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

moltonel 3x Combo moltonel at gmail.com
Mon Aug 31 10:41:51 UTC 2015

On 31/08/2015, Christoph Hormann <chris_hormann at gmx.de> wrote:
> 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.


Between soil, dirt, ground, earth, and mud, dirt is the worst defined
of the lot, and I would hesitate to use it for anything.

If you do want to consolidate tags, "earth" is a much better synonym
of "soil" and you should probably use that instead.

"Ground" is earth+rocks+sometimes_vegetation. "mud" is earth with a
lot of water and clay.

More information about the talk mailing list