Talk:Key:surface

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

For older discussions see Talk:Key:surface/Archive

gravel / water-bound / macadam

The two images for "gravel" seem to show two different sorts of surface:

Surface gravel.jpg

the lower one gravel clearly without sand

Dscf1582-800.jpg

the upper one might be a mixture of sand and gravel, also called "water-bound macadam"

Should "gravel" also be used for "water-bound macadam"? Or should we divide them: gravel mixed with sand (macadam) from gravel without sand (less quality for bicycles)? --Mueck 21:47, 17 April 2009 (UTC)



  • (I swapped your images: think their positions match your words now :)). Distinguishing compacted sand+gravel mixes from loose gravel would be really useful round here. What do you say to:
Key Value Description Photograph
surface gravel Any surface consisting of aggregate material (rock chippings, bits of sand, pebbles or slag: all mixed together). The surface can be compacted or loose: this is a rather general tag, for backwards-compatibility reasons (photo showing several types?)
surface compacted_gravel An aggregate surface consisting of gravel chips (possibly mixed with sand or smaller particles) which has been rolled flat to make a fairly smooth, tightly-bound surface. Surfaces with this tag should resist being dug into with a bike wheel or a toe tip even if the top layer has a few loose stones. Surface gravel.jpg
surface loose_gravel An aggregate surface consisting of gravel chips which haven't been rolled flat or bound together with anything. Can be tricky to cycle along. Surfaces with this tag can be scraped away or dug into with a bike wheel or toe tip. Dscf1582-800.jpg
  • Both forms can go by the name "water-bound macadam", if I'm reading wikipedia:Macadam, so we should perhaps not use that term (similarly, "tarmac", which can mean all sorts of things in everyday usage). For me, the important quality is compactedness vs. looseness rather than binding agents - two-wheelers tend to go sideways on the loose stuff, but compacted gravel surfaces can be quite nice. I've also left the existing surface=gravel in there for backwards-compatibility purposes. --achadwick 21:40, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Should we distinguish between deliberately-rolled surfaces that have been compacted with a roller and those that have had some compaction from passing vehicles? --achadwick 21:40, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Because of possible rendering of surface values the next days or weeks I hurried up a little bit ;-) and added compacted to english and german surface-page. It is shorter and more flexible, because not only gravel may compacted. Some of the pebblestone-images also look very compact ;-) To the last question: We should look (only can look ...) at the result, not the method ;-) I don't know, if we should divide between gravel an loose_gravel, too, if compacted exists? --Mueck 21:32, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
*Every* way made of stone material will be compacted in time, either by a rolling machine or by regular usage. This isn't a criterium to be distinguished by a mapper. What he just *can* (and needs to) distinguish is whether a surface looks hard or soft, loose or firm. A macadam way/ waterbound surface (as invented by the Roman empire) has a firm surface, if well maintained. A gravel way has a loose surface, because it misses the binding (fine) components, although it may be compacted by masses of the traffic. As a consequence, a waterbound surface is good to walk, cycle, or ride on, whereas a gravel way bad to use, because the stones are loose. This is what needs to distinguish with stone material way, and this can be done easy and with relevance (as opposed to 'smoothness' what nearly every person sees different). 'Compacted' is unclear, 'gravel' and 'fine_gravel' quite clear. 'macadam' is more precise than 'fine_gravel' but very little known or common. So my vote is that gravel and fine_gravel are enough. You don't need more on common regular ways used by agricultural or forestry vehicles, except asphalt/concrete or dirt tracks. 'fine_gravel' just dont't mean that this way is made exclusively out of fine gravel components (this kind of way would be loose, don't last long, or endure heavy vehicles), just that fine_gravel is what can be seen on surface. A waterbound way made with a fine gravel surface is next to asphalt the best and most costly way, both in creating and maintenance, that's the reason why simple gravel ways can be seen more often in some areas -- Besides, the describing picture shows a way that lacks rolling and is just filled up, no way compacted. If this would have been done prior to the image, the passenger car wouldn't have created deep ruts like shown (Don't drive or ride on a waterbound way freshly made) --Taunide 18:54, 20 October 2011 (BST)
fine_gravel is a part of waterbound, but waterbound is not only fine_gravel.
"whereas a gravel way bad to use, because the stones are loose"
fine_gravel might be loose, too, for al longer time, if it is not used like in a proces for building waterbound macadam ways ... --Mueck 22:43, 20 October 2011 (BST)
Again, the pic here don't match your description what you want "compacted" should be, cause it's not showing a compacted surface, as could be seen in the tire ruts, period. If you want to promote "compacted" for this type of ways and be understand by other mappers you should start with a better picture and clearer description what's the difference to "gravel". --Taunide 10:47, 24 October 2011 (BST)
Not compacted? The street on the image looks very plane. It wouldn't be such plane, if it is not compacted. If not compacted, the tire ruts would be deeper ... Depending of usage of a way, there may be also some loose material on it ...
It might be, that your image is a better image for *compacted*...
Changing the old image for *fine_gravel* showing loose material to your new image for a compacted way is no "evidence" for your single person theory that fine_gravel is compacted ... --Mueck 16:45, 25 October 2011 (BST)
The old image didn't show a specific way, just a raw material, so the newer is better. Every way with a fine gravel surface needs to have a compound base structure, or it would not withstand pressure of heavy vehicles. I will not repeat myself here. We had the tag fine_gravel for more than a year without a definition and nobody seems to have a problem with it. Now I delivered a definition according to reality and tagging practice, what's the hell is your problem with it? --Taunide 09:21, 26 October 2011 (BST)
And compacted is defined for 2.5 years including ways like this on the new image. That's the problem we have had in http://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?id=14098 with your single point of view ... And why should fine_gravel only be used for ways with heavy vehicles? And were is said, that loose gravel don't can have something stable beyond it? fine_gravel only defines the upper layer of a way like gravel, asphalt, sand, ... which all may have something beyond it, that we didn't see ... It's the upper layer, we only can map, and that's for your waterbound way NOT only fine_gravel. If the base layer of the way isn't stable enough for heavy vehicles, you will see it of deep tire ruts and can tag smoothness=bad or something like this, that's not a question of surface-key ... --Mueck 10:06, 26 October 2011 (BST)
You contradict yourself. If "outer surface" is all we can see (and should be mapped with this attribute) then "compacted" is wrong because it can't be seen. The fact that people bring a picture to show a "compacted" way which shows imprints of a small motorcar which demonstrates this way misses compaction at all, because compaction is made by rollers, not by vehicles simply using the way. Then "fine_gravel" and "gravel" are perfect: that's what can be seen!
Of course you can use "fine_gravel" for small park and garden ways alike too, but in the most common areas where ways like these showing up (and be mapped!): fields and forests you will see them with a firm underground, which in most cases can easily detected by most mappers as my pic shows. So that's the reason for this refreshed, typical picture.
As said above, an additional attribute (smoothness) brings no help. Fine_gravel is clearly defined so it's quite easy to decide when to tag gravel or fine_gravel (it may be not so clear with "gravel" and "compacted" but that's the problem of that's definition...). In contrast, every mapper has a different understanding of what is "smooth", so this attribute is next to worthless. With thousands of mappers all is needed here are CLEAR definitions -- with no more attributes as indespensable for clear description of a certain map item!
The problem with 'compacted' is, as stated above, that nearly all "gravel" ways are compacted too (at least if used by heavy vehicles), and therefore, mappers cannot decide what to tag. Keep on with it, if you like it, but keep fine_gravel too. Taggings will be much more impartial/objective.
--Taunide 11:31, 27 October 2011 (BST)
It's NO problem to see, if a way has only loose material or not.
In the german forum I posted just another (german) example from another user for uncompacted fine_gravel ways. --Mueck 22:09, 27 October 2011 (BST)

"I need a surface tag for..."

Generally speaking, if you find you need a tag for something that isn't listed, have a look through the tagwatch listings (example) for the surface types that people have been using in the past, and copy them! Bear in mind though that this is largely driven by JOSM's presets.xml and the surface values it contains - people are lazy and tend to pick what's suggested :) --achadwick 21:53, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Or OSMdoc --Mueck 21:35, 24 May 2009 (UTC)


surface:middle=*

Hi, I created a new tag for the middle of the way, for details see: User:John07/middle_tag Please leave some comments. John07

Use on nodes?!

It has been added, that surface shall not only be allowed on ways but also on areas.

I propose to allow nodes aswell.

Objects that are smaller than 5m diameter shall be mapped as nodes, so usually a tree in an urban area in a small sand hole in the asphalt is a node.

This surface difference is of great interest for the orientation of blind persons and to identify a place where they guide dog can be allowed to drop excrements.

See OSM for the blind.

Lulu-Ann

Surface=compacted doesn't fit well

Since revision http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Map_Features:surface&oldid=275898 there is the value "compacted" for surface, which IMHO doesn't logically fit well (generally surface-values are materials). I suggest to replace with "compacted_hardcore", because nearly all road-surfaces are indeed "compacted". -- Dieterdreist 15:31, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Cement vs. concrete

(moved from definition to discussion page) Why doesn't surface=cement exist? People generally think of a cement surface as being very smooth, good for tennis courts and skate parks, while concrete is very rough and good only for vehicles. (by unknown)

In actuality, both surfaces are made of concrete! The former is cement mixed with fine sand, the latter is cement mixed with sand and gravel. surface=concrete applies to both. (by unknown2)
the difference between cement and concrete is that concrete is cement plus filler. Whether the concrete is rough or not depends on the treatment of the surface and on the grain size of the filler ingredients. cement usually is deployed with filler, pure cement is usually not used (but the filler might be very fine). -- Dieterdreist 15:40, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
There is also a tag smoothness=*, no need to tag different concrete surfaces. --Scai 18:33, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
It makes a big difference which surface you have, they all sound different with a white cane, see OSM for the blind. Not only persons on wheels are interested in the surface. Lulu-Ann
Though concrete implies that a type of filler is used, it doesn't imply what type filler is used, and therefor say nothing about the smoothness of the end product. Concrete using fine gravel as filler is almost as smooth as pure cement, and with a treated surface makes no difference, while a concrete using a coars gravel often can be rougher, even with treatment. Therefor these two should be treated the same as a surface tag, while another tag can be used to describe the smoothness (smoothness=* is already in use) --Skippern 09:36, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

synthetic surface for sport pitch?

Some pitch use synthetic (not grass but synthetic for football) maybe this would be great to be added for football pitch to have surface=synthetic.--Yod4z 13:46, 12 September 2010 (BST)

fine_gravel

fine_gravel

Any objections about using this image for fine_gravel? --Michi 21:58, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Have you ever tried to grab a "handfull of fine gravel" off a fine gravel way? This is just impossible because of it's compacted structure. "fine gravel" is just a surface. A fine gravel way consists of different types and sizes of stones. Just made out of fine gravel it wouldn't last long or endure heavy vehicles.
A good picture would show a way paved with fine_gravel, like this one: [[1]] --Taunide 19:13, 20 October 2011 (BST)
That's a nice image for "compacted". fine_gravel is only one part of waterbound macadam. Ways using fine_gravel only are sometimes found in gardening --Mueck 22:28, 20 October 2011 (BST)

Does anyone know, where "fine_gravel" is "created"? I only found, when it enters this page (18 Sep 2010 by Cmuelle8), but no discussion ... --Mueck 22:47, 20 October 2011 (BST)

Steel grid bridges

This might be a North-American peculiarity, but we have quite a number of steel grid bridges here. An example image would be this. Having the ability to tag this would be great, especially for cyclists for whom this type of surface can be quite dangerous. Any thoughts? --Hobbesvsboyle 04:00, 29 March 2011 (BST)

I believe the best term would be 'metal grate' or 'open grate' - best not to include the type of metal. The latter is used on at least one sign: http://www.pbase.com/csw62/image/51996024 --NE2 06:46, 31 March 2011 (BST)
That makes sense. "Steel grid" is the only term I've heard around here (Upstate NY); we have one bridge with a warning sign in town and I'll check what it says. --Hobbesvsboyle 03:01, 1 April 2011 (BST)
Okay, I checked, and the warning sign says "steel deck". I like the material-neutral approach, though, and will use the "metal grate" tags for now. --Hobbesvsboyle 20:05, 5 April 2011 (BST)

surface=sand

I suggest to use surface=sand specifically when the surface is soft and not suitable for bicycles. If the surface is hard, I suggest to use surface=unpaved only. This way, bicycle routing could avoid those paths or make a special note. --User:Wribln

The surface tag is not only about bicycle routing, but for all kinds of transportation. If you want to add bicycle specific tags see the Mtb wiki page. --Scai 12:05, 18 August 2011 (BST)
The surface being sand is not 'bicycle-specific'. --NE2 16:11, 18 August 2011 (BST)
Of course not. But using surface=sand whenever a surface is soft and not suitable for bicycles and using only surface=unpaved whenever a surface is hard is just wrong. --Scai 18:51, 18 August 2011 (BST)
Sure. --NE2 18:37, 19 August 2011 (BST)

surface=stones, surface=rock

Paths for non-motorised use (highway=footway, highway=path etc) should ideally always be tagged with surface. How can we tag the surface of paths full of either small or large rocks and stones. I would propose surface=stones.

Besides, I would also add surface=rock for rocky trails in the mountains, i.e. when the surface is a compact rock rather than many single rocks or stones. --solitone 16:50, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

surface:cycleway and surface:sidewalk

Cycleways tagged as cycleway=lane or cycleway=track often have different surfaces than that of the main road but currently such surfaces can't be tagged. I propose to introduce surface:cycleway=* to describe the surface of an associated cycleway that is not mapped as a separate way. Similar for an associated sidewalk=* where the surface could be tagged as surface:sidewalk=*. Any objections to add these tags to the main page? --polderrunner 21:38, 24 September 2012 (BST)

Hi, it is possible to tag this: cycleway:right:surface=* See TagWatch. You can replace the "right" with "left", "both" or without the middle subkey: cycleway:surface. (Note: footway:right:surface=* TagWatch is also more common than surface:footway=* TagWatch)--MasiMaster 13:46, 25 September 2012 (BST)
Ok, I didn't know about those tags. I had only looked for surface:*-something and found nothing (except the few cases I have tagged). Normally I would expect the first part of the key to be the tag type followed by subkeys to define the scope of the tag. That is how it works for e.g. oneway:bicycle or maxspeed:hgv. Since the 'reverse' tagging style is already in use for surface I won't go further with my proposal even though I'm not happy about the syntax of these tags. BTW, why do most of these tags specify the side of the road, that seems a bit redundant? --polderrunner 16:42, 25 September 2012 (BST)
Good question... Don't know why, but if on both sides is the same surface, you can use cycleway:both:surface=* or simplier cycleway:surface=*. --MasiMaster 18:17, 25 September 2012 (BST)
Please consider documenting those tags somewhere in the wiki, not everybody uses taginfo to search for them. --Scai 07:56, 26 September 2012 (BST)
I simply added this to Key:cycleway and DE:Key:cycleway. Feel free to edit or correct this. I plan also to add this to the Key:footway page. OK? --MasiMaster 15:40, 26 September 2012 (BST)
Seems ok to me, thanks. --Scai 19:18, 26 September 2012 (BST)
Would it be possible to also document these tags at surface=*? Many mappers would start looking here and not at cycleway=* for such surface tags. And don't forget the sidewalks! --polderrunner 20:20, 26 September 2012 (BST)
Now I added this at surface=*. In my point of view sidewalk can be a additionaly value for footway, like track/lane for cycleways. Syntax for sidewalks does not work (so I don't add this to footway & sidewalk):
I think this part better belongs to the footway- or sidewalk-talkpage. --MasiMaster 15:26, 27 September 2012 (BST)
footway=sidewalk is always (should be) used on separately drawn ways with highway=footway (or highway=cycleway, when cycling on sidewalk is allowed). "This is a footway + this footway is a sidewalk." Compare to sidewalk=left/right/both. Alv 18:50, 27 September 2012 (BST)
So what should be used for the surface of a sidewalk when it is marked as a property of the road (and not as a seperate pathway)? PinkShinyRose 17:07, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Different surfaces on a segregated foot-/cycleway

How can we tag different surfaces on a segregated foot-/cycleway? I.e. cycleway-section has surface=asphalt and footway-section has surface=paving_stones. --MasiMaster 15:31, 27 September 2012 (BST)

surface=barkdust

This is often used at playgrounds to provide natural cushion, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barkdust rendering should probably something red-brownish --Stefanct 12:08, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Existing values include:
http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/tags/surface=bark
http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/tags/surface=bark_mulch
http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/tags/surface=mulch
--NE2 03:24, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Categories

How about grouping physical condition of highways?

Like this (sport and path surfaces will be in another section):

From left (general tag) to right (more detailed surface description)

I think it's more intuitive than now.

General tag Tag Smoothness Description
surface=paved asphalt

concrete

metal (bridges etc.)

wood (bridges etc.)

excellent perfect surface (roller blade, skate board and all below)
good no bumps or potholes (racing bike and all below)
intermediate some bumps (city bike, sport cars, wheel chair, Scooter and all below)
bad damaged road (trekking bike, normal cars, Rickshaw and all below)
very_bad heavily damaged road (off-road vehicles and all below)
horrible close to impassable, huge potholes (ATV, tanks)
paving_stones

grass_paver 

sett

cobblestone

good
intermediate
bad See above ^
very_bad
horrible
surface=unpaved compacted excellent same as fine_gravel now
good
intermediate
bad See above ^
very_bad
horrible
gravel

(breakstone)

good
intermediate
bad See above ^
very_bad
horrible
grass

dirt

ground

salt

sand

snow

ice


good

Fairly smooth surface


bad

See above ^


horrible

See above ^


Ground vs earth

Following from this discussion in the tagging mailing list, it seems that ground and earth may be essentially the same thing. Since earth is much less used, could we recommend against using it and recommend using ground instead? This simplifies application development, translations and teaching significantly.--Fernando Trebien (talk) 14:42, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

+1 I'd rather have just one value, and ground seems the best choice.--solitone (talk) 15:22, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, there is no point in two different values for the same. Bulwersator (talk) 08:47, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
+1 I propose to change the wiki to deprecate the use of earth and dirt and use ground instead. --Viking81 (talk) 09:58, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

cobblestone:flattened vs sett

The wiki seems to discourage this value, and suggests sett instead. Besides, cobblestone:flattened and sett have the same picture. To me, "cobblestone:flattened" describes a pretty different paving, as show in these pictures [2], [3]. By contrast, these are examples of what I would consider "sett" [4], [5]. Can we describe better these two values?

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Solitone (talkcontribs) 13h17min de 28 de abril de 2014‎ (TC-3)

-1 Can't we use "stone" for that?
Yeah it's confusing which tag we should all be using. The page here has grouped "setts" under surface=cobblestone. "Cobblestone paving. "Cobblestone" is used in the colloquial meaning and includes the type of stones that would more precisely be called "setts"." but then it also lists surface=cobblestone:flattened with no description.
It's been that way since the big table of values was added this edit, and so since then it's never been very clear what "setts" should actually be mapped as. The problem is, many people including me would actually look at these "setts"/"flattened cobblestone" in real life, and we'd call them cobblestone, without making a fussy distinction. You only have to look at a google image search for 'cobblestone' to see that this word encompasses a variety, and mostly equates to setts/flattened cobbles these days.
As a result the majority of surface=cobblestone instances in the database will probably be setts/flattened cobbles in reality. Maybe that doesn't matter, but I think the situation would clearer without the 'cobblestone:flattened' tag suggestion on here.
Clearer would be 'cobblestone=flattened', an extra tag to allow anybody who worries about the distinction to make it.
-- Harry Wood (talk) 10:34, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Current scheme bears all the legacy of direct adopting of natural language terms, and it seems to be really bad. surface=sett or surface=cobblestone:flattened are obviously reflecting the same real life entity - roughly squared stones, which are sub-classes of more general surface=cobblestone. In the same time, there is no specific tag for natural shaped (rounded) cobblestone. Therefore, if we have something tagged with surface=cobblestone, it has two contradictory meanings: "any kind of stone" and "not flattened stone", which is inadequate. --BushmanK (talk) 19:35, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

paving_stones

The wiki says that paving stones are equally sized concrete stones, with a flat top [... and] a perfectly regular shape.

I reckon this value may also be used for natural stones with a similar shape, e.g. [6].

I would therefore remove the word concrete from the description. --solitone (talk) 09:12, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

I think, it should be emphasized in the beginning, that paving stones are mechanically (by sawing or press-forming) perfectly shaped natural or artificial stones, intended to form regular pattern. They are not necessary equally sized, because there are paving patterns, utilizing more than one size of stones.
Current description does not give clear way to distinct paving stones and sett stones (latter ones are just roughly shaped to be rectangular). --BushmanK (talk) 19:21, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes Solitone I agree with you. The current description seems to emphasise concrete a bit too much.
Also the illustrations show very small stones (which I would be tempted to call "tiles") forming regular patterns. Reading "paving stones" I tend to imagine larger paving flagstones like this: File:Pavement in North London.jpg. In this photo these are actually concrete flagstones, but yes an even more typical "paving stone" would be made of ...stone. Also I wouldn't say they do need to be equally sized. Can be a haphazardly sized, but the difference with setts is that they're flatter and more precisely tessellated. Unless I'm missing a better tag for this photo (let me know) I'll change the description a bit, and use that photo in place of one of the smaller tile photos.
-- Harry Wood (talk) 12:38, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
The way I understand it, mechanically perfectly shaped natural stone is tagged with sett. I've modified it.The RedBurn (talk) 09:29, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

maxspeed:practical

I propose to remove maxspeed:practical recommendation, this idea was clearly considered as bad - see Key:maxspeed:practical#Voting Bulwersator (talk) 06:42, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Not before there is a better alternative. A maxspeed:practical=15 on a desert dirt path is clearly 100 times more useful than any number of surface and tracktype attributes. RicoZ (talk) 09:04, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Are you sure that it is a good idea to recommend adding it everywhere? Bulwersator (talk) 09:30, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Everywhere where it is not realistic to guess a reasonable maxspeed from other attributes. There were already long discussions about tracktypes and some other of those attributes on the mailing lists, they are just as bad mess and subjective as maxspeed:practical. maxspeed:practical at least gives a numeric value which everyone can see and correct instead of second guessing what routing software might deduce from half a dozen of subjective attributes and country specific implicit assumptions.
The maxspeed:practical proposal should be imho improved to allow specification of vehicle types and things like seasons (including rainy season etc).RicoZ (talk) 10:00, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

stepping stones?

How about surface=stepping_stones? The value already exists for fords and I have used it here - http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/300917046 but many times these ways are not through water so highway=footway+surface=stepping_stones would seem quite fitting. RicoZ (talk) 10:59, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

metal and wood in unpaved

Is there a good reason to keep metal (" Sometimes used for bridges, or for temporary tracks over fields for normal road vehicles or site traffic.") and wood ("Used for bridges and plank walkways for foot traffic through swampy areas.") in unpaved section? For me these surfaces are clearly paved. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:01, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Changed Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 19:36, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Some language terms are country-specific

Ex: I have seen "macadam" used to describe both gravel and bitumen surfaces. In NZ a "metal" road is a gravel road. The gravel is also referred to as "road metal".

Because of this, use of these words needs to be avoided. --Beddhist (talk) 13:38, 25 August 2015 (UTC)