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Public-images-osm logo.svg natural = valley
A natural depression flanked by ridges or ranges of mountains or hills Edit or translate this description.
Group: Natural
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: approvedPage for proposal


A valley is an elongated natural depression flanked by ridges or ranges of mountains or hills, and at least partially formed by fluvial degration.


  • Draw a line along the valley bottom and tag it natural=valley. You certainly want to set a name=* too. Note that valleys and waterways are not necessarily congruent. Rivers are often meandering. There may be multiple branches of the river, or no river at all. Therefore, you better ignore waterways in U-shaped valleys, and go for the middle line of the valley bottom instead.
  • While linear mapping of valleys is preferred, some valleys are mapped as nodes. Possible reasons include imports and lack of aerial images.


The main purpose of natural=valley features is to tell renderers the name=* of the valley, and where to span that name. Renderers may use hillshading and/or contour lines generated from elevation models to make valleys look more spatial.

Both mapping and rendering are similar to natural=ridge, which is just the complementary landform.

See also

Possible tagging errors

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!