[OSM-talk] Proposed mechanical edit: surface=soil to surface=dirt

Mateusz Konieczny matkoniecz at gmail.com
Mon Aug 31 10:03:15 UTC 2015

On Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:51:38 +0200
Christoph Hormann <chris_hormann at gmx.de> wrote:

> On Monday 31 August 2015, Mateusz Konieczny wrote:
> > See
> > http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Mechanical_Edits/Mateusz_Konieczny
> >/surface%3Dsoil_to_surface%3Ddirt
> >
> > I plan to change surface=soil to surface=dirt. surface=soil is a
> > clear duplicate of surface=dirt. It is also less popular and
> > undocumented on http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface .
> > surface=soil usage is slowly increasing and recently passed
> > threshold of 400 entries worldwide. It would be a good idea to
> > retag it to already documented tag before this duplicate gets more
> > popular.
> I would be careful here - 'dirt' is essentially a very vague term
> which probably originates from the concept of 'dirt roads' here.
> 'Soil' in the other hand is fairly precise, see
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil
> Only parts of the earth surface are actually covered by soil so if a
> way is correctly tagged with surface=soil (and i don't know if that
> is the case for the 400 cases you mention) this is something specific
> and potentially useful and should not be degraded by turning it into 
> something as vague as surface=dirt.
> In general i think surface=ground is the most sensible tag for
> tagging ways that are just established somewhere without notible
> construction work when you can't be more specific - it implies that
> the way surface is essentially the ground there in its natural
> state.  surface=dirt OTOH can mean anything from the remaining tracks
> of a car driving across a wayless area to a solidly built gravel road.

You may want to edit http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface
- currently surface=ground is described there as "No special surface,
  the ground itself has marks of human or animal usage. This value gives
  only a rough description; if possible, use a more precise value such
  as grass, dirt, clay, sand, gravel, pebblestone or rock.".

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