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Naming convention

Why the tag web is used instead of website or url?

Why the tag harbour:namenational is used instead of harbour:nat_name?

User 5359 18:33, 24 October 2010 (BST)

Naming conventions of hydraulic structures

please see a definition suggestion on Talk:Proposed_features/Breakwater --HeikoE 10:03, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Harbour Wall with walkwall and/or service road

Is this a pier or not? In some places on the wiki it appears it is, in other's it seems not. --Pobice 14:52, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

It's a reasonable enough question. Also, what actually is the tag is for a harbour wall?? Not very well answered on this page. I think the answer is man_made=breakwater. -- Harry Wood (talk) 01:21, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Is this a proposal?

What exactly is this page? Is it a proposal page, or just a page some user created on a whim? It seems to contain a mixture of approved and proposed features, as well as a number of brand new ideas ("material=*", "harbour:*=*", additions to mooring=* and leisure=slipway). There are also a ton of spelling mistakes and other errors. If this is what users are using to provide guidance on tagging of harbour areas, then we're in big trouble.--Alester 23:44, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

A quick glance at it and I see incorrect and unhelpful terms being used such as 'footbridge or raft' for a floating man_made=pier and gate for a waterway=lock_gate. There is also loads of detail which is of no benefit. Why do we need to know the German for 'breakwater' in an English article about harbours? Can I suggest that we just chop this down to a much briefer article here covering the agreed elements with a section at the end covering stuff which is not agreed. Any objections? I guess we could float any obvious concrete and relevant proposals off to the Proposed_features section, including the habour:* stuff but a lot of it has very little value. PeterIto 23:23, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
And another comment. The article is inconsistent with a long section on value for Category=* (which is a very poor generic tag name) and then I notice that the same list of values are proposed for habour:category=* lower down the article. Very sloppy. PeterIto 23:53, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
OK, I have now moved the article as it stood to Proposed_features/Harbour and have then chopped 14K out of this page on the basis that the removed content was either not agreed, or was out of scope or was already better covered in another article to which there is a link. I will do some more work on it in the near future. I think that is justified on the basis that question I asked on the page 6 months ago haven't been responded to. PeterIto 00:20, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
No, Harbour is not a "proposal" ;-) - It is used since three years :-) It is a "theme-page" covering all around harbours, intended to help mappers to understand the specific things around, and to avoid misunderstandings about nautical terms in different languages. Therefore the page uses pictures to explain the meaning of tags understandable and nonambiguous. The page was build in German and translated to English, and from English to French, Italian, Japan, and now Portuguese. By the last changes of the English page, the Portuguese translation did become wrong. Please don't change the English page without an agreement to the German one. Thanks, --Markus 09:18, 25 April 2012 (BST)
Thank you for responding Marcus. In defense of my edits, I would like to point out that:
  • Firstly, it was my view that there was a huge amount of content that did not fit with mapping harbours, much of which seemed to not be related to more general marine matters. See Category:Features for examples of how other feature pages focus on providing a quick introduction to the feature in question.
  • The article spent a lot of time describing what features were. If you look at other OSM articles they focus on how to map the feature, not on the feature itself - a link to Wikipedia is provided if appropriate for people who want to understand what is being mapped. The OSM wiki may however include a brief clarification of names used in different places for the OSM feature and other possibly confusions (or example to clarify what is meant by 'pier' in OSM tagging compared to local terms in use around the world).
  • I was concerned about all the red-links to non-existent wiki pages, even for the 'harbour' tag which seems pretty central to the subject!
  • I noted that no one had responded to the concerns raised on this wiki talk page from October 2010 and from December 2011.
  • There were many example of features in the harbour namespace, all of which were red-links incidentally, which seemed to ignore other more appropriate tags. For example, why use harbour:phone, not phone=*. Has 'habour:size' really been through any discussion? The terms 'big', 'medium', 'small' and 'very small' appear to leave too much to the judgement. If these are really the correct terms, then more information should be given on how to use them. I note that the terms are said to originate from the World Ports Index, but the external link at the bottom of the OSM wiki page to the 'World Ports Index' is broken. Incidentally, there is an earlier comment on this talk page asking why the tag is 'harbour:web' is recommended, and the conventional OSM tags of website=*, url=* and wikipedia=* are not used.
  • There were many confusing and obsolete terms described in the article. For example:
1) The top image had entries in the key for: "Harbour jetty with pier inside" and "Footbridge or raft". This seems to imply that a jetty and a pier are different in OSM and they are not. It also introduces the terms 'footbridge' and 'raft' which are actually tagged as 'pier' in OSM, if I understand the suggested use of footbridge.
2) Then there was the comment that "A pier is a mostly filled up and made of concrete landing place that is perpendicular to the coastline or to an other pier". That is not what a man_made=pier is in OSM.
3) For a Jetty the description was "A jetty is a filled up and/or made of concrete wall with connection to the land. It serves as coastal protection or infrequently as a connection to an island. Also a harbor wall is called jetty but not every jetty is a harbour wall". Nope, the term Jetty is not used in OSM, see Pier.
4) Then there was a description for 'footbridge', although the link to Wikipedia is to the article on a 'Wharf'. The text on the OSM wiki read "A footbridge - previously called man_made=pier - is a hard wharf that is build on piles of concrete or wood underneath the water can flow. As a connection over the water (see also landing-stage) or as a jetty for vessels. It could be a small footbridge for boats or a huge building on which reside houses or even complete amusement parks. In American English a larger footbridge is sometimes called "pier", and a smaller one sometimes(!) called a jetty." Nope, in OSM the term pier is used to cover these.
5) The landing stage description was equally muddled. For a start the wikipedia link for 'landing stage' is to 'Pier'. The OSM wiki section read: "A Landing-stage is an access to a landing place made of piles of concrete or wood, sometimes of cast-iron or filled up. It is used as a bridgeover of shallow water to a place with with reasonable water depth. The landing-stage in the subterranean water is mostly filled up or a platform on piles or a swimming ponton. See also "footbridge"." What on earth is that meant to mean?
6) I could go on with a critique of the sections for 'raft', 'pontoon', 'landing-stage', 'platform' etc
As such.. can I politely suggest that we work to improve the article, and not just revert!
-- PeterIto 08:03, 26 April 2012 (BST)
  • I was expecting some sort of response from Markus on the above who many some very specific comments which I have responded to in detail. Should I take silence as acceptance? PeterIto 22:08, 2 May 2012 (BST)

'Destroyed' page

Why was this page "destroyed" by somehow splitting it and moving the relevant parts to another location (the proposal) that nobody can find the information anymore? All other languages give a detailed description but just the English one is useless. The habour tags are in uses for a long time and IMO it is otiosely to create a proposal for a tag being already in use. Rahra 15:12, 7 May 2012 (BST)

I have provided detailing reasons for my changes to the page in the previous section. Could you please respond to my points individually. Thanks. PeterIto 11:13, 8 May 2012 (BST)
Can people please engage constructively in the development of this article and not just leave negative comments and run! There have been a number of examples of this recently. I responded to the earlier criticism in detail and got no response, and now I get another comment and again no response. PeterIto 13:47, 10 May 2012 (BST)
Sorry Peter, usually it is not my way to not respond. I read the discussion above and you may be right if you are arguing about correctness of the process of OSM tag creation. But in that specific case my opinion is that now all English speaking users and map editors simply do not (easily) find the relevant information anymore. An yes, maybe there was no proposal but these tags are not new. They are already in use for a long time. So what should the creation of a proposal improve? Rahra 08:18, 3 June 2012 (BST)
  • Thank you for responding. I suggest that we start by populating the wiki with new pages for the main un-documentated marine related tags that are in common use a present, using their wide use as evidence of their acceptance (even though there was no formal vote). This wiki pages can then be referenced from appropriate feature pages which explain how they are used in combination. I would be happy to help the this but won't be driving it without support from others. If you are happy to work on this then that would be a great start. PeterIto 05:52, 4 June 2012 (BST)
  • A good start would be to create an article for harbour=* which is seems to be pretty central to the subject but still doesn't have an English language article. Does it have one in other languages? PeterIto 06:39, 4 June 2012 (BST)
The whole marine tagging/mapping stuff within the wiki is a complete mess. But there is so much information that it is very difficult and much work to clean this up. Moreover there are some disagreements about many tags. We (OpenSeaMap) are going to hold a two-day workshop explicitly to just cleanup at least the OpenSeaMap wiki pages. To be honest, I don't have any idea how to cleanup the whole marine stuff. unsigned comment by Rahra
Sounds like a good start. I would however encourage you to move the subpages from OpenSeaMap into the main wiki space - subpages have not been encouraged for years. I would suggest that OpenSeaMap/Lights Data Model should become a feature page with the same title as Lights Data Model. Also that OpenSeaMap/Buoy Data Model should be moved to Buoys etc. PeterIto 10:03, 4 June 2012 (BST)
Those pages originally were at the top level but there was a lot of discussion about that and finally User:Cbm (who is not Openseamap) renamed them to OpenSeaMap/... We chose to let it in that way because most of us (OpenSeamap) are interested in quality maps and a good tagging scheme rather than political discussions ;) Rahra 08:12, 13 July 2012 (BST)
One should not confuse OpenSeaMap, which is a cartography project as I understand it. The pages that describe how to tag marine features should of course be standardised across all marine mapping applications and projects and as such I don't believe that they should be presented as if there were part of OpenSeaMap. (I am not saying anything about the quality of the information presented, only that it shouldn't be hidden away in the sub-pages of an app.) PeterIto 15:03, 13 July 2012 (BST)
Yes of course, that's what I always say. Unfortunately, there are several tagging schemes and there was no consensus within the last 3 years that I'm into marine mapping. However, the tagging scheme developed by Openseamap seems to be most widely used according to the tag statistics. All stuff related to marine mapping within this Wiki is pure chaos and it should be cleaned up completely. But I don't see who and how this should be done since there are so many people involved. Maybe the seamap community is big enough now to hold a separate conference. Rahra 11:41, 14 July 2012 (BST)

Expand scope to include marinas and naval bases?

Would it make sense to expand the scope of this feature page to cover marina and naval bases? Personally I think they appear to share enough characteristics to make that sensible and in some cases they are all combined together in close proximity. PeterIto 06:43, 4 June 2012 (BST)

Yes of course. The tagging is not limited in any way. It allows to tag all kinds of "berthing facilities". And it is already used for that. Rahra 06:59, 4 June 2012 (BST)
To be clear I was only proposing the expand the range of facilities we discussed on this particular wiki page. I wasn't making any comment on wider tagging options. Lets however cover all 'berthing facilities' within this article to some extent. PeterIto 15:05, 13 July 2012 (BST)

On shore storage

It would be good to have information about onshore storage. Documenting how to tag storage tanks, silos, warehouses, timberyards, stock piles, cattle yards, etc is of interest when mapping the harbour area landuse=harbour. --Skippern 02:30, 1 September 2012 (BST)

Docking facilities and terminals

It would be good to have information about the various docking facilities. INT 1 documents several different (though not all) types of docking and terminal facilities, with their own symbols in a marine map. We should be able to map this. Also S-57, the data transfer protocol for electronic charts have some data like this, and I believe in the ECDIS standard also. --Skippern 02:30, 1 September 2012 (BST)

How to map this

[1] This is clearly a kind of port to a pacific island, the only access to it in fact (no airport, no bigger port infra-structure). Ok for the man_made=pier, but how to tag the part that is dig in the beach in front of it ?--Yvecai (talk) 18:59, 16 March 2015 (UTC)


This page suggest tagging the harbour area as landuse=harbour. The landuse=*-page suggests landuse=port, which in turn suggests landuse=industrial + industrial=port. I guess it would be a good idea to clean up these definitions. --Skippern (talk)


--Skippern (talk)

landuse=harbour is (by far) the most widely used solution... — Verdy_p (talk) 21:43, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Documentation should reflect consensus or common practice where possible, not suggest 3 different options without proper documenting why one is preferred over the others. Currently documentation is more in favour of industrial=port. Maybe this topic should be brought to the tagging@ mailing list? --Skippern (talk) 22:02, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
landuse=harbour is (by far) the most widely used solution...; however it may encompass several landuse areas: commercial (shops, markets, intertransport stations for commercial travels), industrial (naval construction, fishery, docks for ferries or cargos), and residential (including hotels), or natural and unclear areas (parkings, service railways...) whose usage varies across seasons. That's probably why another tag than landuse=* was needed to avoid collisions. But for most cases its use is mostly for industrial purpose (but this does not work with leisure marinas, or beaches within the harbour area, or natural islets in this area).
landuse=port is synonymous to landuse=harbour (or harbor), but industrial=port may just be the industrial part (on the ground) of a larger harbour area (that *also* includes water areas: landuse is inappropriate here). I suspect that a better tag would just be "boundary=harbour".
The same problem will occur with airport areas. On both cases, there's generally a port authority: may be "boundary=port" and then "port=maritime" or "port=airport" or "port=fluvial". Note that important harbours may mix those three types simultaneously such as the Nantes-Saint-Nazaire port in France at the mouth of the Loire river; and the same port authority may manage several distant ports, e.g. "Aéroports de Paris" whose area covers several regions, and most airports being partly over several local communes; see also the example of New York City, whose authority manages a very large areas including commercial and residential buildings on several islands, plus road equipments such as bridges and tunnels and some security services for the resident population, on top of the administration of several cities). — Verdy_p (talk) 21:43, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
"boundary=port" sounds like something coming under boundary=maritime which will be the legal harbour limits (seawards), to make it clear that a commercial, retail, residential or recreational area is within a harbour, maybe a completely different namespace is useful. For intermodal ports, dryports, etc, harbour falls into the wrong namespace (and actually a railway switchyard would generally fit within dry ports, intermodal ports, and maritime ports as well. In all, the landuse=* makes for complicate the larger port area. If landuse=harbour is to be used for maritime ports in the same way landuse=railway is used, but than some definition needs to be done for intermodal and dry ports. --Skippern (talk) 22:11, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
I disagree, because boundary=maritime is only for boundaries on water (e.g. territorial sea at 12nm or lower, EEZ, continental shelf extension), not for boundaries on land, and it is frequently not closed. But if it closes it is also bound by the inner boundaries of the coastline, so it will not include any landuser=*. The administrative area for port areas (harbo(u)rs, airports) or the intermodal areas covers a maritime area, frequently fluvial areas as well (not maritime at all) and land areas for equipements, industries and buildings. In addition boundary=maritime would completely miss the case of fluvial harbours or harbours on large lakes. Many large harbours are multimodal with connections with railways, or road terminals for ferries, and they may have cultural facilities as well. Their landarea also frequently include military areas (landuse=military) and parts of protected natural areas (notably on river muths and surrounding beaches, dunes.
so landuse=* is not suitable at all, as well as boundary=maritime. But boundary=administrative would also require some admin_level, when administrative subdivisions are generally independant of harbour area extensions (it may span several cities, frequently only covering some admoinistrative suburb divisions of cities. They can't have any admin_level.
In my opinion, a boundary=local_authority would be much more suitable, but in France (and many countries with intermunicipal cooperations) it would conflict with their existing use. And you'd have to invent some additional subtag (like for EPCI's in France). It seems more suitable to dedicate a separate "boundary=port" and subtype it with "port:type=harbour/airport/roadport". Some port authorities also manage several transport, many of them manage residential or commercial buildings, financial institutions (such as stocks exchanges for transportation logistics and intermodality), as well as security services (police, army, weather, medical emergency assistance, and operate their own ships/planes/helicopters and employ lot of personal: they are semi-public organizations) Frequently they have special tax agreements for their hosted companies, and can create their own local regulation bypassing regulation of local municipalities or regions, sometimes they are developed as specific branches/agencies of their region, or directly from their national government. They pay some taxes to local authorities like other regular organizations. They may have permanent residents, and could have their own duties for imported/exported products. Port authorities are very special local administrations with specific status in their country. And they are decisive for deciding their development and can select their residents. Many of them have limited competences (e.g. only about fishery, but not for other maritime activities in their area and notably on waters that they share with others (local authorities, national army or navy, private residents, and possibly natural park authorities).
We used specific boundary=* values and separated from for admin subdivisions, local authorities, natural parks, why not for ports?
My opinion is still the same: landuse=* is inappropriate. In my opinion transportation autorities should have a separate value for boundary=* (we have also other values for police, justice, education, public health...).
And landuse=military is also questionable and create its own conflicts with industrial, residential, as well as farmlands/forests, or natural features in their areas, when in fact it just indicates a zone with restricted access (this could also include prisons/jails, and hospitals which are not really inaccessible to the public, or museums/touristic features open to them: in fact it just indicates a special legal status of operation and laws). — Verdy_p (talk) 23:02, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree that landuse is not a suitable tag, for several reasons, but neither do I like "boundary" (any polygon could be a kind of boundary), have a look at this proposal: Proposed_features/Seaway --Dieterdreist (talk) 20:38, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Much too many tags to just find ports/harbors/harbours... We still need a generic one and your proposal is limited to maritime tagging and does not solve the complexity, it just adds more complex tagging.
boundary=port can still be used, along with your maritime specific proposal(s) adding only details. ports/airports/railports/roadports/freight interchanges (may be spaceports too...) have all in common to have a local port authority with a well defined area of competence and specific rules applicable there, and encompassing various king of land and water areas (and frequently they are now multimodal, i.e. connecting multiple transport modes) and various kinds of residents and activities, or natural areas; and they operate in parallel to local administrative authorities whose competence is slightly restricted and partially transfered to the port authority. In some cases, these port authorities are international (e.g. airports like Mulhouse/Bâle/Freiburg, between France, Switzerland and Germany, with special customs). — Verdy_p (talk) 21:09, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
This is a typical issue where often something else is intended (German: Hafen) but the wrong English word was chosen. Not every port is a harbour. German doesn't make this distinction and Germans invent a lot of tags. I suggest to use the proposed key seaway=* for mapping ports and specific types of ports. --Dieterdreist (talk) 08:47, 28 May 2018 (UTC)

Reference to waterway=dock seem wrong?

I don't understand the reference to waterway=dock on the Harbour page:

"The area of water within a harbour area, if not already part of natural=coastline, waterway=riverbank or natural=water should be tagged: waterway=dock. (Also, see the Seamark tagging.)"

This suggestion regarding the usage of waterway=dock seems utterly wrong. A dock is not a harbour basin in direct connection with the sea. It is, as the Tag:waterway=dock clearly states, a contained area of a harbour where the water level can be controlled. For most harbours, this is not the case, they are at the mercy of the tides. The reference is possibly based on a wrong interpretation of the word "dock" as in "docking" meaning the offloading of a ship instead of a true dry dock type facility.

I think this sentence should be removed, and possibly replaced by a reference to the seamark:type=harbour_basin as a more suitable tag to reference parts of a larger port or harbour designated for mooring and offloading and with a dedicated name or ref.

The current suggestion leads to odd renderings in styles using the waterway=dock tag and depicting it in a specialized manner. E.g. I have seen an entire French harbour being displayed as "dock", even though it was connected directly to the sea. -- unsigned comment by: Mboeringa (talk) 21:37, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

I am now becoming aware of the possible source of this. Looking at [this official map of the harbour of Aberdeen], it becomes clear that "dock" in English at least has multiple interpretations, including the possibility of direct tidal connection, so just shading of wave action, probably what is meant also with dock=tidal, although having direct connection to sea somewhat contradicts with the suggestion of a "managed water level" on the Tag:waterway=dock page.

Anyway, in this context, the current text is probably acceptable, although possibly confusing to non-native English speakers.--Mboeringa (talk) 22:48, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree it is very confusing. Tagging a harbor as a dock is like tagging a town as a house. If you tag a node with harbour=yes and name it, osmose flags it as an error and osmcarto does not render it. I am too new to know what to do about this but this needs to be sorted out. --Rassilon (talk) 13:53, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
You can add the tags from the seaway proposal to any node or closed way, also additionally to landuse, and it will not create problems with other apps (but it will probably also not be rendered at the moment). Historically, we are lacking consistent tagging for ports and terminals as a whole (while there are for individual features), in particular for cargo facilities. seaway=* --Dieterdreist (talk) 14:06, 4 March 2019 (UTC)