a sudden change in the level of a river or other natural waterway, causing water to drop. A waterfall is more than rapids. The water really falls down.


According to wikipedia there seem to be a couple of different kinds of waterfalls, they can be small or big. In most cases it is clear, the water really falls down of a ledge, but as the ledge get smaller and the waterflow greater I can´t really say when it counts as a really steep rapid instead.

History of the proposal

Overview of current practice

In the absence of an approved proposal various tagging patterns are in use as described in waterfalls in OSM.


Applies to nodes or ways (use ways only for wide waterfalls, so the way is running from one side of the river to the other).

The basic idea of this proposal is to map the cliff the water rushes down from with natural=waterfall. This raises the question, should it also be tagged natural=cliff?

When a waterway meets a cliff, there is a waterfall. When a waterway meets a waterway=weir there is also a waterfall, this could get complicated.

The waterway, that I imagine still is mapped with a centre line of the river, should have a node, or short stretch of the way, tagged with something that makes it clear that there is a barrier here. Probably waterway=waterfall. this is not part of this proposal.



For rendering, I would like to see a small blue cross-bar at right angles to the river/stream for point waterfalls (essentialy the same as the way Osmarender used to do gates). This is pretty standard on topo maps. For wide waterfalls tagged on a way, the rendering could be similar to rendering of a cliff, but coloured blue

See also


Please use the discussion page for comments.