Talk:Marine navigation

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Template for MainPage

This site is linked on the Main Page by template:Sailors:

Odysseus 26k.jpg
On a sailing trip?
Draw a harbour map!

Good luck! --Markus 19:51, 30 July 2008 (UTC)


The original page is written in German, and translated by user:fma to English, also the template.
Thanks for this! --Markus 19:51, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Moved the page from 'Sailor Main'

There's no naming convention for this kind of wiki page (various related tags presented on one page) but the name "Sailor Main" seemed quite odd. "Marine Mapping" describes the idea better. I've gone ahead and moved it. -- Harry Wood 12:28, 2 August 2008 (UTC)


An OSM sea map will never be able to offer the accuracy and update interval offered by the various hydrographic services, and therefor will never be aproved for professional use. The maps might be suitable for holiday planning, or in limited areas good enough for private usage, but I doubt any insurance will accept navigation in non-hydrographic maps. For OSM to have value as hydrographic map, depth courves, underwater pipelines and cables, and much more must be tagged. --Skippern 01:36, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

It will take effort

If we all had our echo sounders recording depth by position and time we could do some statistical work and track inshore waters really well. I don't think we should aim to be insurance worthy - I own paper charts for that. But OSM based electronic charts would be great. --Julianc 19:54, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree that a free electronic chart for my boat would be great, and I would realy appriciate it if the hydrographic organizations contributed with free chart data (for instance here on OSM). The problem with electronic marine charts today is the expence, they costs way too much, and since all the charts are copyrighted, you can't (leagally at least though some might do it anyway) copy your friends charts. Also for unlicensed copies, correction updates are disabled. For most yacht users, even paper charts remain un-corrected, and after a certain time makes even this useless in the eyes of a professional mariner. But when presenting pictures from your last trip, what isn't greater than presenting some pictures of your fantastic ECDIS? --Skippern 00:59, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Never Say Never

I put the proposal out there for natural=rocks and we have sea_mark=day_beacon we also have route=ferry. Also sub_sea=reef is proposed. .. and (i think) there are protected reefs out there, so they should be listed.... how else would people know that they are protected? So I see no reason why OpenStreetMap can't become used as a supplement for ocean navigators. The more people start using it, and sharing their findings, the better the map gets. :-)

And just with elevation spot heights, an estimated depth points could be shared.

--acrosscanadatrails 02:51, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

I would love to see an equivalent to SRTM for subsea depths, not as a part of the OSM dataset, but an independent dataset that can be overlayed as desired, just as done today with topographical maps. --Skippern 03:28, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
--check out the Smith & Sandwell / ETOPO2 dataset Hamish 05:47, 12 April 2010 (UTC)


Maybe bridges should be added to the list? Many ports entrances and canals have bridges passing them, these might be useful as navigational marks, as well as it might be important to know the sailing clearance of the bridge. I suggest that we use height=* or height:sailing=* for noting the clearance under the bridge. (I have a feeling that height might be used for some other notation as well, so a dedicated height:sailing might be useful. --Skippern 17:42, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

In S-57 we have:

HORCLR "Horizontal clearance" (max. Durchfahrtsbreite)
VERCLR "Vertical clearance" (max. Durchfahrtshöhe) for bridge, cable, etc.
VERCCL "Vertical clearance, closed" (max. Durchfahrtshöhe geschlossen)
VERCOP "Vertical clearance, open" (max. Durchfahrtshöhe offen)

--Markus 19:27, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

maxheight=* is standard. --Richard 19:47, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
But does that refer to the highest clearance, or as sailing clearance refer to the clearance of a certain length of the span? I see maxheight as the highest clearance a vehicle can pass, we might refer to this as safeheight as many marine maps use the term safe clearance. --Skippern 21:50, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I suppose a different key for sea and land, for different display ind seamap and streetmap. --Markus 18:29, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I have documented my usage of maxheight:marine=*, in my opinion that is the best way of noting such restrictions on bridges, power lines and other obstrictions to marine transportation, please elaborate of you have suggestions to improvements. --Skippern 13:44, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Marine hazzard natural=rocks

What about the tag natural=rocks? I think this would be handy to have, as it's important for sailors to know where the rocks are. Having it as an icon showing some kind of hazzard should do Or even the "name=rocks" --acrosscanadatrails 15:05, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

natural=rocks together with ele=height if sticking above water all the time, depth=* if submerged all the time, or tidal=yes if submerged only on high tide (these have different symbols in marine maps). --Skippern 17:39, 31 May 2009 (UTC)


The wiki page leaves this blank :( In the canvec2osm map features, shoal's are shown as a point. According to wikipedia, a wikipedia:shoal is a sandbar, or sandbank. I would prefer to propose the tag "natural=sandbar", because IMO its easier to understand what it is. Any thoughts before i make the proposal page? --acrosscanadatrails 16:40, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I would propose natural=wetland, wetland=shoal. Shoal seems to be the more general term, but may be not specific enough. In a way dunes are kind of shoals may be.--Cracklinrain (talk) 18:29, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Proposed move to 'Mapping/Features/Marine'

I propose that this page is moved to Mapping/Features/Marine. I have already directed some terms to this page from Feature Index. PeterIto 09:05, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't think a hierachical structure makes sense in this wiki. If the marine related pages are evolving with establishment of a sub-hierarchy (e.g. feature descriptions, tagging guides etc.) this will result in a propably very deep structure with much too long page names. I would prefer to have simple and concise page titles and additional a transparent description of the hierarchy structure on the appropriate pages (e.g. This page describes the tagging scheme for the hydrographic feature foo. For an overview on similar features in category bar see foobar.) --HeikoE 14:36, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Mapping/Features has been deprecated Martin Renvoize 09:08, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Water depths

Except for subsea nodes of interests (wrecks, rocks, etc) water depths should not be tagged in the OSM database, but a separate dataset similar to SRTM should be made/found/used for the purpose of generating subsea depth courves (the same way that height courves on topographic maps are made from SRTM data). Of corse we should tag depth on wrecks and rocks as we already have the node in OSM, and that the data can be of interest to other people using the database. For example a diver planing a dive on a wreck would like to know how deep it is. --Skippern 23:48, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


Currently there is a bunch of marine-related pages in the wiki without having a clear structure. I have found some already approved features, proposals, pages which seems to be for brainstorming purposes, others are mixing up common contents with project-specific stuff, redundant and even conflicting content, as well as unclear structured categories. Additionally there are two marine-related projects ("FreieTonne" and "OpenSeaMap") using different tagging schemes which maybe a doubtful strategy in OSM context.
Therefore I suggest to take some effort to develop a better wiki structure, maybe a well designed "Marine-Portal". Possible goals are listed below in section "Action plan".
See also: WikiProject Cleanup and Wiki_Help#WikiProject_Cleanup

Please find below some lists (I'm sure they're not complete...) of what we have, a suggestion to a page structure (at least for feature pages/tagging guides) and a list of possible goals and actions.
I will close my personal comment here, please feel free to add additional suggestions and ideas to the stuff below wherever you think it's appropriate ;-) HeikoE 18:37, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

OK, I shoveled all the links below into the Seamap category- it should act as a central hub for all maritime related pages of this wiki. The last couple of days I almost went nuts because of all the mess. About most of the stuff I had allready made up my mind, I later realized that a wikipage allready existed. Please feel free to add everything maritime related here. Further subcategorizing of pages is necessary for sure.-- Zenfunk 23.00, January 7th 2010

What we have


Main Page

DE:Marine_Mapping redirects to DE:Segler ("Segler" = "Sailor"; maybe this page title is too specific?) (the redirect should probably go the other way to allow {{languages|}} template to work both ways Skippern 10:16, 27 August 2009 (UTC))
FR:Marine_Mapping (stub)

Approved features


Other pages

DE:Bake (description + link to Proposed_features/marine-tagging)
FR:Beacon (redirect to Proposed_features/marine-tagging)
DE:Tonne (description + link to Proposed_features/marine-tagging)
FR:Buoy (redirect to Proposed_features/marine-tagging)
IT:Buoy (redirect to Proposed_features/marine-tagging)
  • Harbour (contains some common feature descriptions as well as tagging proposals)
DE:Harbour redirects to DE:Hafen
FR:Harbour (stub)
DE:Leuchtfeuer (contains some common feature descriptions as well as tagging proposals)
FR:Lighthouse (stub)
DE:Water Depth
FR:Water Depth (stub)

FreieTonne specific pages


OpenSeaMap specific pages

DE:Bake Datenmodell
DE:Tonne Datenmodell

Possible structure of feature pages according to INT1

INT1 -->

Marine_Mapping (Portal page, common high-level description, links to feature pages)

References (e.g. list of IHO documents)
Topography (feature page)
Natural Features
Cultural Features
Ports (please see a definition suggestion on Talk:Proposed_features/Breakwater)
Topographic Terms
Tides, Currents
Nature of the Seabed
Rocks, Wrecks, Obstructions
Offshore Installations
Tracks, Routes
Areas, Limits
Hydrographic Terms
Aids and Services
Buoys, Beacons
Fog Signals
Radar, Radio, Electronic Position-Fixing Systems
Small Craft Facilities

Action plan

Possible goals and resulting actions:

  • Maybe a separate discussion page would make sense to avoid to blow up this one?
  • Discuss and establish
    • a distinctive category structure
    • an understandable and structured page hierarchy (not necessarily like "page/subpage", see Talk:WikiProject_Cleanup#Structure but well linked and transparent).
  • develop one consolidated tagging scheme, taking into account: aligned to the S-57 structure; human-readable keys and values; usable by other tools based on the OSM data
  • consolidate page content to the new page structure after discussing on the specific talk pages; see also Wiki_Help#Some_general_guidelines
  • work on a proposal to establish the work (maybe Proposed_features/marine-tagging could be a good starter?)

Delete non essential information on this page

I would get rid of the last paragraph- it contains a weird assortment of non nautical tags that have nothing to do with what this page is all about in the first place

+1 --HeikoE 07:17, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
-1 Actually some of these are marked on professional maritime maps, such as churches (amenity=place_of_worship), post offices (amenity=post_office), police stations (amenity=police), airports (aeroway=aerodrome), though I agree that the list contains a lot of non-essential tags. The list could without problem be trimmed to less than half. Some of these tags have significant information for navigation (a church tower can be used to get a bearing for position fixes), while other contain useful information (where to get correspondence, contact authorities in case of problems, etc). --Skippern 17:37, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Boat Rental

As a sailor who can not always take his own boat with him, I am always interested of boat rentals. Those are sometimes difficult to find. For example if you ask somebody in Patong Beach (Phuket, Thailand) where to rent Hobie Cats, nobody knows because this is much less popular than jet skiing or banana boat riding. So I would add a tag like 'amenity=boat_rental,type=Hobie_Cat' or something similar. --Plenz 10:03, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Sounds good, however I would suggest that we avoid 'type' and that you use 'amenity=xxx' and 'boat:type=xxx' instead. That way one can't get muddled between what the 'type' is for. At some point we will need to create a good list of boat types. See discussion at ITO_Map_ideas#Navigable_waterways for details of other boat types we will need to accommodate in due course. For now get on with boat:type=Hobie_Cat would be my advice. PeterIto 11:59, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Proposed move -> Marine navigation

Is the scope of this article actually marine navigation? If so then would a the title not more accurately be 'Marine navigation'. If the scope is indeed all marine mapping then the content should be expanded to cover conservation zones, fishing restrictions etc etc. Personally I think that limiting the scope to navigation features (and natural hazards etc) makes a load of sense and that it will be better to clarify the scope by adjusting the title than to expand the content. Any thoughts? PeterIto 08:36, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

I have now completed the move. PeterIto 10:21, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Navigation aids tagging chaos?

I have done some pretty savage reworking on articles that relate to navigational aids in the past few hours/days many of which contained little actual useful information about tagging features and led one on a wild-goose-chase of large, wide-ranging and detailed proposals and counter-proposals and discussions relating to these. I concluded that it was best to redirect many of the main wiki articles here and the provide a summary of all the proposals here. I also think it will be a good idea to create a new article, Navigation aids to provide a summary of navigation aids for shipping, flying and possibly other activities using a title which is unrelated to any particular proposal but which can provide a neutral place to discuss the issues and proposals. Any comments? PeterIto 10:20, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

This page when viewed on a cell phone

"Sailors, with your GPS, you can do a lot for and with OpenStreetMap"

That section looks like a disaster when viewed on a cellphone. First the word Sailors is invisible. And then the map doesn't show up either. Jidanni (talk) 09:33, 3 October 2022 (UTC)