[Tagging] Waterway river vs stream

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Mon Oct 21 13:28:30 UTC 2013

On Monday 21 October 2013, Tyrfing OSM wrote:
> Yes, changing the definition of a tag is a problem.
> Like Kytömaa points out it seems like the jumping distinction has
> become stricter during the years: "Maybe you can just jump over it"
> (2007), "An active person should be able to jump over it" (2009), "an
> active, able-bodied person is able to jump over it" (2013).

This is probably due to the increased awareness among mappers that 
verfiability of the tagging is of fundamental importance.  The 
verifiability page (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Verifiability) 
has been initially created in 2009.

> Also it seems like different people has interpreted the distinction
> between river and stream differently. At least according to posts in
> this thread.
> So I'm not too sure that the data already in the database is coded
> consistently according to your interpretion.

Probably not - and more importantly there are tons of data from imports 
with no informed decision on river vs. stream for the individual way at 

This does not mean of course that there is no value in keeping this 
information in the database, especially if for the future there is a 
clearly verifiable rule.

> Something like crossable=* might be a good idea. Also some sort of
> tag for amount of water flow might be an idea (like
> waterflow=high/low/42 m^3 /s).

Practically this will be next to impossible to determine except at a 
measurement station where it would make more sense to tag the node.

If someone has an idea for a practically measurable quantity that has a 
clear relation to the discharge of a river that would be useful to tag 
of course.


Christoph Hormann

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