[Tagging] surface=gravel problems

Volker Schmidt voschix at gmail.com
Fri Apr 16 06:41:30 UTC 2021


I acknowledge there is a problem. I started out putting "gravel" on many
maintained unpaved roads, only to look up the wiki some years later. I know
use "fine_gravel" (taginfo 170k uses), which broadly corrisponds to the
"gravel" of "gravel bikes".
So, yes,  most of my "gravel" roads are really "fine_gravel", but I have no
idea how widespread it is, and also how much it depends of the mapper's
mother tongue.
I would not redefine the value "gravel", rather put a warning on the page,
pointing out that we have this wide spread confusion, and invite mappers to
consider "fine_gravel".

Il Gio 15 Apr 2021, 10:00 Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging <
tagging at openstreetmap.org> ha scritto:

> For long time this tag was described at Key:surface page as
> "Broken/crushed rock with sharp edges, known as ballast on railways.
> Usually loosely arranged.
> Typical size for road and surface construction range between 4 and 8 cm".
>
> ( https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface )
>
>
> But it turns out that surface=gravel is primarily used for roads where far
> smaller
> pieces of rocks are used.
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> It is result of
> - "gravel roads" term is often used in many countries for something where
> far smaller pieces
>   of rock are used, some of such roads would qualify for surface=compacted.
>   See https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Gravelsign2.jpg
> - "gravel" and equivalent terms in other languages is often used by people
> to refer to pieces
>   of rock far smaller than 4cm
> - there was not good tag for roads with surface of small loose gravel
>   (surface=fine_gravel at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface
> has
>   "A multilayer pavement with a stone or gravel basis and a topmost
> surface of firm, granular grit,
>   basalt or quartz," what anyway excluded cases of some gravel thrown on
> earth/mud/drt )
> - surfaces matching old Wiki definitions are existing but really rare
>
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:%C5%A0t%C4%9Brkov%C3%A1_cesta_u_Pl%C3%A1%C5%A1t%C3%ADku.jpg
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> How one may know that Wiki definition mismatches actual use?
>
> assumption:
> Surfacing roads/paths/etc with track ballast-sized pieces of gravel is
> extremely rare
> (though it happens)
>
> but in actual use surface=gravel is extremely common, far more common that
> old Wiki definition.
>
> So actual use clearly mismatches wiki definition.
> In addition, many people using surface=gravel were unaware of this
> definition and unaware
> that such surfaces described in Wiki actually exist!
>
> See
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-au/2021-March/014445.html
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> So:
>
> It turns out that surface=gravel is for anything from "basically
> compacted" to
> "basically track ballast".
>
> I recommend checking https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface in
> your language
> and updating definition to match actual tag use.
>
> It would be nice to find some good tagging for surfaces like
>
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:%C5%A0t%C4%9Brkov%C3%A1_cesta_u_Pl%C3%A1%C5%A1t%C3%ADku.jpg
>
> surface=track_ballast? surface=huge_gravel? surface=ballast?
>
> It would be also nice to find some more specific values for
> cases of small gravel thrown on mud/dirt/grass - as surface=gravel
> turns out to be very unspecific ability to tag this in detail would be
> great
> (useful especially for cyclists)
>
> surface=small_gravel? Something else?
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> PS AAAARAGAGAHHA. Tag used over 1.5 million times had actual use and OSM
> Wiki
> definition completely and utterly mismatched.
>
> And we need new tags and resurvey of 1 500 000 elements to have useful
> information about surface.
>
> Right now surface=gravel may be both
>
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:%C5%A0t%C4%9Brkov%C3%A1_cesta_u_Pl%C3%A1%C5%A1t%C3%ADku.jpg
> and
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Gravelsign2.jpg
> that for many purposes are worth distinguishing.
>
>
> Arghhh.
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