[Tagging] Drain vs. ditch

EthnicFood IsGreat ethnicfoodisgreat at gmail.com
Wed Jan 16 21:37:17 UTC 2019

> Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2019 13:32:04 -0500
> From: Kevin Kenny <kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com>
> To: "Tag discussion, strategy and related tools"
> 	<tagging at openstreetmap.org>
> Subject: Re: [Tagging] Drain vs. ditch
> On Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 1:05 PM EthnicFood IsGreat
> <ethnicfoodisgreat at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Then what would you call a natural waterway that is too small to be a
>> stream?
> The Wiki says that a stream is small enough to be stepped over, but
> gives no lower bound.
> I can't think of many permanent watercourses around here that are
> small enough to step over. Rock-hop, usually. Sometimes wade. I
> personally don't switch from 'waterway=stream' to 'waterway=river'
> until I'm telling myself that I might someday want to map the banks.
> You can rock-hop https://www.flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/21811867291 in a
> dry season if you're more coordinated than I am (I wound up with boots
> full of water), but at 30 m across it's still a river. In springtime
> that crossing is completely impassable.

The wiki description of a stream surprises me.  I always thought of a 
stream as something too big to step over.  In the area where I live, 
smaller waterways are sometimes called "ditches" (even if they're 
natural), and sometimes they're called "drains."  There is even such a 
thing as a "legal drain," which carries certain restrictions and 


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