[Tagging] [How to tag a] Depot for sand, earth, and other bulk materials

Bert -Araali- Van Opstal bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com
Wed May 19 21:56:20 UTC 2021

Why didn't you say that before ? I worked in the Netherlands and other 
European countries as Project and construction manager for large 
pipeline projects and made extensive use of the Grondbank (GNB), both to 
deposit excess soils, contaminated soils (with other building 
materials), gravel from roads etc... . The Grondbank is an important 
operation, some operated by the gemeenten, havenautoriteiten and 
conglomerates of different privately owned companies.
The same exists in other European countries (Belgium also called 
Grondbanken https://www.grondbank.be/ <https://www.grondbank.be/>, and I 
used similar practices in Germany and France) and the UK 
(www.claire.co.uk <www.claire.co.uk> and 
Like f.i. in France the TERRASS db 
<https://www.brgm.fr/fr/site-web/terrass>) serves that purpose, all to 
comply with the European Waste guidelines.

The principle is based on the same concept though: re-use on site, if 
not direct transport for re-use on other sites, storage or treatment in 
hubs, or transfer to clusters.  All based on reuse and recycling of 
spoils of building and public work sites, minimise transport (cost and 
CO2 emissions), support to have a circular economy. Important in these 
concepts is that all spoils are considered as waste and have to be 
removed to landfills or these "Grondbanken". The clusters also have 
fixed and mobile recycling provisions for the sieving, crushing and 
washing of soils, aggregates (mostly referred to as minerals) and in 
Nederland recently they started to do the same for artificial grass. You 
might not have seen them on the storage space you refer to as they are 
many times mobile and used to process smaller batches like seen in your 

In that case it seems a good idea to me to incorporate appropriate 
tagging in line with the WikiProject "Circular Economy" 
<https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_CircularEconomy>) and 
Waste recycling theme 
This would result in the area being tagged as amenity=recycling with 
recycling_type=storageyard (I liked Michaels response for semantics, 
this is a new value) or maybe recycling_type=BPW_exchange (BPW = 
Building and Public Works in French BPT = bâtiment et travaux publics) 
for and new material (new tags conform with existing use) as 
recycling:soil=yes, recycling:aggregate=yes or recycling:minerals=yes. 
The dutch version has a wikidata entry: Q2189151 and wikipedia page: 
You could consider amenity=waste_transfer_station 
instead of a new value for the recycling_type, however I like it less as 
it's macro and limits mapping freedoms when you want to provide more 

I would propose to include it with operator (Gemeente) and network 
(Grondbank ...).

In line with existing tagging schemes, these are amenities and can be 
used with any landuse tag, as in my previous suggestions. Still for the 
fans of detail mapping to be used in combination with man_made tags like 
the bunker_silo.
Don't use landuse=depot please, it will cause ambiguity for two 
completely different facilities with completely different scope and purpose.


Bert Araali

On 19/05/2021 00:06, Peter Elderson wrote:
> Ok thanks for the input and ideas.
> The areas in my region are part of the "grondbank", which is probably 
> best translated as 'soil exchange'. It's not comparable to a pile or 
> pit of salt next to a road, in case it's needed for the road.
> I guess landuse=industrial best describes the exchange activities, 
> even though no industries or companies are involved, nothing is 
> fabricated and it's all non-commercial. It's more like a logistics 
> operation. The terrains are dedicated, long-term, and fenced.
> Industrial=warehouse, that's a step too far for me, and the type of 
> storage used or the exact contents of the piles is not my concern. 
> Just tagging the duck.
> Out of all the industrial=* values, depot fits best, but it's tainted 
> by a previous proposal which said that depot is about vehicles and 
> such. So I have to come up with a new one. I think 
> industrial=soil_exchange would tag the duck.
> Probably there is a better term than soil, one that also may include 
> sand and gravel.
> Vr gr Peter Elderson
> Op di 18 mei 2021 om 21:43 schreef Bert -Araali- Van Opstal 
> <bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com 
> <mailto:bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com>>:
>     On 18/05/2021 17:53, Peter Elderson wrote:
>>     Bert -Araali- Van Opstal <bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com
>>     <mailto:bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com>>:
>>         I tag them as man_made=bunker_silo
>>         (https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:man_made%3Dbunker_silo
>>         <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:man_made%3Dbunker_silo>)
>>         and content=* (values like sand, gravel, salt etc...)
>>         Combine with landuse=commercial for the ones at depots for
>>         sale or landuse=industrial or landuse=construction for the
>>         piles not for sale to the general public.
>>         I know the wiki says these are for agriculture but it's easy
>>         to extend (wiki) for other purposes. Bunker silos don't
>>         necessarily have 3 walls to contain the bulk material, as in
>>         your example I can't recognise any but essentially they are
>>         the same thing and serve the same purpose. Some have ditches
>>         around them or are pits, with the same purpose of containment
>>         and additionally collecting run-off in wet conditions.
>>         Introducing another landuse or man_made tag seems ambiguous
>>         to me, especially using stockpile as some might be empty
>>         short or long term and then it would be to be defined as a
>>         pile or stock_pile.
>>         Using the man_made tag is easy as they can be easily mapped
>>         and incorporated in all kinds of larger facilties let it be
>>         depots, factories, hardware stores, construction sites or
>>         just along roads as maintenance stock depots.
>>     Bunker silo could be stretched to include these piles of bulk
>>     material. But they are formed on the terrain as needed, for
>>     different bulk materials. So I can't pinpoint and tag individual
>>     bunker silo's, and I can't tag the contents. That's not
>>     necessarily a problem, but again, stretching thngs.
>     Sure but you could contain all the piles into one area or apply it
>     to the containing polygon which might have a landuse.  It allows
>     for any level of detail as you are able or willing to apply. In
>     many cases, like f.i. for hazardous materials, a watertight seal
>     is applied to the surface, with different piles, sometimes
>     different materials all stored on the same slab. Some have water
>     catchment drains around it. All of this can be mapped with
>     existent tags, like surface=concrete etc... without becoming
>     specific about the individual piles or their contents. Just
>     dependent on your preference for level of detail and local
>     knowledge. man_made=bunker_silo is been used 32 234 x, both in
>     agriculture as in industrial or commercial use.
>>     As for the landuse, it's not commercial or industrial, and the
>>     land itself is not a construction site. Maybe industrial could be
>>     stretched to include
>>     common storage for various bulk materials for various current and
>>     future municipal projects in the municipal area?
>     In your specific case it's not, but these piles appear on all
>     kinds of different landuse. So it seams obvious to me not to use
>     or create a new landuse value for such a specific case as we would
>     end up with landuse=somethingnew overlapping or puzzled into other
>     landuses, either on macro or micro scale. For your specific case
>     it seems to me landuse=industrial is the most feasible.  Don't use
>     landuse=depot. Since last year (253 uses so far) the
>     industrial=storage tag is used, even discussed briefly on
>     https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Key:industrial
>     <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Key:industrial>. It is
>     meant to distinguish warehouses which are considered in most cases
>     as storage in buildings, from open air storage. Not documented yet
>     but in use for similar cases.
>     So I would suggest a general tagging as:
>     landuse=industrial, (other landuses are possible but not combined
>     with industrial=*)
>     industrial=storage
>     Add additional attributes if known like:
>     content=* (could be multiple ; separated values or a group name
>     like road construction bulk material...)
>     man_made=bunker_silo could be optional but I would recommend it
>     for uniformity in any case for such an area even if it has no
>     special storage provisions for reasons that it is easy to
>     recognise even if the pile is "used up" and underlying soil might
>     be contaminated.  This allows it to be used also for smaller
>     stockpiles f.i. gravel stocks for use in winter in mountainous
>     areas, stockpiles of clay gravel mixes to repair potholes like
>     often seen in Africa along roads etc...  By the way it even
>     renders fine in carto (darker pink), but we don't map for the...
>     owner=*, operator=* etc....
>     If you have the information or field survey smaller areas and
>     details can be provided on overlapping areas or polygons which are
>     tagged with:
>     if the area contains a floor use surface=*,
>     wall, retaining wall or dyke for containment
>     ditches
>     The man_made=mound (1298 uses) is also in use but not documented
>     and very locally used mostly in Turkey. Could be considered as an
>     alternative if no provisions at all are present. I prefer to use a
>     single tagging scheme for the same feature so don't recommend it's
>     use.
>     In these cases the man_made=bunker_silo should be applied to the
>     detailed area, not the containing landuse.
>     See an example of such a pile next to a major road in Africa here:
>     https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/0.09120/32.49531
>     <https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/0.09120/32.49531>
>     Greetings,
>     Bert Araali
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