How to map a Lazy river in an amusement park

Many water parks have Lazy rivers, which is pool that seems like pool.

I have found that many of them are mapped as: waterway=river.

Another option is waterway=canal

I want to know which is the best option, taking into account that this generates an issue on - Loops


I tagged one as a leisure=swimming_pool. They are in fact completely artificial and the main purpose is to be a place where people can swim or relax on rubber donuts. I wouldn’t use a waterway family tag since those are more for rivers, canals, etc. which are generally not made/built for an entertainment purpose and are not part of the water system of a region.


lazy river gets a mention in the leisure=water_park wiki, the one I was thinking off in the neighbourhood actually is a water_slide. There’s actually 105 hits in TagInfo for attraction=lazy_river. Running an overpass and hitting the items after a run, found the tagging is quite variable to include one that’s at layer=-1, probably because it passes below something else, combo of leisure=swimming_pool + attraction=lazy_river inclusive.


Thank you for your answers. I have found as part of the attraction tag, that some of these are not really lazy rivers, but log flumes.

I did a pretty big rework of lazy rivers in the United States for exactly the same reason. A pattern that seemed to work well is to have 2 objects:

  • An area (likely multipolygon) with leisure=swimming_pool swimming_pool=lazy=river
  • A way going around the river with attraction=lazy_river name=* etc

(ex: Relation: 17038681 | OpenStreetMap):

The swimming pool area causes it to render on Carto (the main reason it has other incorrect tagging currently) and the attraction= way lets you do queries like “longest lazy river in the United States”.

I would also love to see more folks tagging swimming_pool=wave_pool, also to make querying for these interesting features easier.

For other waterpark features, waterway=canal seems like the least bad way folks have to get log flume style rides to render on Carto. I don’t hate it but sort of wish we had something better.


The problem in this is that attraction= has 2 patterns. =roller_coaster is for the area, with roller_coaster=track lines that can be split. On the contrary, =water_slide is used as a line directly. This causes excessive attraction= to appear when split for different layer= and other attributes. Unfortunately, it is now accepted and rendered. There’s no counterpart for an area, so you can’t count how many such attractions exist in general. Besides, this requires the attraction= to not be split, otherwise you still have to do further processing to complete the loop. I hope =lazy_river doesn’t repeat this mistake.

I agree that it complicates the counting/modeling if a feature is represented via a connected set of objects and not one osm id. Fortunately, I most lazy rivers don’t double back on themselves so a single closed way seems to do the trick. (there are some with small branching… hmmm)

At least the scheme I propose above is easy to identify and get patched up when/if there’s another better scheme… do you have one to suggest?

As @AngocA clarified, some of what was considered are actually =log_flume or other rides, where you can’t swim. I’m doubt whether multiple feature tags are needed for the physically similar flowing water channel of different attractions.
Unlike @Mannivu , I find waterway= including =canal acceptable, as there is usage= (or canal= , and service= , etc) to differentiate them. Recently, waterway= was floated as an option for other features, while I disagree with the need for another val at this moment. What is tag for artificial stream between 2 fountains

I agree that according to the wiki, a lazy_river might have all the characteristics that define a waterway (has water that flows, has a direction of flowing, etc.) but what’s missing, IMHO, is that in a lazy river it’s not running what’s called “useful water” in the wiki. I mean, there’s a clear difference between a canal and a lazy river. Moreover, waterways should always be open (so with a clear start and a clearish end) and a lazy_river is not.

Yeah, lazy rivers (at least in the US) are distinct from waterways and deserve their own specific tagging. Similarly, we don’t tag swimming pools as natural=water.

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However, =fountain has water=pond . By the same logic, is there significant difference from what’s discussed in the other post where waterway= was favored? Water is recirculated in both. Then there’s =miniature in railway= , for the difference in scale and use.
I do welcome more swimming pool variants or parts. This can be incorporated there, avoiding the complication with attraction= .

Still, this doesn’t solve rides with “boats”. Physically, you end up with different features for lazy rivers with swimmable depths, against boat rides and decorative water channels with shallower waters.
Another question about water features recently Thoughts on waterway=waterfall on waterslide?

I hadn’t see the fountain recommendations. Wild.

While I think there are definitely “ponds” with fountains in them, not all water around a fountain counts as a “pond”. I wouldn’t consider the surrounding water in ANY of the wiki photos a “pond”… but also OSM is so weird about all things like this.