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Public-images-osm logo.svg barrier = ditch
Base XXXIV communication trench.JPG
A man made ditch or trench to prevent access to the other side. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Barrier fence mapnik.png
Group: barriers
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: in use

A ditch or a trench is a long and narrow man-made barrier dug in the ground to prevent access to the other side.

The characteristics of a ditch are: it is a man made structure and its primary use is to prevent access to the other side. It may contain little water or even be dry most of the year.

If the main use is to channel water or if it is not totally dry most of the year, consider using waterway=ditch instead of, or in combination with barrier=ditch.

If the ditch is natural and holds water (even intermittently), use waterway=stream instead.

How to map

Draw a way along the ditch location and add tag barrier=ditch.


Remember that any barrier tag may interpreted as impassible for pedestrians. Leave a gap in the barrier where you can pass the ditch on foot and map bridges.

Default access is access=no, that is, it is not possible to cross this feature perpendicularly. Use tag access=* to override it.

It is not possible to route along this feature.

Useful combination

  • width=* - to indicate the width of the ditch.
  • intermittent=yes - for ditches that may be either dry or with present water
  • ditch=ha_ha - for the particular type of trench as an ornamental garden feature known as a "ha-ha" (Ha-ha on Wikipedia).
  • ditch:type=bank_and_ditch - for the particular type of ditch called "bank and ditch" The raising of a bank by digging out a ditch has been used for millennia to define property boundaries, and to keep animals out. This type of micro-relief is common in ancient forests. Frequently, they are the materialization of current administrative boundaries.


See also