[Tagging] surface=gravel problems

brad bradhaack at fastmail.com
Sat Apr 17 22:33:37 UTC 2021


The ground/dirt/earth distinctions are redundant & confusing. All the 
choices for surface seem like too many choices.   A typical backroad or 
trail around here varies quite a bit along the way, it could be natural 
dirt & rock, it could be very rocky, there may be a little gravel put 
down a while ago.  Oftentimes unpaved is the best tag (along with 
smoothness).

On 4/17/21 12:48 PM, Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging wrote:
> Yes, I changed it recently on Wiki to document actual use.
>
> See 
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Map_Features:surface&diff=2123632&oldid=2121665 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Map_Features:surface&diff=2123632&oldid=2121665>
> and
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Tag:surface%3Dgravel&action=history 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Tag:surface%3Dgravel&action=history>
>
> More improvements likely would be useful,
> it seems to me that dirt and earth descriptions at
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Template:Map_Features:surface 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Template:Map_Features:surface>
> -- that is displayed at 
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface>
> are also mismatching actual use).
>
>
> Apr 17, 2021, 19:51 by bradhaack at fastmail.com:
>
>     I'm also one of those who has tagged many gravel roads as gravel.
>     The description on the wiki there now seems good to me:
>     "This tag has very large meaning range. Used for cases ranging
>     from huge gravel pieces like track ballast used as surface,
>     through small pieces of gravel to compacted surface."
>     I didn't see that it was changed recently?
>     It sounds like the tag is used consistently with the way most
>     people think of a gravel road.   It sounds like this is true not
>     just in my area, but worldwide?
>
>
>
>     On 4/16/21 1:44 AM, Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging wrote:
>>     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
>>     <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
>>     <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 <mailto: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
>>         <mailto: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
>>             <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
>>             <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
>>             <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
>>             <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
>>             <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
>>             <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
>>             <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
>>             <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
>>             <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Gravelsign2.jpg>
>>             that for many purposes are worth distinguishing.
>>
>>
>>             Arghhh.
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>>
>>
>>
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