[Tagging] Start of a river

Dave Swarthout daveswarthout at gmail.com
Sat Feb 25 23:03:19 UTC 2017

Hi Nick,

My intent was to have a starting place, a source, that was tagged in such a
way that a Nominatum search would be able to find it. In the example I
used, two named streams came together and at that point a new name is used
for the resultant waterway. I'm using the accepted standard for geographic
names in Alaska, the Dictionary of Alaska Place Names to determine the
location of the source. Here is the beginning of the description for the
Colville River:

Colville River: stream, formed by Thunder and
Storm Creeks in De Long Mts. at 68'49'20''
N, 160°20'00" W; flows ENE 350 mi. to
Harrison Bay, Arctic Plain; 70°27' N, 150°07'

If a stream begins in a swamp, I would tag the first node where there is a
visible or obvious waterway or riverbank. I doubt I'll use this tag that
often and in some cases such as your example, will probably not tag all the
sources of a river having multiple sources. In my experience, most rivers
in Alaska and the United States, only have one accepted source so your
example won't affect my tagging very much.

All the best,


On Sun, Feb 26, 2017 at 4:30 AM, St Niklaas <St.Niklaas at live.nl> wrote:

> Hi Dave,
> Biking around in Europe, I visited several rivers up to the source.
> Some do and some dont have a source or spring. The Scheld or L´escaut does
> have a nominated place with a wall around it and yes the water is coming
> out of the wall.
> But what about a river originating from a bog or a basin, every little
> flow ads water to a pond and thats the point where the rivers starts
> flowing if theres a lot of water or too much.
> Like the river Rhine its called to start at lake Toma, but that is just
> the middel of a pond or a basin at the end of several slopes and its named
> Vordere Rhine, the other main stream is called Hintere Rhine and it starts
> in the middle of a valley, fed by several straems flowing together fed by
> rain and snow. But there are at least 11 rivers named '......' Rhine
> contributing to the river Rhine all in the same mountain area.
> On the other hand there are several streams without a name flowing
> together and suddenly the stream gets or has a local name. There also are a
> lot of rivers without a name sign but with a local name, but are they
> without a local survey worth to add to OSM ?
> For instance does every stream in the USA gets a '...' Creek (name) I
> recon many but nor all of them.
> Greetz
> nick

Dave Swarthout
Homer, Alaska
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com
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