[Tagging] Storm drains

osm.tagging at thorsten.engler.id.au osm.tagging at thorsten.engler.id.au
Fri Aug 12 01:44:48 BST 2011

> >manhole=drain is clearly wrong I would say.

> Around here most of the storm drains are identical in appearance to
regular manholes: 
> round, about 60 cm diameter, flat on the asphalt, with a removable 2-3 cm
thick iron lid - 
> the lid is just perforated. Seem's there's no picture in the wiki, so I'll
add one once I find 
> one from my mapping photos.

The storm drains around here (and from what I've seen so far they are pretty
much standard this way around Australia) doesn't really look anything like
that. And in fact, the metal grid you see on the image I uploaded is
somewhat optional, I've also seen them simply fully made from concrete with
just that big hole to the side and no metal grid at all.

> The manhole=* key has been used roughly for any dedicated metal cover in
the ground 
> and with space underneath - from valve covers in the street to district
heating pipeline 
> junction box access manholes to big hatches to (whatever they're hiding).
> It's the simplest categorization for anyone a) not working with them
> b) non-native english speakers; i.e. "I see a metal cover on the ground"
-> add manhole=*,
> and possible refining tags. And it doesn't exclude others tagging them as
man_made=storm_drain :)

English isn't my native language, but for me a manhole has always been
something that allows humans access to an underground installation of some

Wikipedia seems to agree with that definition:

I guess to storm drains you described above are both manholes and storm
drains (assuming that under that perforated cover it keeps it doesn't slim
down and that it has some form of ladder to allow a human to descent), while
the storm drains I showed in my picture are just storm drains and don't also
have a manhole function.

Looking at the definition for storm drain on Wikipedia:

It would seem that our terminology is slightly wrong here. "Storm drain"
refers to the whole drainage system, inlets, pipes, outlets.

So technically I guess it should either be something like:


or, following the same pattern as for pipelines described here:


On the other hand, https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:manhole does
define manhole=drain as "for removing excess rainfall (storm/rain drain)"
but this definition is at odds with all other types of manholes defined
(which always provide maintenance access to something). So I'm still
somewhat confused about what the best course of action is going to be.

> Btw. could you/may I upload the photos you linked to a few messages back
to the osm wiki, for illustrating the kerb discussion? If they're yours to

Oh yes, sure. You can take higher resolution version from here:


I took them myself and they are tagged as being under CC.

I'll try to take photos of any other type of kerb I see around here.

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