Tagging areas along rivers

I’m puzzling how to tag areas near a river.

The wiki has a tag ‘waterway=riverbank’ tag, but it appears not to refer to the riverbank at all - rather its the flowing water. If I’ve got that wrong please let me know.

**What should I be doing with the bulge of land that is not usable, and not water, visible in the centre of this image?

There seems to be a lot of correcting to do if the area should be drawn around the normal water level.

But some people seem to suggest ‘river’ means the area that might be water if the water really flows a lot - that is, everything between what in UK English I’d call the two riverbanks.

The tagged area water=river is very much wider than the actual water in this case. Any thoughts?

https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:waterway=riverbank#Varying_water_level_river mentions 2 possible solutions imho

  • In case of rivers with strongly varying water levels but without a marked flooding period it is usually better to map the high rather than the low water level.
  • natural=riverbed is sometimes used to define the area of the riverbed.


Another possible solution is https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural=wetland

Thank you. =riverbed might be useful. It certainly gets a suitable rendering in Carto.

I should have said I’d seen the wiki on river level, but was still confused. I’ve just looked and I see this issue has been raised in the wiki discussion page.

The patches of land that I’m interested in slope at 45 deg down to the water, are covered in land-based vegetation, and must flood once every 5 years if that. I call them riverbanks!

What I particularly don’t want is to have the area landuse=meadow join what is rendered as water, because these in-between areas aren’t usable at all.

Next time I’m down there I’ll take a photo and pick this up again - on the wiki discussion page if that’s the better place.

In the meantime, any reason not to mark up a picture of a physical river with the tagging in the appropriate places, and put that in the wiki? Sometimes the same word is used for the tagging and for referring to the physical feature, but it’s not obvious which is which.