[Tagging] surface=ground/dirt/earth

fly lowflight66 at googlemail.com
Thu Mar 13 13:16:21 UTC 2014

On 13.03.2014 10:34, jonathan wrote:
> Here's my take from an Englishman!
> While the term dirt road is used here, it is much rarer as all public
> (adopted) roads in the UK are paved in some way shape or form.  Most
> dirt roads are probably private roads, farm tracks or paths.
> Now, back to the original question.  I totally agree with Fernando,
> these classifications are confusing. In English English they pretty well
> mean the same thing. We should look to rationalise them.

How do you tag hiking paths which do not lead across grass or solid rock ?

I use ground in these cases and if the surfaces changes every few metres
between natural underground (from tree needles to rocks)

> However, remember the surface tag is used elsewhere other than
> roads/tracks where there may be some distinction, although I can't
> imagine what the distinction may be.

Exactly, how about unpaved sports` pitch and tracks (clay or dirt ?).

> In general English usage there meanings rely on context but in this
> context of describing a base surface to something I would go with dirt
> to mean a loose surface, unpaved, water permeable, degradable surface. 
> Ground and earth are just too vague to be of any use.

That is one major problem of vague descriptions and of overlapping meanings.

I would always use unpaved.

I consider dirt as a mixture of earth, mud and little rocks or thin
gravel where I am not able to distinguish between earth or mud and where
it is not ground as it differs from the surrounding underground.

My 2 ct from a non-native speaker.

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