[Tagging] surface=ground/dirt/earth

Fernando Trebien fernando.trebien at gmail.com
Thu Mar 13 17:01:07 UTC 2014

It seems that:
- if a surface can be grass or paved, asphalt, concrete,
paving_stones, etc., then it seems the only reason to state "the
surface consists of ground" is if it's unpaved and without vegetation,
- the American usage of "dirt" (as in "your car will get dirty") is a
broad description for 3 more specific values: earth, gravel and
compacted (different from loose gravel or soil)

We may add notes to the wiki asking users to choose more specific descriptions.

On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 1:10 PM, Fernando Trebien
<fernando.trebien at gmail.com> wrote:
> In Portuguese, we have the same false friend as French, and I'd guess
> Spanish and Italian have it too. At least for Portuguese, literal
> translations of these terms (ground, dirt, earth and soil) correspond
> exactly to your description, Steve. If we translate literally,
> however, we're gonna see people tagging as "dirt" any place with trash
> accumulation, and most people would pick "earth" for the pictures in
> the wiki. Currently, "earth" is the least used value (only 7k
> instances), whereas "ground" and "dirt" are used 500k and 350k times
> respectively.
> On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 12:38 PM, Steve Doerr <doerr.stephen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 13/03/2014 15:09, ael wrote:
>>>  From another English person, I would say that "dirt" in British English
>>> is understood to mean the substance which causes something to be "not
>>> clean". That is it is much wider in meaning than soil or earth.  But it
>>> is almost never used to mean soil or earth under your feet, although
>>> that might be described as "dirty" or even "dirt" if telling a child to
>>> avoid rolling in it.
>>> However, maybe there are places where this is not true given Jonathan's
>>> post, but whenever I hear it used that way, it has come from American
>>> English. Of course, some American English reflects some old British
>>> usage and dialects from a few centuries ago....
>>> I tend to tag with "ground" where there are sections of soil (which
>>> may be covered with vegetation for some parts of the year) and maybe be
>>> rocky with sections of sand and gravel. I have just been mapping some
>>> paths and tracks on Bodmin Moor which have all these characteristics
>>> and no one tag seems really descriptive.
>> For me (British English), 'ground' isn't a type of surface at all: it's
>> usually preceded by the definite article ('the ground') and means 'the
>> surface of the earth' (where 'earth' means the planet), but not necessarily
>> in a natural state: a paved area can be 'the ground'. Inside a building,
>> though, you talk of 'the floor'.
>> 'Earth' as a substance is much the same as 'soil', except that soil makes
>> one think specifically of earth as a growing medium for plants.
>> There may be a 'false friend' in some languages, as 'the ground' roughly
>> corresponds to 'le sol' in French, which nevertheless sometimes has the
>> narrower meaning of 'soil'.
>> --
>> Steve
>> _______________________________________________
>> Tagging mailing list
>> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging
> --
> Fernando Trebien
> +55 (51) 9962-5409
> "The speed of computer chips doubles every 18 months." (Moore's law)
> "The speed of software halves every 18 months." (Gates' law)

Fernando Trebien
+55 (51) 9962-5409

"The speed of computer chips doubles every 18 months." (Moore's law)
"The speed of software halves every 18 months." (Gates' law)

More information about the Tagging mailing list