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Public-images-osm logo.svg natural = beach
landform along a body of water which consists of sand, shingle or other loose material Show/edit corresponding data item.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Group: natural
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: de facto

The natural=beach tag is used to mark a loose geological landform along the coast or along another body of water consisting of sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles, cobblestones or sometimes shell fragments etc.

For seaside resorts use leisure=beach_resort for the boundary of the resort, which may include accommodation and other facilities and which may include one or more actual beaches. For areas of sand that are not beaches, use natural=sand or surface=sand (or a more specific tag describing the area).

How to map

It can be mapped as a node (if there is no way to map it as a geometry), especially when someone wants to map name or some other additional properties. But mapping as an area is strictly preferable.

The upper limit of a beach is where the loose sand or stones end or where they are no more shaped by the water waves - whichever comes first. There is no firm rule about the lower limit. Mappers either map the beach down to the mean high water (springs) line (natural=coastline) or to the edge of a lake or similar. Or the beach is mapped up to the low water line (in which case the beach crosses the coastline). Some mappers also split the beach into a part above and below the high water line and tag the lower part tidal=yes (but it is not recommended, see below).

natural=beach should only be used for inclined, wave formed areas at the coast. Larger flat areas of sand that are exposed at low tide should be tagged natural=sand + tidal=yes (and for muddy areas only, use tags natural=wetland + wetland=tidalflat).

Use name=* to give the name of the beach, surface=* to define the surface formation (sand, gravel, pebbles, stones, shells).

If there is someone who manages the beach itself, you may add supervised=yes/no/interval (with the last value, add opening_hours=*).

If there is a lifeguard ensuring the safety in water from a specific structure (a tower for example), you may add a node (or a way) with emergency=lifeguard (if the lifeguard is on duty at specific times, use opening_hours=* on this node/way). If they are mobile (no specific structure), add lifeguard=yes to the beach itself (if the lifeguard is on duty at specific times, use opening_hours:lifeguard=* to the beach (instead of opening_hours=*) not to be confused with the open_hours of the beach itself). If there are no lifeguard in the area, you may add lifeguard=no to be clear.

Photo examples


Mapping path/track using beach as its part

Discussed for example at


See also

Possible tagging mistakes

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!