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Status is currently "Draft". If this is correct, the page should be moved to Proposed features/shingle (or similar), and natural=shingle should be removed from the natural=* table until it gets approved or in use. --Fkv (talk) 18:49, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

(also see , Thread on tagging mailing list on differences between in use and de facto). --Gormo (talk) 07:44, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

shingle vs. beach

What's the difference? I mean, sand is not limited to beaches, it exists in deserts as well, but shingle seems limited to beaches, so why can't we just use natural=beach instead of shingle? --Fkv (talk) 18:57, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

A beach is a stretch of loose material independent of the size of the particles that has been formed by wave action at the shore of a lake or the ocean. Shingle is a collection of loose material of a certain size that has been accumulated through water transport. Obviously there is overlap between these two concepts (as there is between natural=beach and natural=sand) but they are not identical. Most uses of natural=shingle are by the way for river shingle. --Imagico (talk) 19:27, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Your message is essentially the same as mine. To put it more concisely: natural=shingle is a subset of natural=beach.
On real beaches, shingle is often intermixed with sand. It's almost impossible to draw polygons for shingle and sand, because they make up a dense mosaic, and borders between them are fuzzy. So I wonder why anyone would want to use a natural=shingle tag? --Fkv (talk) 19:52, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
natural=beach natural=shingle
No, i was not clear enough then. A river shingle is not a beach, beaches are formed by wave action, i.e. only occur at the ocean shore or at larger lakes. A river shingle is formed by sediment transport in a river. --Imagico (talk) 20:06, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia, "a beach is a landform along the coast of an ocean, sea, lake, or river". According to Wiktionary, a beach is "1. The shore of a body of water, especially when sandy or pebbly ...". According to Webster (1996), a beach is "a shore of an ocean, sea, or lake or the bank of a river covered by sand, gravel, or larger rock fragments". --Fkv (talk) 21:09, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Well - i was thinking of the geomorphological concept of a beach for which wave action is the defining mechanism. This is not the case for typical uses of natural=shingle in OSM. Typical cases for natural=shingle are situations like [1] or [2]. It would be very wrong to map this as beaches.
Why would it be wrong? I have just proven you in my previous reply that "beach" also means river shingle. --Fkv (talk) 19:41, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
The term beach has a well defined meaning in geomorphology that does not include gravel deposits in braided rivers like this. That some dictionaries suggest beaches can exists at rivers does not change this in any way. --Imagico (talk) 20:39, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
If it is well defined, please cite the definition (including the source). I believe that you mix it up with "coast". Anyway, that definition differs from the definition in the wiki. --Fkv (talk) 21:36, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
You can read that up in any geomorphology textbook - see [3] for a list - Citing a single sentence won't really be useful since it is the mechanism how waves form a beach that matters which requires more lengthy explanation. You will also find this explained in freely available sources on the net if you look for it. Anyway i don't think this discussion is leading anywhere - you asked for the difference between natural=shingle and natural=beach and got your answer from both me and SK53. If you believe that answer is of course up to you.
OSM tags are not about geomorphological mechanisms. OSM tags are about geomorphological features at best. Your reluctance to prove your claims indicates that you don't even own one of these books you are referring to. You are not really an expert on geomorphology, are you? --Fkv (talk) 09:49, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
And please remove the subjective comment about the lack of an approved proposal and the inadequacy of rendering it in the standard style. The tag pages on the wiki are for documenting the use of the tags to help data users to interpret them and mappers to consistently use them - see also my edit comment on the tag page and Any tags you like. If you feel the tag is ill-defined you may state your arguments here on the talk page or on the tagging mailing list. If you think this tag should not be rendered you can bring this up in style development [4]. But adding such a subjective statement to the tag documentation is not helpful to anyone. --Imagico (talk) 08:06, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
As above, you should read a page before referring to it. Any tags you like says: "You should create a proposal for your feature, if: Your feature is of general interest ..." Shingle is without a doubt of general interest. Otherwise it shouldn't be in the natural=* table template. So you should have written a proposal first. What you did was bypassing the proposal process. That's a slap in the face to all the people who spend their precious time writing and discussing proposals. I'm one of these, so I feel really pissed of by that behaviour.
Proper documentation should include the status and origin of a tag. It's important for mappers to know whether a tag is thought-out, approved and widely accepted, or proprietary. This tag is an example of the latter. The feature page was created by SK53 without even giving a reason in the edit comment (see revision log). Note that he did not reply to my message in the Status section above, although as the author of the page he should be the one to illuminate that issue. I mentioned rendering in Carto in the sentence I added to the feature page because I tried to deliver a balanced view, including pro's and con's. The only positive thing to say about this tag is that it is rendered by Carto. If the statement were to be objective (instead of balanced), it should be: "Don't use this tag, because it is neither approved nor proposed nor in use." Note that 600-some uses do not make a de-facto standard. De-facto means many thousands. The 600-some hardly even qualify for "in use" when compared to the 86183 uses of natural=beach. --Fkv (talk) 09:49, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
The overlap between natural=shingle and natural=beach could be avoided by limiting natural=shingle to river shingle. IMO however the problem is not so much the overlap between those two but the too wide application of natural=beach including dunes, tidal flats etc. Narrowing down the use of natural=beach to landforms created by wave action and limiting natural=shingle to rivers should lead to two clearly defined and non-overlapping tags. --Imagico (talk) 07:54, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
You cannot change the definition of natural=beach, because it is already used 86158 times. --Fkv (talk) 19:41, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
This tag was indeed introduced to handle river shingle which, in the absence of an appropriate tag had been mapped as natural=scree. Whereas there are shingle beaches these are a minor subset of what is covered by natural=shingle. Using a beach tag for the shingle in braided streams (a major use case) would be completely erroneous. In fact what this discussion uncovers is that the current natural=beach is not only often used inappropriately, but is probably too widely drawn and needs adjectival tagging. Note that there exist fossil shingle beaches well away from the sea shore in places like Sweden. SK53 (talk) 10:56, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Using natural=beach for the shingle in braided streams seems quite correct to me, see above. And what you call "fossil shingle" is actually a raised beach according to the Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48. --Fkv (talk) 19:41, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
It is indeed a raised beach but that doesn't imply that it is a natural=beach, otherwise any geological formation of any age which consists of consolidated wave-formed sediments, such as [W] Molasse, could be classed as beach. I would be quite happy with something like geological=raised_beach, but not all raised beaches are made of shingle.

I find your whole approach in this discussion needlessly argumentative. OSM is built by people working collaboratively, and this includes recognising what people want to map or how they map might not necessarily be the way one would do it oneself. This tag was introduced because some people (me included) found it useful. It was recognised as sufficiently useful to be included in the Standard CartoCSS rendering, which I would have thought was as good a reason as any to included it in Map Features. SK53 (talk) 10:30, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

If you find the tag useful, write a proposal. How can you claim that others find it useful when you never asked them? The fact that a tag is rendered does not mean that the tag is useful. Application developers use to evaluate all kinds of data, including spelling errors. You may have noticed that Carto does not use a dedicated map symbol for shingle. Instead, it takes shingle as a synonym for scree. Just like misspelled words are taken as synonyms for their correctly written equivalents. --Fkv (talk) 11:19, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Shingle vs riverbank


I wonder how shingle and sand should interact with the riverbank tag. Does the shingle area has to be covered with the riverbank area ? This is not clear to me. Shingle or sand area in river beds depend greatly on the water level of the river. i.e. the time the imagery was taken. From security point of view, IMHO, riverbank has priority



This does not really have much to do with the shingle tag, it is about how area tags and natural=water/waterway=riverbank interact. In general it makes little sense to tag ground features in permanent waterbodies with the same tags as land features. But tagging river shingle areas or sandbars that are periodically flooded with these tags just like areas that are permanently dry seems no problem to me.
The question where exactly the outline of the riverbank polygon should be placed is a different matter. As can be seen on waterway=riverbank there is no definitive agreement on what waterlevel is mapped but some suggestions are given there. My general impression is that for most rivers mapped in detail an intermediate water level is mapped while rivers mapped fairly crudely more frequently show a high (flood-based) water level. For mapping flood risks next to rivers you should definitely use other tags. In temperate and tropical regions outside high mountain areas by the way bare unvegetated shingle and sandbars usually only occurs where there is at least sporadic flooding.--Imagico (talk) 17:41, 7 May 2015 (UTC)