By common agreement the shoreline try marked at mean high-water springs range

By common agreement the shoreline try marked at mean high-water springs range

The normal = shoreline label is used to mark the mean high water springs line along the coast at the side of the sea.

Where could be the coast?

Fundamentally that is the highest range water hits in normal conditions. (See the pictures off to the right for some information how exactly to choose in which that line are.)

Around Antarctica where there are ice shelves the coastline are mapped during the «calving line», that’s the range where the available liquids satisfies the long lasting ice shelves. Read Antarctica/Tagging for info.

Mean low water springs may be the situation from the most affordable tide. There is presently no agreed method of tagging this range in OSM. The location between mean low water springs and OSM coastline can be tagged based on whatever soilA : for advice sand (discover organic = sand or natural = shoal ), stones (discover organic = bare_rock or natural = stone ), muddy (discover wetland = tidalflat or normal = dirt ).

Simple tips to enter the information

Tagging the shoreline is a little different than with all of additional features in OSM and you should be cautious to get this correct. Be sure you incorporate natural=coastline on techniques, not nodes or interaction.

For more compact countries an individual enclosed method may be attracted around the border of an isle, looping back once again on alone. For bigger landmasses the coast is understood to be some linear tips linked end-to-end. These techniques must produce a continuous interlinked shoreline, the finish node of one ways ought to be the start node for the subsequent method. Some slack inside the coast and other mistake may cause really serious problems when using this information. If you aren’t self-confident about modifying, it is advisable to not generate biggest adjustment beyond adjusting nodes to align better with aerial images.

The path the methods tend to be attracted is very important! They must getting attracted in order that the land is on the remaining area and drinking water from the right-side of the means (when watching toward how arrows). In the event that you view this as tracing around an area of secure, e.g., an island, then coastline ways ought to be run counterclockwise.

Lightweight isles

Do not add some other prices of natural =* making use of semi-colon value separators, because it’s certainly not demanded. (it’s also perhaps not identified by most data buyers and renderers, but it is maybe not sufficient reasons available it as an awful idea by itself). An example will be normal = coastline;bare_rock for islets, which will getting displayed as natural = coast as a member of a multipolygon relationship tagged with normal = bare_rock .


  • means marked organic = coastlineexample
  • relation with organic = bare_rocktype = multipolygon – and age =* + place = isletexample
    • organic = coastline ways would-be within regards with outerrole.


    The validator in JOSM can check the shoreline for quality. Use it if you use JOSM. Otherwise use the OSM Inspector shoreline view at to check for errors.

    Coastlines frequently correspond with other features, like lake mouths, landuse and borders. You can easily separate the coast in as many parts since you need to, just be sure there is always a continuous range.

    How about ponds?

    This tag really should not be utilized for freshwater lakes. Lakes include mapped as sealed way or multipolygon interaction with tags eg organic = liquids or landuse = reservoir .

    Before multipolygon connections had been included with OSM, some big ponds are also tagged with natural=coastline, however they all currently converted now. Really The Only waterbody without stage link with the oceans definitely making use of this label could be the A  Caspian Ocean . No one should make use of this label for more inland liquid avenues.

    River mouths

    River steps tagged as waterway = river or waterway = stream end at the shoreline on a common node for your lake means together with coastline way. Large rivers marked with waterway = riverbank or normal = liquids and liquids = lake posses a means across her lips definitely marked all-natural = coast . In those situation the river line may stretch on the other hand in the shoreline, for instance when there is a dug deepwater channel or a marked delivery way.

    You will find discussions about where in fact the change between the ocean to a wide river (marked with waterway = riverbank ) should occur; there can be a see this should if at all possible getting towards the top of the tidal area in the lake, but it is also recognized that the junction may be nearer to the mouth for the river with the tidal portion of the lake tagged with tidal = yes . The main thing should make sure the coastline and riverbank express no less than two adjoining nodes to generate a seamless junction amongst the lake and the water. There’s a proposal outlining upper and lower limitations in the placement of this junction as there are another suggestion explaining tagging of tidal canals.

    Bays and other huge tidal salt-water segments are part of the sea if they are connected to the ocean and may always be tagged therefore.

    Information options

    The shoreline facts for application for hi5 many parts of the world got initially generated from a low-resolution data utilising the PGS import and other imports. Inaccurate shorelines is seen typically in a sawtooth shape, whereas actually the coastlines are typically mild curves. In several parts of the world the coastline ways has afterwards been enhanced either with tracing from aerial images, or changed by best vector facts.

    Be careful when tracing coastlines from aerial artwork. Those pictures in many cases are not quite inside correct position, which means that your shoreline might appear like it match completely into the imagery, but in fact it really is just a few hundred meters off. Be sure that the information suits to GPS data.

    (which include formal high-water and low-water facts when it comes to UK).

    Problems and consistency examining

    It is very important the shoreline is made and marked properly. Just one error from inside the coastline someplace in Africa might suggest each one of Asia-Africa-Europe landmass cannot be drawn properly! Always be certain the coast contains the best orientation (secure left, water to the right). You should never get across a coastline over alone – this has no definition and age point twice (pinch point) besides the start/end point (if suitable). If you would like making an island, start a new way.

    More coastal functions

    Across the coastline it can be useful to put normal = seashore , all-natural = bare_rock and normal = cliff for shores, subjected bedrock and cliffs; furthermore normal = wetland for many different kinds of wetland, like wetland = tidalflat , wetland = mangrove and wetland = saltmarsh . man_made = groyne can be used for ocean defenses.

    For isolated aspects of unconsolidated items for the ocean which have been partialy revealed at reasonable tide, discover normal = shoal .

    Using OSM coast information

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