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Why is an embankment two lines, and a dyke only one line (placed at the top)? Makes no sense to me: they physically take the same form, the only difference is the usage (holding back water yes/no). It's almost like using a completely different drawing style for catholic and protestant churches. In my region pretty much every dyke is drawn as an embankment.

And as it turns out, in the dutch translation of OSM both "embankment" and "dyke" are translated as "dijk". But "dijk" in Dutch has only one meaning: dyke. An embankment should be translated as "talud". I guess this is probably the reason why most of the dykes over here are drawn with embankment lines.

My 5ct (even though I'm a newbie): Use the embankment linestyle for both, use a tag if you really want to define wether or not they're holding back water.

asked 05 Feb '21, 09:33

Pol's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Dykes are always two sided. The grounds on both sides are usually on the same level.

Embankments are just one sided. They provide a stabilized transition from lower to higher grounds.

Of course, and here comes the catch, a dyke could also be modeled as two parallel embankments with their slopes in different directions and a piece of higher ground between them. But we use dyke as it also conveys the information of the functional use.

Have a look at the description and images on the wiki.

permanent link

answered 05 Feb '21, 10:15

TZorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

I had looked at the wiki, but i didn't find it conclusive - especially when you look at what's happening on the actual maps. That's why I asked the question here.

So is it "could be modelled as 2 embankments, but it's not allowed, you MUST use dyke" or "both are equally valid, you can choose" or "a dyke line must be placed at the top, embankment lines on both sides are optional information" ?

(05 Feb '21, 10:42) Pol

The beauty about OpenStreetMap is that there are not too man strict rules. You must not tag what is wrong. There is some Good Practice defined, which you should honor. Other than that you are pretty free to chose the way you are tagging things. This a good approach since there will always be corner cases that don't fit in any predefined category. Of course some tagging methods are more commonly used than others and will certainly be better recognized by data consumers.

Having that said it is always good practice to have a look around and see how others have tagged a similar situation in your area.

This might not be the answer you were looking for but that's how things work in OSM.

(05 Feb '21, 12:06) TZorn

Oh, I can live with that :-)

I just don't want to spend much effort in editing an area, just to be berated afterwards by some pedantic rulekeeper who wants to enforce a rule that I couldn't even find. Some communities can be very toxic imho. Take geocaching for example: ironically, there are very clear rules about practically everything concerning geocaching, but it seems that the more experienced you get, the more you can bend or plainly ignore the rules and expect newbies to just kiss your ass... Probably depends on the specific person of course, but let's say that I'm not lucky in my region :-)

(05 Feb '21, 14:35) Pol

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question asked: 05 Feb '21, 09:33

question was seen: 741 times

last updated: 05 Feb '21, 14:48

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum