The water layer in the HERE Vector Tile API includes information about various water features such as rivers, lakes, oceans, and other bodies of water. The features of the water layer provide data on the classification and attributes of these features, allowing you to visualize them on a map.

The following figure illustrates sample features of the water layer rendered from the data: View of the Mexico Gulf

The layer content has the following definition:

  • Layer name: water
  • Geometry types: point, line, polygon

The water layer comprises polygon geometries that depict oceans, riverbanks, and lakes. Additionally, it incorporates line geometries representing the centerlines of rivers and streams, as well as point geometries indicating the optimal positions for labeling polygons, ensuring duplication is avoided across tile boundaries.

The following sections provide an overview of the water layer in the HERE Vector Tile API:

Shared properties

Every feature in the water layer includes a set of properties that define it, regardless of the specific type of place it represents.


These properties are referred to as common properties in the Tilezen schema. For more information, see Tile layers.

The following properties are used to define a water feature.

  • name - The name of the water body. The name might be provided in multiple languages, depending on the available data.
  • id - A unique identifier for the water feature.
  • kind - The general type of water feature. For more information, see Kind definitions and sort ranks.
  • sort_rank - A value used to prioritize the display order of different types of water features on the map. A water feature with a higher sort_rank value is displayed on top of a water feature with a lower sort_rank value.
  • min_zoom - The minimum recommended zoom level at which the water feature should be displayed.

Conditional properties

Some water features include properties that are specific only to their corresponding kind.


These properties are referred to as common-optional properties in the Tilezen schema. For more information, see Tile layers.

  • intermittent: true - This property marks features that sometimes run dry or disappear seasonally. Available only for kind stream.
  • display_class - This property indicates the importance of the corresponding water feature. The value is an integer from 1 (more important) to 8 (less important). Available for line and point geometries.

The following figure shows sample water features rendered on a map together with the associated metadata: Water examples

Kind definitions and sort ranks

The kind parameter in the water layer describes the specific classification or category of a water feature. For example, the kind parameter might indicate whether a feature is a river, lake, ocean, canal, bay, swimming pool, and so on. The kind property helps to categorize and differentiate different types of water bodies or water-related elements on a map.

  • water (sort_rank: 200) - polygon
  • fjord (sort_rank: 200) - point
  • sea (sort_rank: 200) - point
  • strait (sort_rank: 200) - point
  • river (sort_rank: 201) - line or point
  • stream (sort_rank: 201) - line
  • canal (sort_rank: 201) - line
  • lake (sort_rank: 204) -line
  • bay (sort_rank: 205) - point
  • ocean (sort_rank: 205) - point
  • swimming_pool (sort_rank: 415) - polygon


All polygons correspond to water while points and lines are used for labeling.

Next steps

  • For more information about other layer feature types available in the HERE Vector Tile API, see Tile Layers.

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