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Alternative tagging

I found out today by reading the tagging that waterfalls are only points. I then fixed a waterfall that I'd tagged as a way. The waterfall at the mouth of Ogden Canyon (Ogden, Utah) is long enough that I had tagged it as a way. Should a proposal be made to be able to tag waterfalls this way?

Also, Niagara (for instance) is a wide waterfall. This should be tagged as a way as well, but with a different rendering.

Val42 (talk) 05:41, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

We tag various details of the waterfall by various means. The waterfall-edge is usually tagged as a cliff. The waterway=waterfall node should be at the intersection of the cliff and river, this node is there to be displayed as an icon. Look at the examples.
There are various improvements that could be made but I would leave waterway=waterfall as node, has been around for a long time and do not want to break whatever is already working. The improvements which I see as more important are:
  • mark the natural=cliff with an additional flag indicating it forms an waterfall edge which could then be rendered differently from normal cliffs in specialised renderers with a good enough fallback on standard rendering
  • mark areas of water as "whitewater", not for rafting or kayaking purposes but to point out areas in the water which are generally very hazardous
  • mark strong/fast currents in the water
RicoZ (talk) 12:12, 8 May 2015 (UTC)


Cascades, a series of waterfalls could be tagged along the river/stream way section (not as a node) using waterfall=cascades? Aharvey (talk) 23:42, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

I would probably tag all cliffs (waterfall edges) and add waterway=waterfall node to the cliffs forming the major steps of the cascade. There are scattered discussions (maling lists, various talk pages) about marking parts or areas of rivers or other water bodies with special properties like whitewater, rapids, stream pools, riffles but not an agreed way to do it yet so at this point I would not introduce waterfall=cascade (and don't use the plural anyway). RicoZ (talk) 13:27, 20 March 2017 (UTC)