[Tagging] surface=ground/dirt/earth

David Bannon dbannon at internode.on.net
Tue Mar 18 22:36:40 UTC 2014

Yes Dave (Swarthout), I share your views here. I'd rather we looked at a
rating that reflected how well maintained and usable the road is likely
to be. That is what most road users want to know. "Should I use this
road or not ?"

tracktype= does claim to use that approach and that why its so popular.
Lets not move it into a purely descriptive model by defining the degree
of sand, bog, pot holes, slipperyness, steepness, angle, corrigations
etc ! If we take away that desirable "subjectivness" (there, I said it!)
from tracktype= people will have to go off and invent yet another tag
that says what they want and says what the map user wants. 

Please lets think of tracktype= as -

1. OK, its unsealed but smooth, level, well looked after.

2. Bit dodgy but almost any car (etc) will be fine if you slow down.

3. Likely to have holes, bogs, sand or something that will worry a city

4. Sort of road you may prefer to go around if you can.

5. Requires considerable care, watch for the unexpected.

And yes Dave, I am a big fan of extra grades to tracktype=

6. You probably should consider a SUV/4wd but experience will do.

7. A reasonable 4wd is probably required.

8. This is silly, a heavily modified 4wd is necessary. Take a film crew.

All right, just a bit tongue in cheek but you see what I mean.


On Tue, 2014-03-18 at 12:14 +0700, Dave Swarthout wrote:
> Yes, I agree firmness works better than stiffness for describing a
> surface. I still would prefer a term that better characterizes what
> Fernando said above: "To me, the idea [of] a firm/soft mixture seems
> closely related to "how well maintained" the track/road is, as
> mixtures that are not so durable/steady/firm quickly wear down and
> look 'poorly maintained'."
> A poorly maintained road, or one that is not well engineered, or one
> composed of loose, uncompacted materials will be much less durable
> than one that has those characteristics. Consequently, I still think
> durability fits the bill. I hesitate to bring this up but the
> discussion about trafficability tried to rationalize the relationship
> between a highway's surface, hardness, composition and smoothness and
> ran into similar problems (David Bannon?)
> FWIW, borrowing again from Fernando above I would reword the
> definitions as so:
> grade1: "heavily compacted hardcore"
> grade1: [Usually paved. If unpaved then a heavily compacted mixture of
> materials (gravel, sand, earth, clay) that provide a fairly smooth,
> durable and relatively weather-resistant surface.]
> grade2: "unpaved (...) surface of gravel [a hard material] mixed with
> varying amount of [soft materials] sand, silt and clay"
> grade2: [Unpaved (...) surface of gravel mixed with a varying amount
> of other materials and lightly compacted or rolled to provide a good
> surface. Less durable or weather resistant than a grade1 track.]
> grade3: "even mixture of hard and soft materials"
> grade3" [Almost always an unpaved dirt road. A mixture of uncompacted
> hard and soft materials providing a reasonable surface. Subject to
> moderate degradation in bad weather. ]
> grade4: "prominently with soil/sand/grass [soft materials], but
> with some hard materials"
> grade4: [A rougher unpaved dirt road with a mostly soft surface,
> poorly maintained and not very durable. Rain and other bad weather
> degrade this type of track rapidly.]
> grade5: "lacking hard materials"
> grade5: [A very rough unpaved track composed of loose, uncompacted,
> soft materials often having a surface of grass and dirt, or, in wet
> weather, mud. Not very durable — easily eroded.]
> Other OSMers have amended this list to include grade6 and even grade7
> for tracks passable by 4WD or ATV only. What about those?
> On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 8:57 AM, Fernando Trebien
> <fernando.trebien at gmail.com> wrote:
>         "Firmness" sounds good to me:
>         http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firmness
>         I know that "soundness" means the same but has some additional
>         meanings
>         (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soundness),
>         "firmness" is more specific.
>         On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 9:09 PM, johnw <johnw at mac.com> wrote:
>         >
>         >
>         >
>         > On Mar 18, 2014, at 1:35 AM, Fernando Trebien
>         <fernando.trebien at gmail.com>
>         > wrote:
>         >
>         >  Replacing 'stiffness'
>         > with something else is absolutely fine with me.
>         >
>         >
>         >
>         > What about firmness? soundness?
>         >
>         >
>         > 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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> -- 
> Dave Swarthout
> Homer, Alaska
> Chiang Mai, Thailand
> Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com
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