Talk:WikiProject Waterways

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Ideas on how to make relations for rivers ? (Brainstorm)

Q: Why do you use a "route" relation for rivers? River doesn't fit the description of the route. From the wiki: "A route is a pre-determined and often publicised path taken repeatedly by vehicles or people along a set of ways, for example a numbered road, a bus route, or a cycle route." I have changed the Seim river relation to "collection". IMHO, collection fits better. Also, I've started to draw riverbanks of the Seim in the region of my interest, and I am adding riverbanks and isles to the collection too.

A: Well, for me roads are ways and rivers are ways too. On roads cars are driving; on rivers boats... therefore I chose route. Collection sounds odd to me (like stamp collection...) maybe one can find a term fitting better?! --katpatuka 10:38, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, if you draw a line following the navigation fairway, that would be a route for boat. River itself isn't a route, it just an object of nature. The collection relation is handy because all it means is: all these objects belong to one entity, you can download them in a group or select them in a group, or change their properties in a group. With collection I can download Seim with all its bays and isles. Of course any relation would allow me to do the same, e.g. "route" or even "street", but river is neither of them, so I'd prefer collection... Neither of us are native speakers, afaik :) For me "collection" sounds like"group", so I don't see a problem. We can ask native speakers on IRC. --Glebius 12:50, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Why can't we just invent new relation type? Let it be called "river"! Not "route", not "collection". It will group all ways, riverbanks, isles, etc. It can have field "tributary of", which points to another river. --Glebius 12:56, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Just type=river is ok with mee... --katpatuka 12:44, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Would be interesting tag as type=waterway with waterway=river or type=canal etc... But stil not konw how deal with waterbody. Frodrigo 16:18, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think using type=route + route=waterway is that bad, just like the type=multipolygon is for any types or areas, type=route could be used for any types of linestring. Yes it makes the mappers's work a little harder, but since there is only one relation per river, that should be fine ;-). The question might be why type=route more than type=collected_way or type=waterway, I personnally don't care, but type=route is allready widely used for bus route, hiking routes, ... and is the only one currently supported by osm2pgsql (the tools used for mapnik rendering). Since one or another is almost equivalent for mappers, I prefere to use something allready supported by tools and join the idea that type=* describe the technical shape of the object. (Note: I'm only talking about the centre way running in the middle of the river, not the riverbanks, nor dams, waterbody or anything else that could go into another relation if needed : KIFS) sletuffe 18:59, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Why relations at all?

Why do you need relations for rivers at all? I can't think of a good reason. Rivers flow down through connected ways. A tributary is easy to spot because one river flows into another. -- Randomjunk 11:51, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I like relations because the allow to pick all objects describing one entity as a group. Tributary isn't easy to spot when rivers are several hundred km long, and are splitted into dozens of polylines. With tributary relations one can pick from the database the whole basin. --Glebius 12:53, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Relations are not there to group things. Relations are not categories. Relations are there to solve problems that otherwise require arbitrary tag construction/parsing, or to model actual relationships not made obvious by topology. "It makes it easy to pull out of the API" is not a good reason to use a relation. -- Randomjunk 13:03, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Relation "river" models actual relation, doesn't it? --Glebius 13:44, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
A relation that's easily determined by the existing ways? If it isn't then sure, but if following the connections does the same thing then the relation really isn't adding extra information. -- Randomjunk 14:29, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
So how would you add/change a tag for a whole river without using relations and the possibility to "Download Members" in josm? Or: why do we need relations for e-road then ?--katpatuka 15:24, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
You don't. You follow the whole thing down to check you're actually doing the right thing rather than changing and hoping you're not breaking something you don't see. You don't need relations for most E-roads -- applying int_ref tag is usually good enough. If there's ever a case of a road being part of two E-routes then a relation does make things easy. Some countries have that situation on their national roads so need relations for them, and in that case it makes sense to expand to the E-roads too. In the UK it's completely pointless as a piece of road only ever has one ref (although we seem to have some people who like to collect things anyway). -- Randomjunk 08:53, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Why do we need relations for rivers ?
Because a river is a complex with
  • a way: the axis, with the order of nodes giving the stream, with parts boatable or not, with s spring, a stream at the beginning and maybe a wide estuary at its end ...
  • an area: made by areas, multipolygons and so on... where we can swim or not, fish or not... natural reserve...
  • several ways : banks, quays, navigable way, political boundary...
  • a head of a network: tributaries, other rivers, streams...
  • a lot of other things:
    • accidents: weirs, dams, falls, locks, fords, tunnels...
    • activities: mills, washhouses...
Have I forgotten something ? I've not mentioned the bridges that are above the river.
Why do we need relations for rivers ?
Because the world is rich and complex and openStreetMap is ambitious.
FrViPofm 16:39, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Give me 5! ;-) --katpatuka 12:44, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Right. So let me rephrase the question. Why do we need RELATIONS for rivers? All you've done there is list a bunch of features it would be nice to map. Most of which are actually connected to, or embedded in the river. Randomjunk 08:53, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Do we have any problems with one additional object in database per river? Probably don't. So why are you against it, if other people find it useful? --Glebius 17:32, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Oh, OK. Everyone add a tag id=<object id> to anything they edit. It's just one more tag, why would anyone be against it? Seriously, because it adds complication, it's yet another thing to try and explain to people, and it doesn't (as far as anybody has been able to explain so far) actually do anything. I was only asking Why. If the answer is essentially "because we can" then I guess this falls into the standard crappy wiki tagging discussion where reason can be kindly left behind... so I'll just leave now, I've got better things to do. Randomjunk 19:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)


Q: Could it be an idea to make a separate WikiProject for the Amazon river/basin? It is the world's largest rain water basin, containing a significantly large portion of the worlds rainforest and fresh water. The region is largely unmapped, much due to lack of roads and other infrastructure, but most of the river branches should be highly visible on (even low resolution) Yahoo arial images and landsat imagery. There are several settlements within the Amazon Basin, many of which have the river as only communication with the outside world. --Skippern 05:38, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

way through water

How to tag ways going through water? They are not really a bridge, but water is not so deep there, surface is solid. Conny 20:02, 19 September 2009 (UTC).

highway=ford FrViPofm 21:13, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject France/Cours d'eau

I'm made this some time ago WikiProject France/Cours d'eau about french waterway. I have also build a waterway status draft template Template:En:Waterway_status. Feel free to modify. Frodrigo 18:19, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Mapping rivers using SRTM data

Here's a tip, though it's probably been thought of before, maybe even common practice. I wanted to map some rivers/streams in hilly areas that I haven't been able to get near with my GPS, and for which there are no good free aerial photos. Then I realised that rivers always follow valleys, so I used srtm2osm to get contour maps of the relevant areas, and used them to trace the valleys in JOSM, combined with a little common-sense and personal knowledge. Just thought I'd share that. Tongro 22:04, 22 January 2011 (UTC)