Is there a system/service for finding or searching waterfalls or "water drop" (say 1.5m drop)? Or is there another (simply) way to gain this data?

  • finding := Input a location and drop height, the system returns coordinates of candidates (much like a google-maps search for restaurant.
  • searching := The user can look on a map, that clearly indicates (like a heat map) where and to what extend drops happen.

Example of what I imagine: Here on the Niagra Falls:
enter image description here


1 Answer 1


One possible option would be to use OSM-Data (Open Street Map Data) and to rout your user's search request trough e.g. the Overpass API.

It will return e.g. waterfalls for a given AOI, including names and height

How to access it:

  • QGIS: QuickOSM Plug-In. This allows you to access and download the data on your local PC. Great if you want to do some pre-processing to put it in a Web-GIS later on.
  • Web: OverpassAPI, or directly in the browser e.g. via OverpassTurbo. Great if you want to access the data dynamically and from your Web-GIS etc.

QuickOSM Plug-In: Your search would look like this: enter image description here Resulting in an output of points and polygones holding some additional information like height in their attribute table, which you can easily use via the labeling in the layer properties to display the height. Moreover, you could also filter them to meet your desired height-limits: enter image description here

OverpassAPI: Perform your search directly via the API (see here how to do this), or via a Web-front-end. Your query can be very basic. Such as:

    [out:xml] [timeout:25];
    node["waterway"="waterfall"]( {{bbox}});
    way["waterway"="waterfall"]( {{bbox}});
    relation["waterway"="waterfall"]( {{bbox}});
out body;

Again, the output will be the same: enter image description here By the way: under the hood, the QuickOSM Plug-In is performing the same search via the OverpassAPI.


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