Waterways

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logo Feature: Waterways
One example for Feature: Waterways
Description
Areas of water including rivers, canals, streams, lake and reservoirs
Tags
waterway=river
waterway=stream
natural=water
water=*

Waterways include water features including rivers, canals and streams, as well also lakes, reservoirs and docks. Related features include locks, weirs, rapids. See Inland navigation for details about navigation of inland waterways and Whitewater sports for details about tagging for canoeing/rafting; also Water management for more details about water managed for human use, including water in pipes, water treatment plant etc and Marine/Marine navigation for information about the sea and navigation at sea.

Please do not be daunted by all the options, just creating a simple way tagged only with waterway=river is a great start; adding a single additional tag is also useful. Leave others to add all the related tags if they so wish.

Linear water features: rivers, canals, streams etc

All rivers, canals and streams should normally be represented as a linear ways. The main types are waterway=river, waterway=canal or waterway=stream, waterway=drain and waterway=ditch. This way used should point in the direction of water flow and connect with other linked waterway features to create a routable network.

Tidal sections of a waterway can be tagged with tidal=yes and if it is intermittent use intermittent=yes. If a stream starts as as spring, the node can be tagged with natural=spring. The name=* tag is used to hold the name to the watercourse, and wikipedia=* for a link to a related Wikipedia page.

Point features used along to watercourses include waterway=weir, waterway=dam and ford=*. A section of waterway within a lock between the lock gates can be tagged with lock=* with node tagged waterway=lock_gate at each end. The name of the lock can be added using lock_name=* and/or lock_ref=*. boat=*, ship=* and cemt=* tags can be used to specify if boats are allowed to use the watercourse.

Wide rivers, lakes, reservoirs and islands

In addition to a linear description of the watercourse, the riverbanks for wider rivers and canals can be defined in one of two ways. The simpler method is to create an area feature for each section of river and tag it with waterway=riverbank joined using a pair of shared nodes with the adjoining section. Another way of tagging longer or more complex rivers and water bodies is to use multiple ways and an associated multipolygon relation.

At certain points along a larger river the area may take on the appearance of a lake. For lakes, most mappers have used the tag natural=water. For a reservoir (an artificially created body or water which typically has a dam at the downstream end) use landuse=reservoir.

Enclosed areas of water for shipping and other craft where the water level can be controlled by lock-gates or similar should be tagged with waterway=dock. It is a matter of judgement sometimes as to where a section of water is a wide river or a long thin lake/reservoir.

Islands in lakes/ponds etc should be tagged with the appropriate landuse=* or natural=* and will ideally be described as a 'inner' area by a multipolygon. Islands can in turn contain lakes and stream etc as well as other features.

Waterfalls, rapids and whitewater sports

For conventions and proposals for mapping waterfalls see waterfalls.

For whitewater, rapids and water sports (especially kayak and rafting) see WikiProject Whitewater Maps (overview) and Whitewater sports for the actual tagging.

Man-made structures

see also Water management

Where a river or stream goes under a road, railway or similar the upper way should be tagged with bridge=yes and layer=1, or alternatively tag the watercourse with layer=-1 and tunnel=yes or tunnel=culvert (used for streams and drains). Where a canal is carried over an aqueduct the way should be tagged with bridge=aqueduct.

Use man_made=pier for structures projecting out over the water and add a mooring=yes tag if boats can be moored alongside.

Tag water towers using man_made=water_tower and pipelines with man_made=pipeline and also type=water, type=drain or type=sewer as appropriate. For sewage treatment plant use man_made=wastewater_plant. Hydro plants should be tagged with power=generator and generator:source=hydro. For hydrometric measurements of the elevation and the volume use man_made=monitoring_station in combination with monitoring:water_level=*.

Coastline

See Coastline for details of how to map the border between land and the sea, together with natural=beach, natural=cliff and natural=wetland to describe the shoreline. See marine navigation, harbour and leisure=marina for features relating to shipping.

Projects

Proposals

Various proposals.

See also