[Tagging] surface=gravel problems

Mateusz Konieczny matkoniecz at tutanota.com
Fri Apr 16 07:44:24 UTC 2021


The problem is that basically all surface=gravel mismatched supposed definition.

So pretending that surface=gravel is anything else except "any kind of gravel, small
or large" would be pointless.

I would rather invent new values less likely to be misinterpreted

Something like
surface=track_ballast (?) / surface=huge_gravel (?) / surface=ballast / surface=rubble (???)
for https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:%C5%A0t%C4%9Brkov%C3%A1_cesta_u_Pl%C3%A1%C5%A1t%C3%ADku.jpg

And surface=small_gravel or something else for 
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Gravel_road,_car_in_viewfield_for_scale.jpg

And rersurvey, with retagging to more precise values (surface=gravel is still useful, 
as surface=unpaved may be also for example surface=sand)

Apr 16, 2021, 08:41 by voschix at gmail.com:

> 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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>>  Tagging mailing list
>>  >> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
>>  >> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging
>>

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