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Available languages — Tag:route=ferry
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Public-images-osm logo.svg route = ferry
Ferry routes
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: in use

Displays the route of a ferry on sea.

How to map

Draw a way Way from one ferry terminal to another and add route=ferry and name=*.

Use the route=ferry tag to show the route of a ferry. You can either use the tag a single way Way drawn along the whole route, or on a relation Relation containing several ways joined end-to-end.

The relation approach is more complicated and is often not necessary for showing basic ferry routes. It is useful for very long ferry routes, or routes which need to share some ways which are denoting other features (e.g. other ferry routes) The relation approach is standard across other types of transportation routes. See Relations/Routes and some more details on Cycle routes for example.

The ferry route should start and end at a ferry terminal Node amenity=ferry_terminal. At the same point also the access road ends. Between the terminal and the coastal line, there may be a pier Way Area man_made=pier which should be tagged with highway=*. Car ferries have often a bridge between the quay wall and the docking point, which is tagged with highway=* + bridge=yes.

The ferry route must not branch in the water, so it must always be drawn to the ferry dock. This is important for routing to work correctly.

route=ferry can be used for large car ferries, but also for small people over rivers and lakes. Crags hang on a wire rope stretched over the river and move through the slanting against the current. The wire rope forms a river barrier.

Tags to use in combination

Access restriction tags can be used to mark the type of ferry, such as:

  • motor_vehicle=yes - Yes. The ferry allows motor vehicles (trucks, cars, motorcycles, ...)
    • hgv=no - No. The ferry does not allow heavy goods vehicles (freight trucks >3.5 tons)
    • motorcar=yes - Yes. The ferry does allow motorcars
    • motorcycle=yes - Yes. The ferry does allow motorcycles.
  • foot=yes - Yes. The ferry does allow foot passengers.
  • bicycle=yes - Yes. The ferry does allow for cyclists.
  • See access=* for other access restriction tags. Also see Map Features#Restrictions

Other possible combo tags:

  • operator=* - for the name of the operator of a ferry route
  • name=* - for the name of a ferry route
  • ref=* - for a reference number/code of a ferry route.
  • duration=* highly recommended for indicating how long the route takes ('00:05' is 5 minutes, '1:15' an hour fifteen, or '48:00' two days). Important to avoid large detours to avoid ferries for routers that underestimate the speed of ferries. OSRM and GraphHopper support this tag (on ways).
  • ferry=* - for the type of road the ferry route belongs to (used with the same values as highway=*).
  • ferry:cable=yes - Reaction ferry

If you are using a relation, this should always have a 'type' tag, in this case type=route.

Related tags