fernando.trebien at gmail.com
Thu Mar 13 22:38:41 UTC 2014
Well, I've updated the descriptions in the wiki for ground, dirt and
Does it look ok?
On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 6:31 PM, David Bannon <dbannon at internode.on.net> wrote:
> In Australia, we refer to a "dirt road" meaning just about any unsealed
> road. Very rarely use "earth" or "ground". Ground sounds to me more like
> the level than the surface, I'd argue most roads are at ground level !
> We often describe a gravel road as a dirt road, as such a road goes
> through its normal maintenance cycle, the gravel can become almost
> invisible, lost in the dust or mud if it rains.
> At the risk of complicating the matter, I'd rather distinguish between
> "made" and "unmade" dirt roads. A road that has been graded and made
> dome shaped (as the Roman's taught us) is "made" - usually an easy
> drive. Some drivers get nervous on unmade roads as they develop pot
> holes much quicker and the surface can deliver "surprises".
> So I suggest 'dirt', 'earth' and 'ground' are really not very
> informative terms.
> On Thu, 2014-03-13 at 16:57 -0300, Fernando Trebien wrote:
>> - "earth" is a close synonym of "soil" (though it's not exactly the same thing)
>> - "ground" could refer to: soil/earth (no vegetation), soil/earth +
>> vegetation (say, grass)
>> - "dirt" could refer to: soil/earth, clay, sand, arguably gravel (it
>> may not be correct but it may be a good idea to clarify this in the
>> So earth, grass, clay, sand, and gravel, are much more specific than
>> ground and dirt, both of which are just slightly more specific than
>> Could "dirt" involve "mud"?
>> Could "ground" involve "rock"? (Similar, but likely flatter, than
>> this: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/bare_rock)
>> On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 4:04 PM, Murry McEntire
>> <murry.mcentire at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 11:01 AM, Fernando Trebien
>> > <fernando.trebien at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >> 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,
>> >> right?
>> >> - 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)
>> > Ground has multiple meanings some of which are very broad. When speaking of
>> > "I walk the ground", "breaking ground" (as in construction or farming),
>> > "above ground", or "below ground"; it would seem to fit the Oxford
>> > definition of: the solid surface of the earth (world). The dictionary also
>> > gives a definition of ground as a generic term to be qualified, such as
>> > "marshy ground". (And to muddle things, when you think it might mean a
>> > natural surface - the Oxford gives the (British) definition of "the floor of
>> > a room".)
>> > Upon seeing surface=ground for a road, my first reaction is to wonder what
>> > is meant by that? Upon pondering, it is a land surface of the world that is
>> > not raised or improved but may be worn and could be almost any natural
>> > surface which may include ruts through vegetation.
>> > Of course I could ponder more and give another dozen definitions; many
>> > conflicting.
>> > "Ground" is a poor term because it has so many similar, but still different
>> > meanings (very ambiguous) when used to describe a surface; with its most
>> > common meaning being very general and not describing the material of the
>> > surface.
>> > As to American usage of "dirt", the example is poor -- if you stick with the
>> > noun, not the related adjective, saying "your pants have dirt on them" would
>> > likely be interpreted as loam, clay, soil, or the like; not gravel. To me, a
>> > "dirt road" is most often a natural soil (clay, loam, sand, etc.). It may be
>> > compacted or graded. I would refer to a road surfaced with gravel as a
>> > "gravel road".
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