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Public-images-osm logo.svg natural = riverbed
Area of riverbed. Edit or translate this description.
Group: Rivers
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Status: obsolete


This tag was in use before it was documented so actual mapping may not adhere to the description here.

The Taginfo count for this tag is meaningless as most of it come from one or more imports in Italy which are mapped in discordant ways such as https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/16733635

A new proposal was prepared to overcome this ambiguities and improve some other details: Proposed features/waterway=riverbed

How to map

There are two discordant and incompatible ways to map this tag/value combination.

Some mappers draw riverbed as an area covering the complete area of the riverbed and river, however the most uses of this tag that apparently comes from an import tags only areas that are not under water (https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/16733635).

The river (waterway=river) and river water area (natural=water + water=river) need to be mapped in addition to the riverbed, which can be mapped with separate polygons tagged with appropriate natural=* tags as an alternative to riverbed tagging. For intermittent rivers, the intermittently water-covered parts of the river can be tagged also with intermittent=yes.


There is currently no special rendering for riverbeds. Some natural=* values are rendered for areas: sand, bare_rock, mud, shingle, scrub).

  • Areas of natural=water with intermittent=yes are rendered with blue stripes or dots to show that it is occasionally flooded. When overlaid on separate polygons for the riverbed, a hatched pattern will be rendered.

See also