Talk:Proposed features/hollow way

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Other more general tag

Would it make sense to make some more general tags that could apply to all kinds of linear structures that are either below or above the surrounding fields (like streams which are much lower than surrounding fields, or dikes, etc.)? And perhaps just on one side of that way. But I have no idea about good tags for them, my English vocabulary is lacking the words for this :-) --Eimai 13:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

There is the tag cutting already in use for ways lower than their surroundings. Could this also be used here?

--Nop 13:48, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Right, I've been using cutting=yes for this (on the relevant part of the way, not the nodes). Robx 15:26, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
As I explained further down, cutting out the way is usually done for recent and larger highways such as secondary and motorways to make these ways even. They are much broader than the historic hollow ways.--Saharadesertfox 09:02, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Have you considered extending the cutting tag instead. As in cutting=hollow_way? This way you could tell that it is not a modern highway. But you don't have to argue whether it is historic or still in use. --Nop 15:30, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
We could have a generic tag for ditches or trenches (don’t know if that matches exactly, in French I would say «fossé»), they can be found along the roads and between fields to help rainwater evacuation or irrigation, but tere is not always water in them. In that case the way would also be tagged as a highway (or track), thus what it is would be obvious. The rendering would be easier also : a track in a trench. We should also have a tag for the reverse case : an (usually artificially) raised line such as a levee or a water channel. And another tag for the half case when the ground suddenly raises or goes down a few meters, either artificially or because of a landslide.--Pshunter 00:43, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Found Proposed_features/Causeway, which is the reverse of a hollow way. --Pshunter 09:52, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Also, if such a way has historic value aside of its physical particularity of being sunk in the ground, I support the use of a historic= tag --Pshunter 21:09, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I started a page Proposed_features/Terrain_accident to tag the physical aspect of a hollow way. --Pshunter 14:04, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

While cutting may not be technically accurate, I agree with Nop that cutting=hollow_way would be a good solution. Since it's a very similar property to cutting=yes, putting it in historic=* would be very confusing. According to wikipedia, sunken lane may be more widely known -- what do the native speakers think? Robx 09:45, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

What is wrong with using cutting=yes? The tag texts can be re-written to cover also hallow ways. Rendering can be improved for trails if it looks bad. --Kslotte 15:00, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


I can't really see why this tag is currently proposed as a "historic" tag... --Eimai 13:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I perceive this rather as a physical feature of the landscape. Some hollow ways are abandoned, but the majority I have seen are used just like any other track. --Nop 13:48, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
historic=* doesn't mean that a feature is abandoned, but that it is of historical interest. E.g. most historic=wayside_shrine are not abandoned. They are historic because they are old or relate to historic events. --Fkv (talk) 08:22, 29 December 2019 (UTC)
Especially the hollow ways are usually shaped for many years and even centuries, thats the reason for the tag historic=* and are nowadays abandoned, because they are not suitable for modern motor transportation (hunting and forestry). historic=* is therefore essential because these ways are cultural assets. Other more recent ways are just cut out of the landscape to make them suitable for motorways. Here are some pictures of abandoned hollow ways and a good article about these ways on the internet Neben den Wegen (Next to the ways)--Saharadesertfox 08:58, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
The hollow way you are showing on your example picture is definitely not abandoned. To me, it looks like is a regular path that shows signs of use. Most hollow ways I know have tracks in them and are regularly used by tractors. How would you tag those? --Nop 15:29, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Simple. Just add the tag used=no--Saharadesertfox 16:19, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
My question was: How do you tag tracks in hollow ways that are in use today. You answer was "used=no" ????? --Nop 16:23, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I meant if they are not in use. hollow_ways that are not in use can be tagged like this

highway=track tracktype=grade5 historic=hollow_way depth=2 width=2.5 used=no --Saharadesertfox 09:04, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

You have still not answered my question. How do you tag tracks in hollow ways that are in regular use today? --Nop 11:10, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I do nothing, the tracktype=grade[1-5] explaines fairly good the intensity of usage.

Anyway, historic=* is for things like castles or ruins, things that are remnants of our human history. A hollow road has no place in that list. It's only a physical property of a path or a road. --Eimai 16:50, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

hollow_ways are historic ways make a proposal to explain their historic origin. Why should only castles and ruins get the historic? There are also the historic=boundary_stone --Saharadesertfox 09:04, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
-Sunken_lanes/hollow_ways are often historic, and I believe many in the UK have protection for being 'historic'-Jamicu 23:14, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
It takes hundreds or even thousands or years for a hollow way to form. All hollow ways were flat originally. They deepened by erosion by rainwater. You can hardly assume a rate of more than 1 cm/year, and in order to be considered as a hollow way, the depth should be at least ~2m. I know hollow ways which are more than 10m deep. --Fkv (talk) 08:22, 29 December 2019 (UTC)

Used = yes/no

In the proposal is also found a tag used=yes/no. Does this get any support? --Kslotte 12:03, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't see it in the proposal, and it doesn't seem necessary. If a hollow way is used, map a highway=*. If it isn't used any more, map a historic=hollow_way only. I'd also like to mention that the standard tag for out-of-use features is disused=yes, not used=no. --Fkv (talk) 07:47, 29 December 2019 (UTC)

Tagging of nodes?

Why do you suggest tagging nodes instead of the ways that are sunken down? With multiple nodes you cannot tell where it starts and where it ends and if there is a crossing, the start and end node may not be part of the same way.

I suggest tagging the way, not nodes. --Nop 13:48, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes thats a mistake, I meant tagging the way --Saharadesertfox 08:59, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Rendering considerations

On topological maps in Germany, the symbol for cutting or sunken ways is a line with small branches like in this map Is there a particular reason why you propose a different display? --Nop 17:07, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

thats an excellent rendering example! Your map is way ahead of all I have seen so far. Keep on! --Saharadesertfox 09:06, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


I would think this to be some sort of servise raod. if it is it should be tagged service=hollow_way.--Nickvet419 23:57, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I Disagree. I think the usage of the road (footway, service, even tertiary or water) is pretty orthogonal to the physical fact that it lies in a trench. So is the historic aspect. --Pshunter 09:58, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I also disagree. This feature can be historic which is the point of the tag. But...then again some some sunken lanes are not historic -Jamicu 23:14, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Ready for voting?

Trying to find the essential alternatives for voting. We need two different votings; one for historic=hollow_way and one for cutting=hollow_way. For opposing the closest approved tag is cutting=yes. --Kslotte 15:07, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

I did make the proposal page reflect comments found here. --Kslotte 10:32, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
A second RFC mail was sent out 18.2.2010. --Kslotte 11:39, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
A separate voting for used=yes/no may also be needed. --Kslotte 12:04, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Alternative Name - sunken_lane more appropriate?

The English term Sunken_Lane would help keep the tag in the same language as most of the other tags, and in this case is seems more helpfully descriptive than the proposed hollow_way tag. Jamicu 23:14, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

How about cutting=sunken? i.e. this describes the kind of cutting, not the lane (which is described by the highway=* value) --Waldo000000 00:05, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia Sunken lane is used. Other support this name choice? --Kslotte 11:41, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Voting of name choice

Main alternatives are "hollow_way" and "sunken_lane":