[Tagging] surface=ground/dirt/earth

Fernando Trebien fernando.trebien at gmail.com
Sat Mar 15 03:50:21 UTC 2014

How surprisingly similar the landscape in this area is to the place
where I live in Brazil. (If you're curious:

Anyway, back to your place. I believe you'd call this a dirt road
leading into a private property:

Would you describe this surface as "earth"? Or maybe "compacted"?

I think "sand" would usually mean fluffy sand, such as in beach sand,
like here: https://www.google.com/maps?ll=-29.347317,-49.729185&spn=0.014065,0.047979&t=m&z=15&layer=c&cbll=-29.347303,-49.729198&panoid=nxCzohwftvM2H6wO89EJng&cbp=11,182.99,,0,3.15

Here's a road in Brazil that probably fits the American definition of
"dirt": https://www.google.com/maps?q=dom+pedrito&hl=pt-BR&ll=-30.911356,-54.643936&spn=0.110754,0.383835&sll=-22.809099,-45.727844&sspn=1.05575,1.535339&hnear=Dom+Pedrito+-+Rio+Grande+do+Sul,+Brasil&t=m&z=12&layer=c&cbll=-30.911501,-54.644076&panoid=PPforo0GCSl6Olx7vH8-_Q&cbp=11,58.3,,0,13

However, the surface here is "compacted" according to official
sources. It's hard to tell visually, but it's possible that the
mixture has been compressed.

This is what I believe would be described as "earth" but not
"compacted" (also from official sources):

I wonder if you'd call this "dirt" too. The distinction is quite
relevant for calculation of routes: you can't travel as fast on earth
as can on compacted, and earth is much more likely to turn into sticky
mud that may get you bogged.

Finding a gravel road here was harder than I thought it would be. I
could only get this photo:

It turns out that most preparations that include "some gravel" but
mostly "soil" here fit the definition of "compacted" quite closely.

I think that "earth" and "soil" are similar enough to stay only with
"earth" - but I'm not a native speaker.

I also wonder which names the British would give to each of these surfaces.

On Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 8:58 PM, johnw <johnw at mac.com> wrote:
> On Mar 15, 2014, at 5:05 AM, Fernando Trebien <fernando.trebien at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> Well, any information you add does help. If you could use something
> more specific than "dirt" ("gravel" is more precise, for instance)
> Not when the road is dirt as opposed to gravel.
> I live on a gravel road in Japan. My aunt lived on a dirt road in the US.
> She has since improved the road, and now it is a gravel road.
> https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6956552,-116.7504381,6466m/data=!3m1!1e3
> This is the area around my aunt's house. Many of the driveways that were
> once dirt are now gravel or paved, due to new fire truck access laws.
> So most people have a gravel/asphalt/concrete driveway. but their property,
> and the backcountry of dry california is littered with dirt access roads
> that thread out into the countryside.
> Zoom in.  Drop into street view, though the dirt roads are hard to see from
> the street. There are plenty of concrete, asphalt, and gravel driveways, but
> there are also a ton of grade 2 "graded" and grade3 "doubletrack" dirt
> access roads.
> Not gravel, fine gravel, sand, asphalt, pavers, concrete, clay,
> cobblestones, grass pavers, clay, nor tephra - but dirt.
> Some kinds of roads are truly "dirt roads," just as some are sand.
> The question is:
> Do you use "dirt" "earthen" or "soil" to describe them? I vote for dirt.
> gravel is not an option.
> Javbw
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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)

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