[Tagging] track smoothness/quality

Warin 61sundowner at gmail.com
Sun Jul 7 09:12:55 UTC 2019

On 07/07/19 17:40, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
>> *"Tracktype* is a measure of how well-maintained a track or other minor road is..."
> "... particularly regarding surface firmness."
> In contrast, on Map Features it says tracktype is "To describe the
> quality of the surface".
> The maintenance frequency of a road is not directly observable, so
> it's good if this tag is defined in a way that relates to the road
> itself.
> This was the original description for grade5 in early 2008:
> "unpaved track; subtle tire marks, lack of hardcore, Soft with low
> grip, subtle on the landscape."
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Map_Features:tracktype&oldid=71778
> Until July 2018 the grade5 description mentioned that the materials
> should be "uncompacted":
> "Almost always an unpaved track lacking hard materials, uncompacted,
> with surface of soil/sand/grass."
> Should "not compacted" be added back to the description, perhaps?

There is a visibility tag.

So 'tracktype' should have that removed from its consideration.

Maintenance frequency ? Yet another tag. And not something all that usefull.

I don't think 'tracktype' is all that usefull.

Surface .. yes. Relatively easy to understand.
Smoothness ... yes. Should give an indication of required ground clearance.
Steepness? Yes - the tag is incline.

Compaction? Not a value I'd use.
Bear rock that have never been compacted can be harder that a road that has been compacted.
Rather have a tag for 'hardness' that 'compaction'.

But when it rains .. it can turn a 'good road' (compacted, hard, smooth and fairly level) into a bottomless pit (deep mud), or a skating ring (wet clay).

And then there are Australian 'salt lakes' .. a dry hard crust on top .. with black goo underneath if you break through.

> Joseph
> On 7/7/19, brad <bradhaack at fastmail.com> wrote:
>> That is true if the terrain is agreeable.  Often it is steep and a very
>> loose rocky surface so 4wd is necessary.  Even if it isn't very steep,
>> since it is not maintained very often, if at all, erosion creates
>> hazards in the road also requiring 4wd or at least a very high clearance
>> vehicle.
>> *"Tracktype* is a measure of how well-maintained a track or other minor
>> road is..."
>> On 7/6/19 6:21 PM, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
>>> I would think that an unimproved track across naturally solid rock or
>>> naturally well-compacted gravel would not be tracktype=grade5 - while
>>> it might be bumpy, it’s probably passable by any vehicke with
>>> sufficient clearance and tire size, even when wet, unlike a track of
>>> unimproved clay, silt or loam which requires 4wd or is simply
>>> impassable when it rains? But I’m not an expert on 4wd.
>>> On Sun, Jul 7, 2019 at 8:58 AM brad <bradhaack at fastmail.com
>>> <mailto:bradhaack at fastmail.com>> wrote:
>>>      What wiki are you looking at?   At
>>>      https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:tracktype, grade5 says
>>>      "Soft.
>>>      Almost always an unimproved track lacking hard materials, same as
>>>      surrounding soil. "
>>>      What if the surrounding soil is hard materials???
>>>      Clearly written by someone that has not seen rocky soil.
>>>      Brad
>>>      On 7/3/19 2:09 AM, Mark Wagner wrote:
>>>      > Option 3 won't work.  Locally, tracks come in two basic types:
>>>      >
>>>      > 1) A logging road created by a work crew with a bulldozer.  Cut
>>> down
>>>      > any trees, scrape off any remaining vegetation, level the road
>>>      > side-to-side, and call it done.  These roads range in quality from
>>>      > "easily passable by a passenger car" to "high-clearance
>>>      > four-wheel-drive vehicle required".
>>>      >
>>>      > 2) A ranch road created by a truck driving the same route
>>> repeatedly
>>>      > for years.  These are generally fairly smooth, but the older
>>>      ones are
>>>      > only passable by a high-clearance truck because of the central
>>> ridge
>>>      > between the tracks.
>>>      >
>>>      > According to the wiki, these are uniformly "grade5" ("Almost
>>>      always an
>>>      > unpaved track lacking additional materials, same surface as
>>>      surrounding
>>>      > terrain."), although calling them "soft" is misleading, since
>>>      the local
>>>      > soil produces a rock-hard surface during the summer and fall (and a
>>>      > muddy one during spring melt). They're tagged pretty much at
>>>      random as
>>>      > anything from "grade1" to "grade5".
>>>      >
>>>      _____

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