WikiProject Nile

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This article or section may contain out-of-date information: Use the newer WikiProject Rivers of Africa page
If you know about the current state of affairs, please help keep everyone informed by updating this information. (Discussion)

The Nile (Arabic: النيل‎, transliteration: an-nīl, Ancient Egyptian iteru or Ḥ'pī, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world.[1] (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Major source of the Nile's water is the White Nile and the Blue Nile.

This project is about mapping this largest river of the world including White nile and blue nile.

Overview: [1]


First of all, the free map of the world shall contain accurate information about the world's biggest river. Additionally by mapping this major river of Africa, on the river's way interesting points may be found in order to focus mapping on them.


To map big rivers, usually their riverbanks shall be traced. For tagging riverbanks, see Tag:waterway=riverbank. But also the centerline of the Nile should be traced.

The Landsat images seem to be very suitable for tracing water areas such as rivers. In the JOSM Java OpenStreetMap editor, landsat images can be easily fetched using the Menu WMS > Landsat. The current scale should be around 800 meters to get the highest possible resolution. Also Yahoo images, for example in Potlatch, can be used (but this tends to be very inaccurate, because it's not possible to zoom in far enough in Potlatch)

Maybe the river's course could also be collected using GPS for example if you attend to a cruise on the Nile or put GPS as a "message in a bottle" for tracing?



  • Riverbanks of White Nile, Blue Nile and joined Nile should be complete. Lake Nasser was drewn more exactly.
  • Quite a lot of islands are missing, there is work to do. -- Malenki 19:37, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Mapping of such a large river has to be coordinated. The river(s) shall be divided into parts that are about 50-100 km. While a little bit of experience (and a fast Internet connection for download of the satellite image) such an area could be completed in about 1-2h. The river is already visible on Landsat using a 10km scale. Checkpoints can be defined and the lenghts can be roughly estimated using the measurement plugin.


  1. Before you start, please add your name to the list to avoid confusion and edit conflicts.
  2. Do not try to map too long sections, because than it is likely, that the accuracy is not good.
  3. Take care! When you download Landsat images in JOSM (WMS plugin must be active!), it may cover already mapped data. Adjust the layers position to see what was already mapped.
  4. Check out Talk:WikiProject_Nile.
  5. Enjoy the journey!

White Nile

The White Niles stream course is already mapped not everytime in the best way but it is. I made a collection Relation so that one can see it more easy. You can have look at it here.

I also tried to name the parts of the River in the correct way, because it runs through different countries with different languages and has different names for different parts.

  • Viktoria Nile: 1, 2
  • Albert Nile: 1, 2, 3
  • Bahr al Jabal: 1, 2, 3
  • White Nile: 1, 2

checkpoints: todo

  • Mapped riverbanks of White Nile from Khartoum to Lake No (edit: that is: all the lenght this river has) with most of the islands and lot of natural=water nearby. Corrected waterway=river which was drawn partly very freehand. Would be nice somebody could have a look at since WMS didn't work and I mapped "blind" based on Yahoo at 1500m and Lakewalker --Malenki 23:52, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Riverbank relation:

I've started to create a White Nile riverbank relation [2] along similar lines to the northern Nile relation [3]. I'm not sure if this relation is correct at the Nile confluence (I based the northernmost end of the relation on the existing ways), but this can be changed. I will work my way south along the White Nile adding riverbanks to the relation and tidying dupe nodes where segments meet. Please help out if you'd like to.

Blue Nile

Collection Relation for Blue Nile can be found here.

Amharic: (lang:am) ዓባይ ("Abay")

The Blue Nile flows from Lake Tana (See also WikiProject Ethiopia) to Sudan, joining the White Nile at Khartoum.

Checkpoint Length User Status
11.617 / 37.408 (Ethiopia: Lake Tana) Edit in Potlatch
70 km User:Alexm River: completed, Riverbanks: missing
11.284 / 37.768 Edit in Potlatch
ca. 90 km User:Michi2 River: completed, Riverbanks: completed
11.0397 / 38.474 Edit in Potlatch
around 70 km User:michael gd River: completed, Riverbanks: completed
10.46 / 38.48 Edit in Potlatch
around 137 km patzi River: complete, Riverbanks: complete 12345, Islands: the ones i recognized Multipolygon
9.9327 / 37.94 Edit in Potlatch
around 70 km maybe you? River: missing, Riverbanks: missing
10.042 / 37.37 Edit in Potlatch
around 70 km User:Pi-osm River: completed, Riverbanks: completed
10.28 / 37.07 Edit in Potlatch
around 70 km User:Pi-osm River: completed, Riverbanks: completed
10.41 / 36.52 Edit in Potlatch
x km maybe you? River: missing, Riverbanks: missing
10.17 / 36.30 Edit in Potlatch
x km maybe you? River: missing, Riverbanks: missing
10.41 / 36.52 Edit in Potlatch
x km maybe you? River: missing, Riverbanks: missing
9.961 / 35.698 Edit in Potlatch
x km brianboru River: complete, Riverbanks: complete, Islands:complete, tributaries: under way
10.344 / 35.314 Edit in Potlatch
100 km Gnuzifer River: complete, Riverbanks: complete, Islands: complete
11.133 / 35.185 Edit in Potlatch
70 km User:Alexm River: complete, Riverbanks: complete, Islands: complete
11.368 / 34.689 Edit in Potlatch

Today I drew the riverbanks from here (some dozen km north of Ad-Damazin) to the north of Khartoum. There I completed around Khartoum Blue, White and joined Nile. I did not check for islands, river exists so far. --Malenki 08:00, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

more checkpoints: todo

Main Nile

Collection Relation for the Nile can be found here.

checkpoints: todo