User:Davetoo/NHD/main redo

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The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) is a United States-wide hydrography dataset suitable for import into OpenStreetMap.

This page details the process, progress, and mapping as the dataset is imported.


Tools and workflows

Shapefiles to OSM

OSM to Shapefiles

Those of us with access to GIS software may wish to bring existing hydrography-related OSM data into a GIS to make use of more powerful tools to identify collisions and conflicts.


Python scripts for converting the shape files can be found at

Obtain High Resolution shapefiles from the NHD web site by using the NHD Viewer. Read the "How to extract" instruction on the left, pop-ups must be enabled for the site.



All Geometry
SHP Key OSM Tag(s) Description
ComID nhd-shp:com_id Common ID. Unique to all of NHD data.
FDate nhd-shp:fdate Capture date.
GNIS_ID gnis:id USGS Geographic Names Information System feature identifier.
Elevation ele Feature elevation. Not used very often.

The NHD data comes in shapefiles, but most information is built into the single "FCode" field. The below describes a possible mapping.

Flowline (NHDFlowline.shp, LineString)
FType FCode OSM Tag(s) Description
ArtificialPath 55800 name:-, waterway:river Artificial paths are usually used to indicate the centerlines for rivers that are wide enough to designate with an multipolygon.
CanalDitch 33600 waterway:canal; some may need to be hand-edited to waterway:drain A canal or ditch (usually with a concrete or earthen surround).
Connector 33400 ??? "A known, but nonspecific connection between two nonadjacent network segments" [1]
StreamRiver 46003 waterway:stream? Intermittent streams.
StreamRiver 46006 waterway:river Permanent/perennial rivers.
Areas (NHDArea.shp, MultiPolygon)
FType FCode OSM Tag(s) Description
StreamRiver 46006 waterway:riverbank The polygon riverbank for a river that should be drawn wider than a line. This polygon will surround a line of code 55800 with the river's name.
Water Bodies (NHDWaterbody.shp, MultiPolygon)
FType FCode OSM Tag(s) Description
BayInlet 31200 natural:bay, might need to be natural:coastline Bay or inlet.
LakePond 39001 natural:water, occurrence:intermittent?? Intermittently visible lake/pond.
LakePond 39004 natural:water More permanently visible lake/pond.
Reservoir 43612 man_made:wastewater_plant Sewage treatment pond.
SwampMarsh 46600 natural:wetland A generic swamp/marsh area.




  • Alexrudd
  • crschmidt
    • Working in MA, intersecting subbasins are:
 01090003 Blackstone; state(s): MA, RI
 01090002 Cape Cod; state(s): MA, RI 
 01090001 Charles; state(s): MA
 01080204 Chicopee; state(s): MA
 01070005 Concord; state(s): MA
 01080203 Deerfield; state(s): MA, VT
 01080207 Farmington; state(s): CT, MA
 01100005 Housatonic; state(s): CT, MA, NY
 02020003 Hudson-Hoosic; state(s): MA, NY, VT
 01080205 Lower Connecticut; state(s): CT, MA
 01070002 Merrimack; state(s): MA, NH
 01080201 Middle Connecticut; state(s): MA, NH, VT
 02020006 Middle Hudson; state(s): MA, NY
 01080202 Miller; state(s): MA, NH
 01090004 Narragansett; state(s): MA, RI
 01070004 Nashua; state(s): MA, NH
 01060003 Piscataqua-Salmon Falls; state(s): MA, ME, NH
 01100001 Quinebaug; state(s): CT, MA, RI
 01100002 Shetucket; state(s): CT, MA
 01080206 Westfield; state(s): CT, MA
 03050105 SC: Upper Broad River Basin (SC and NC)
 03050107 SC: Tyger River Basin
 03050108 SC: Enoree River Basin
 03050109 SC: Saluda River Basin
 07100004 Middle Des Moines; state(s): IA
 07080105 South Skunk; state(s): IA
 07100008 Lake Red Rock; state(s): IA

Proposed Tags for all NHD keys

Some of the fcodes have been changed from the version on this list. For details, see: [2]


Feature Type






feature type only: no attributes




Anchorage Type|explosives isolation

Completed Basins

The following (sub)basins have been uploaded: