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I have just added a short branch of a 'stream' to the map ( It is not really a stream so much as a drainage ditch running alongside a footpath. Potlatch 2 offers me the choice of describing it as a stream or a drain. Which would be more appropriate, or are there other tags that I could consider?

asked 31 Jul '12, 20:14

Madryn's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

retagged 03 Aug '12, 08:29

gerdami's gravatar image



I think of a streams as natural and possibly meandering like the one a little to west of your link and a ditch as a man made item straight or parallel to a field edge or road. see this

(31 Jul '12, 21:49) andy mackey

Hi, okay looks good. But the system wont like the use of a strange word. And change the undercast d into a Capital D. It seems that it could have unexpected (hear say) effects with OSM.

(01 Aug '12, 11:22) Hendrikklaas

What do you mean by "the system wont like the use of a strange word"?

(01 Aug '12, 11:58) SomeoneElse ♦

Hi Someone, In my humble opinion reads the system not listed words as names and adds Capitals conform.

(02 Aug '12, 21:37) Hendrikklaas

Thanks to everyone who replied. The consensus seems to be that "waterway=ditch" is the best tag for an artificially dug drainage channel, while if someone has simply dug out an existing stream to prevent flooding, it is still a stream. Clearly, in difficult cases I should look beyond the range of tags that Potlatch2 can auto-generate.

I would, however, be grateful for a little more detail regarding Hendrikklaas's comments.

(05 Aug '12, 19:32) Madryn

The wiki documents waterway=ditch as another option. That tag is commonly used according to taginfo (even though the correlation with source=* suggests a large share of imports), and it is available through JOSM presets.

If it fits more closely than other waterway values, you should consider using it even if it is not among the rather limited selection of tags known to Potlatch.

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answered 01 Aug '12, 06:19

Tordanik's gravatar image

accept rate: 35%

I add source tag to most if not all of my edits and hope that so are doing others. It helps assess accuracy and up-to-dateness of the information in map.

(02 Aug '12, 23:09) LM_1

It's hard to know whether to accept Tordanik's answer or SomeoneElse's answer, as they both recommend the same tag. Thanks to both for answering.

(30 Sep '12, 10:56) Madryn

Taginfo suggests that "ditch" is quite commonly used - given that you identified it as that in the first place, I'd go with "waterway=ditch".

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answered 31 Jul '12, 20:18

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

To summarise:

  1. A ditch is not a stream
  2. Your ditch might be either a ditch or a drain
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answered 01 Aug '12, 16:34

gerdami's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

Well - sometimes.

A stream is something that meanders its own way through the countryside, and a ditch is something that someone's dug to allow water to go from A to B via a particular route. However, in between those extremes there's an infinite range of possibilities, and that's why we need mappers on the ground to decide "that looks like an X to me".

(01 Aug '12, 17:01) SomeoneElse ♦

Hi, I just made a list of all the possible Dutchnames for waterways. Ill add the english translations to it and send it to Tagging. Untill then Ill go for ditch as long as the water isnt streaming.

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answered 02 Aug '12, 21:32

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

I'm pretty sure that somewhere someone's already done this - I'd ask somewhere that NL users are likely to hang out (the forum perhaps?)

(02 Aug '12, 21:35) SomeoneElse ♦

Hi, Ill do so the maps isnt made in one day.

(02 Aug '12, 23:08) Hendrikklaas

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question asked: 31 Jul '12, 20:14

question was seen: 9,317 times

last updated: 30 Sep '12, 10:56

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum