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Is there any use for OSM for river and sea routing?

I desperately searching for (even simple) river maps which are not commercial.

Even almighty Google Maps & Google Earth doesn't have a proper feature to display rivers of allow (even simple) routing along rivers etc.

Because OSM is known for making stuff that others don't do perhaps there is a possibility to include such stuff if not even available.

For example a highlighting function for rivers, because they are often drawn in very accurate already, a function who says "for routing from one point to another stay inside this river polygon"..

And a function that display in the part of the river which someone looking upon is always displayed the river name - and not once in the whole lenght of the river, like it is sometimes.

Something of this stuff above available somehow?

Such stuff I dream of :)

asked 13 Mar '11, 12:27

mpathy's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I'm not sure if any "river routing" website is available, but the necessary data is definitely in OpenStreetMap. The data model doesn't distinguish between a highway and a river and both are rather well mapped in most areas (unlike e.g. house number which still need improvement). So if you are really interested in this you could take one of the routing engines that is normally used for car routing and make it use rivers for routing.

permanent link

answered 13 Mar '11, 13:14

petschge's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

That sounds great..

Do you have some starting points for me, about the things you explained?

I look if I can achieve something.

If it works out well, I may even start a group here which then also enhance the river data with useful information for kaykaers, rafters, boat owners, and other people - like where a weir is, or a dam or a riverford/shallow water.. :)

Because there are no free river routing solutions out on the web, the OSM project will get a lot of interest..

If the first tests are positive where can I start a "sub project group" or something? :)

(13 Mar '11, 13:28) mpathy

I know that routing sites like use a routing engine called "gosmore". The source code of both the website and the routing engine is available. Some documentation on gosmore can be found at:

(13 Mar '11, 13:46) petschge

Yes, there is for example the openseamap-project, who try to collect globally all relevant data for navigation on the water: They also offer a JOSM extension and an online editor on their site. Another project is called "Freie Tonne" but project documentation is only available in German:

permanent link

answered 14 Mar '11, 11:29

dieterdreist's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

Great! Thanks! There are tons of information and people I can talk with :)

And in the meantime I found data which could be used to improve the river and sea data of OSM:

(16 Mar '11, 10:28) mpathy

I notice that this data is free for non commercial use but if somebody uses OSM with this data and sells as the can, OSM may be in trouble

(16 Mar '11, 10:57) andy mackey

I have just posted a question on this on the subject, legal stuffs a pain but but also expensive. sorry mpathy

(16 Mar '11, 11:19) andy mackey

You absolutely must not use any data that is labelled "non-commercial use only" in OSM.

(16 Mar '11, 12:25) Richard ♦

Okay and to "copydraw" this big river database I found today?

Also legal issues?

There is data for weirs etc. available at least for all german rivers on which a kayak etc. makes sense.

(16 Mar '11, 15:19) mpathy

You should only use data sources for which you have explicit permission, and where the copyright is compatible with the OpenStreetMap licence. If you want to use information from that database, you will probably need to contact the copyright owners. (I don't speak German and can't help you.)

But: please note that OSM is not a dumping ground for data you have found somewhere on the Internet. If you could find it, so can anyone else who wants to use the information. There is no need to copy it out and put it in OSM. OSM's strength is that it is full of accurate, personally surveyed information.

(16 Mar '11, 16:23) Richard ♦

"OSM's strength is that it is full of accurate, personally surveyed information." That's what I thought too (and what I hope will remain in future). Yesterday I was shocked when I loaded some data in the US (following some invalid geometry I found): obviously imported stuff, hard to edit, worst quality ;-)

(16 Mar '11, 20:03) dieterdreist

obviously the link mpathy posted to the German editor of rivermaps points to a commercial site (full copyright), who's business is to sell these maps, so you can't copy the content of these maps into Openstreetmap, at the most you can copy them to psm (piratedstreetmap).

(16 Mar '11, 20:10) dieterdreist
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question asked: 13 Mar '11, 12:27

question was seen: 7,009 times

last updated: 16 Mar '11, 20:10

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