Rainwater Storage Tanks/Cisterns

Hi all,

I’m new to OSM, so I apologize in advance for my ignorance! I’m doing research for my university this summer on rainwater harvesting systems, and as part of the work, I’m creating a small custom google map for the rainwater tanks/cisterns located on- and off-campus. I feel like this kind of information would be neat to add to OSM, but I didn’t know if I needed to get “permission” or connect with people who have already put thought into this issue. Does anybody have any guidance?


There’s no problem about adding stuff like this to OSM, you merely need a suitable key=value pair to tag them with.

However, you cannot use stuff which was added using Google Aerial imagery as that breaks the terms, both of Google & of OpenStreetMap. We do have a good range of imagery available, although in some places not as recent or as detailed as Google (who seem to have true aerial imagery in some locations) so if you can identify the same objects using that imagery you’re OK. If your data is collected by first hand ground survey then that is very much the OSM way.

You don’t say if these cisterns are located on roofs, above ground, or as underground features, nor whether these are part of a SUDS (sustainable urban drainage system). AFAIK our tagging for the latter still requires some development.

To answer the latter part of your question; this will most definitely be me getting information first-hand and otherwise via second-hand through my working group.

I found a key=value (in this man_made=reservoir_covered) that seems to do the job well enough.

Thanks a ton,

Edit: Honestly, not sure anymore. The discussion on [[Tag:man_made=storage_tank|man_made=storage tank]] seems livelier than [[Tag:man_made=reservoir_covered|man_made=reservoir_covered]] but at the same time, I do think (imo) that man_made=reservoir_covered may have a better ability to quickly convey the information that that point or area is used exclusively for water in some purpose. This is opposed to having to classify a storage_tank with the water detail (or however you call it). I posted on the man_made=storage_tank discussion page about this. In the meantime I will use man_made=storage_tank for the time being.