From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Babel user information
fr-N Cet utilisateur a pour langue maternelle le français.
en-2 This user has intermediate knowledge of English.
de-1 Dieser Benutzer beherrscht Deutsch auf grundlegendem Niveau.
nl-1 Deze gebruiker heeft elementaire kennis van het Nederlands.
Users by language
Flag of Europe.svg This user hails from Europe
Flag of Belgium.svg This user hails from Belgium
Linux Mint logo without wordmark.svg Foxandpotatoes uses a computer running Linux Mint.
Android logo 2019 (stacked).svg Foxandpotatoes uses an Android-based mobile device.
Firefox Foxandpotatoes prefers Mozilla Firefox.
JOSM Foxandpotatoes submits data to OpenStreetMap using JOSM.
OsmAnd icon Foxandpotatoes uses OsmAnd, mobile map viewing & navigation app.

Overpass-turbo.svg Foxandpotatoes uses Overpass turbo, an OSM database search tool, and is willing to advise on it

Public-images-osm logo.svg I support OSM by being a member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. Are you?

Where I live

Near Arlon, Belgium

Areas of interest

  • Areas around Arlon (Belgium), Pays d'Arlon, forêt d'Anlier, bois du Beynert, forêt de Rulles
  • Province of Luxembourg (Belgium)

Areas of interest (in the past)

  • The Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud that I know quite well (Belgium)
  • Ixelles / Elsene (enclave) (Belgium)
  • parts of Limburg province (Belgium)
  • Crasville-la-Rocquefort (Normandie)
  • Montmédy (Lorraine, France)
  • parts of Liège, Namur and Luxembourg provinces (Belgium)
  • Aisne department (France)
  • Somme department (France)

Bank and ditch


This is a provisional report about a future proposition for specific tags for the following types of ditches and banks:

  • bank and ditch barrier
  • hedge and ditch barrier
  • canal d'abissage
  • fossé bordier
  • talus

We have presently (June 2020) the following tags:

  • barrier=ditch - A man-made ditch or a trench is a long and narrow man-made barrier dug in the ground to prevent access to the other side. No precision about the type of the ditch.
  • military=trench - Is used to map a military trench: an excavation in the ground that is generally deeper than it is wide, dug into the ground as a barrier for military purposes (e.g. trench warfare).
  • natural=earth_bank - Not a man-made feature.
  • natural=valley - Not a man_made feature.
  • natural=cliff - Not a man_made feature.
  • waterway=ditch - A simple narrow artificial waterway used to drain nearby land, to remove storm-water or similar.
  • waterway=drain - Artificial waterways, typically lined with concrete or similar, used to carry superfluous water like storm water or grey-discharge.
  • man_made=embankment - Is used to map an artificial slope or steep incline built for example to provide a level platform on top for a road or railway line or to otherwise shape or stabilize the terrain. For micro-mapped embankments, it is not possible to specify the dimensions (height, width).
  • embankment=yes - Add this tag to a way that is already tagged with a highway=*, railway=* or waterway=* tag.

None of them seem to exactly concern the ditches and banks mentioned above.

Bank and ditch

Bank and ditch or hedge and ditch are earthworks in the landscape. All have a historic interest as being the landmark for present and past administrative boundaries; they were used to limit lands, parish, communes, forests, etc.

They are not designed for drainage even if water can flow in the ditch. 

 They can be found under various names :

  • in English: ditch, bank, bank and ditch, hedge and ditch, dry ditch, earth bank, ditch earthworks, levee, ha-ha
  • in French: fossé, talus, talus-fossé, berme, bourrelet de terre, levée, levée de terre, saut de loup, ha-ha hâ-hâ
  • in Dutch: landweer, Ha-Ha, Aha
  • in German: Ha-Ha, Aha

 Usually, we find one ditch with a parallel bank. Occasionally, we can find one ditch and two banks on either sides, a single bank and a ditch on either sides. Hillsgade Lidar-derived imagery gives an good opportunity to observe their tracks. 

 They have been studied in various articles:

  1. Boundaries in the Landscape – Banks, Ditches and Walls, [1]
Section of an early medieval boundary ditch known as the Nico Ditch on Denton golf course 320 m south west of Lodge Farm, [2]
  3. Banks and Ditches on the Northern Malvern Hills, [3]
  4. Pits, Platforms, Banks and Ditches, [4]

Other ditches and barriers with no specific tag

Hedge and ditch

See #Hedges in history, [5]

Canal d'abissage

Used for an artificial waterway designed as a watercourse in a ditch created for this purpose, a ditch called ri d'abissage" or ry d'abissage or fossé d'abissage or bief d'abissage depending on the region, in order to bring it upstream of the meadows to be irrigated. See also [6].

Fossé bordier

Fossé qui délimite d'anciennes parcelles exploitées de manière discontinue depuis au moins deux millénaires en Narbonnaise. Sa présence marque la trace sur le sol de l'appropriation d'un terroir et d'anciennes mises en culture. Ditch which delimits former plots of land which have been exploited discontinuously for at least two millennia in the Narbonnaise region. Its presence marks the trace on the soil of the appropriation of a terroir and old cultivation.


[To be discussed]

Talus plantés

Are one of the identity elements of the clos-masure. Fencing off the plot of land which includes all the buildings, the high jet trees are planted on land levees 1.5 to 2.5 m wide and 0.6 m to 1.30 m high. In Normandy. See [7]

Limites de centuriations

Centuriation (in Latin centuriatio or, more usually, limitatio, also known as Roman grid, was a method of land measurement used by the Romans. In many cases land divisions based on the survey formed a field system, often referred to in modern times by the same name. It may appear in the form of roads, canals and agricultural plots. Maybe not of interest presently on OSM!

My gear

  • My legs
  • My bicycle
  • My car
  • GPS data logger: GlobalSat DG-100 s/n S07943 (out of order)
  • GPS: Garmin Etrex 20
  • Smartphone: Aquaris X2, Samsung Galaxy S4 min GT-I91951
  • Cameras: Canon Ixus 40, 220 HS /
  • Compute3: Dell Latitude E7470
  • JOSM
  • OsmAnd+
  • Mapillary

Cartographic softwares experience

  • JOSM
  • OCAD
  • QGis (still a neophyte!)

Other spare-time interests

  • Ancient maps and history of cartography
  • Member and webmaster of the Brussels Map Circle
  • Orienteering in Belgium and Europe
  • Military architecture, fortifications
  • Member of SGR

Activities in OSM



  • Checking names and tags in the Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud and in Ixelles / Elsene
  • Missing highways added, names added or updated or corrected, nodes aligned
  • 20090815: test in a town park without success because of a interval mode too long
  • 20090816: 20 km track (walking) recorded with DG-100 south of Gembloux
  • 20090817: short track (walking) recorded with DG-100 in Beersel
  • 20090818: 10 km track (running) recorded with DG-100 in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • 20090822: 52 km track (cycling) recorded with DG-100 mainly in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Uccle / Ukkel and Sint-Genesius-Rode)
  • 20090825: 12.8 km track (running) recorded with DG-100 in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • 20090826: 36 km track (car) recorded with DG-100 in Meeuwen
  • 20090827: 36 km track (car) recorded with DG-100 in Jumet / Charleroi
  • 20090830: 14 km track (car) recorded with DG-100 between Noiseux and Sinsin


  • Missing highways added or updated or corrected, nodes aligned
  • 20090901: track (running) recorded with DG-100 in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • 20090908: track (running) recorded with DG-100 in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • 20090913: track (driving) recorded with DG-100 around Engsbergen and Diest
  • 20090920: track (cycling) recorded with DG-100 in Brussels area
  • 20090923: track (running) recorded with DG-100 in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • 20090927: tracks (driving) recorded with DG-100 in Sonnis and Bierwart
  • 20090930: track (driving) recorded with DG-100 in Wijshagen


Missing highways added or updated or corrected, nodes aligned

  • 20091007: track (driving) recorded with DG-100 around Wijshagen
  • 20091014: track (driving) recorded with DG-100 around Ellikom
  • 20091020: track (running) recorded with DG-100 in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • 20091016: track (running) recorded with DG-100 in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • 20091021: track (driving) recorded with DG-100 around Ellikom
  • 20091028: track (driving) recorded with DG-100 around Bree West
  • 20091029: accidentally disturbed the area between cities of Peer and Bree (see OSM-talk-be forum)


  • Missing highways added or updated or corrected, nodes aligned, names added
  • 20091103: track (running) recorded with DG-100 in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • 20091104: track (driving) recorded with DG-100 around Meeuwen
  • 20091106: track (running) recorded with DG-100 in Forêt de Soignes / Zoniënwoud (Auderghem / Oudergem)
  • 20091129: tracks (car) between Brussels and Saint-Amand-les-Eaux (France, Nord)


  • 20091224/29: tracks (running, walking, car) with DG-100 in Crasville-la-Rocquefort and around (France, Normandie)


  • GPS tracks in Limburg (Belgium), Liège province (Belgium), Montmédy area (France)
  • GPS tracks around Wanze (Belgium)
  • GPS tracks around La Hulpe, Genval and Lasne (Belgium)
  • GPS tracks SW of Dijon (France)
  • during Summer, GPS tracks in Vercors (France) and Jura (France and Switzerland)
  • all GPS tracks transfered as highways in OSM
  • some French cadastre transfered in OSM for Meuse department (France)


  • Multiple GPS tracks and editing around and in Saint-Quentin and Origny-Sainte-Benoite (Aisne, France)
  • More editing around Montmédy (Meuse, France)
  • GPS tracks and editing in Croatia (Kvarner and Istria)


  • More GPS tracks and editing in Aisne department (France)
  • More editing around Montmédy (Meuse, France)


  • Still editing around Montmédy (Meuse, France)
  • Data imports from UrbIS for Brussels (Belgium)


  • Editing various European places


  • Some edits around Amiens (Somme, France)


  • Still editing places I visit, for pleasure or professionnally
  • Started to work with Mapillary and uploading pictures
  • Daily use of OsmAnd+


  • More edits around Arlon
  • Started the Pays d'Arlon group with regular meetings


  • More edits around Arlon
  • Continued the Pays d'Arlon group regular meetings
  • On 2018-10-23 at the Espace public numérique (EPN) d'Arlon, I have given two similar informative sessions about OpenStreetMap and how to use the data. Total attendance: approx. 20 people.


  • More and more edits in the south-east part of the Province of Luxembourg, Belgium.
  • Some workshops at the Espace public numérique (EPN) d'Arlon
  • Regular meetings with contributors of the region


  • Continue to work on hydrography with hillshade imagery of the SPW.
  • Adding some features detected on the hillshade imagery: banks and ditches (sometimes also administrative boundaries), historic charcoal piles (or aires de faulde or charbonnières).
  • Trying to rectify admin_level=8 and =9 boundaries with hillshade imagery, ancient maps and the 'Processen-verbaal van de afpalingen van gemeenten / Procès-verbaux de délimitation des communes' (The State Archives in Belgium).
  • Contacts with tourism authorities of Bouillon and Neuchâteau.
  • Proposed to continue the Mapper of the Month web pages for OSM Begium.


  • Now active with the preparation of the Mapper of the Month web pages for OSM Belgium (including en-fr-nl translations)
  • Completed the admin_level=9 boundaries in the province of Luxembourg. Mainly with open cadastral data.
  • In parallel, I added postal_code relations
  • And also with the barrier=ditch + description=bank and ditch objects
  • Organised a meeting with contributors of the Pays d'Arlon area