Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

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Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

Joseph Eisenberg
A few months ago we discussed how to tag gorges, canyons and ravines. These are steep-sided valleys, sometimes with cliffs.

Myself and at least one other person were in favor of using natural=valley, + valley=ravine / valley=gorge / valley=canyon.

However, there is already a non-English wiki page for natural=canyon, and a new English page for natural=gorge - the author of the gorge page thought that he would like a single tag, rather than a secondary tag with natural=valley.

This would be a little more work for database users, and also you would have to pick natural=valley vs =gorge/canyon/etc.

Also, Wikipedia basically says ravine, gorge and canyon are synonyms, though as an American from the West, I tend to think of canyons as having vertical, rock cliffs, vs ravines and gorges as less steep, but this may be a dialectal difference.

Thoughts on this?

-Joseph

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Re: Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

Andrew Harvey-3
To me a canyon is narrow with steep cliffs on either side (a place where you'd go canyoning https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canyoning) and a gorge is much wider and may have less steep sides.... but then you have the Grand Canyon in the US which is wide and less steep sides. 

I'd vote for separate tags natural=canyon, etc. Because a valley is very different to a canyon so you'd want to be explicit about this.

As an aside, I think route=canyon is good for documenting recreational canyoning routes.

On Wed, 14 Aug 2019 at 12:25, Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
A few months ago we discussed how to tag gorges, canyons and ravines. These are steep-sided valleys, sometimes with cliffs.

Myself and at least one other person were in favor of using natural=valley, + valley=ravine / valley=gorge / valley=canyon.

However, there is already a non-English wiki page for natural=canyon, and a new English page for natural=gorge - the author of the gorge page thought that he would like a single tag, rather than a secondary tag with natural=valley.

This would be a little more work for database users, and also you would have to pick natural=valley vs =gorge/canyon/etc.

Also, Wikipedia basically says ravine, gorge and canyon are synonyms, though as an American from the West, I tend to think of canyons as having vertical, rock cliffs, vs ravines and gorges as less steep, but this may be a dialectal difference.

Thoughts on this?

-Joseph
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Re: Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

Joseph Eisenberg
Apparently in the UK and Canada both Gorge and Ravine are used for narrow valleys with steep sides, according to Wikipedia.

So will we have natural=canyon/gorge/ravine/defile as synonyms, or can we pick the best “British English” term and use it for all 3.

See natural=cape, used for points/headlands/etc, and natural=bay, used for fjords/inlets/lagoons/sounds/etc

(There is also natural=gully, but these are small features, much narrower and shallower than a valley, and usual formed by different processes: local surface erosion of soft materials like soil, so they are more similar to stream banks than to a valley or gorge)

Joseph

On Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 12:28 PM Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]> wrote:
To me a canyon is narrow with steep cliffs on either side (a place where you'd go canyoning https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canyoning) and a gorge is much wider and may have less steep sides.... but then you have the Grand Canyon in the US which is wide and less steep sides. 

I'd vote for separate tags natural=canyon, etc. Because a valley is very different to a canyon so you'd want to be explicit about this.

As an aside, I think route=canyon is good for documenting recreational canyoning routes.

On Wed, 14 Aug 2019 at 12:25, Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
A few months ago we discussed how to tag gorges, canyons and ravines. These are steep-sided valleys, sometimes with cliffs.

Myself and at least one other person were in favor of using natural=valley, + valley=ravine / valley=gorge / valley=canyon.

However, there is already a non-English wiki page for natural=canyon, and a new English page for natural=gorge - the author of the gorge page thought that he would like a single tag, rather than a secondary tag with natural=valley.

This would be a little more work for database users, and also you would have to pick natural=valley vs =gorge/canyon/etc.

Also, Wikipedia basically says ravine, gorge and canyon are synonyms, though as an American from the West, I tend to think of canyons as having vertical, rock cliffs, vs ravines and gorges as less steep, but this may be a dialectal difference.

Thoughts on this?

-Joseph
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Re: Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

Graeme Fitzpatrick


On Wed, 14 Aug 2019 at 13:50, Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

So will we have natural=canyon/gorge/ravine/defile as synonyms, or can we pick the best “British English” term and use it for all 3.

See natural=cape, used for points/headlands/etc, and natural=bay, used for fjords/inlets/lagoons/sounds/etc

Personally, I'd go for natural=valley = valley=canyon/gorge/ravine/defile where applicable

Thanks

Graeme

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Re: Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

Graeme Fitzpatrick

Thanks

Graeme


On Wed, 14 Aug 2019 at 15:19, Graeme Fitzpatrick <[hidden email]> wrote:

Personally, I'd go for natural=valley = valley=canyon/gorge/ravine/defile where applicable

That's supposed to say

 natural=valley + valley=canyon etc

 Graeme


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Re: Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

Michael Patrick
In reply to this post by Joseph Eisenberg
> Also, Wikipedia basically says ravine, gorge and canyon are synonyms,
> though as an American from the West, I tend to think of canyons as having
> vertical, rock cliffs, vs ravines and gorges as less steep, but this may be
> a dialectal difference. ...  Thoughts on this?

1. Wikipedia ( and encyclopedias ) and dictionaries are not authoritative, in the sense that they provide very superficial general descriptions. Check the 'references section, and sometimes, with luck, the Wikipedia talk tab on the page will have references.In this case not.

2. The Proper Name ( map label ) of a feature usually does not correspond with a formal definition. I.e., the 'Turtle Mountains' in North Dakota ( https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndgs/NDNotes/images/nn15f6.jpg ) hardly count as hills elsewhere.

3. There is a science, probably close to 2 thousand years old ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology#History ) that has been naming natural things and a sub-field called 'Geomorphology' ( approx. a 150 years old ) which classifies and characterizes similarities and differences, applying a specific common nomenclature. This is useful when writing papers and journals so other people globaly know exactly what they are talking about, and in a practical sense so that Nepalese climbing tourists don't pack their carabiners when on expeditions to the Turtle Mountains in ND.

4. These folks have their own 'Encyclopedia of Geomorphology', which gives detailed explanations of what sorts of observable features define a term, and where terms overlap. ( See page 486 'Ravines and Gullies at http://bit.ly/2YJca7I ). Various agencies in various countries dealing with geomorphology nomenclature also publish there own glossaries ( see Part 629–Glossary of Landform and Geologic Terms at https://directives.sc.egov.usda.gov/OpenNonWebContent.aspx?content=41992.wba ), derived from an American Geologic Institute (AGI) publication.

5. For international features, the National Geospatial Agency GeoNames Search page ( http://geonames.nga.mil/namesgaz/ ) enables you to look up the classifications, and what they are called in the local language(s).Open up the Feature Designations section, and scan through the 'Hypsographic' listing, and you'll see CNYN/Canyon, searching on Mexico, it gives 1732 cañada. You also get direct links to mapping services so you can look at the features.

6. Google Image search can be helpful if you are more visually oriented: http://bit.ly/2H64zVL

> ravine, gorge and canyon are synonyms
They are not, sometimes, in certain parts of the world ravines and gorges are, but you can find gorges inside of  canyons.

Michael Patrick
Data Ferret





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Re: Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Graeme Fitzpatrick


sent from a phone

On 14. Aug 2019, at 07:20, Graeme Fitzpatrick <[hidden email]> wrote:

natural=valley + valley=canyon etc


this would also be my preference, presupposed we can come up with definitions for these valley subtypes that make sense.

Cheers Martin 

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Re: Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Michael Patrick


sent from a phone

On 14. Aug 2019, at 10:31, Michael Patrick <[hidden email]> wrote:

5. For international features, the National Geospatial Agency GeoNames Search page ( http://geonames.nga.mil/namesgaz/ ) enables you to look up the classifications, and what they are called in the local language(s).Open up the Feature Designations section, and scan through the 'Hypsographic' listing, and you'll see CNYN/Canyon, searching on Mexico, it gives 1732 cañada. You also get direct links to mapping services so you can look at the features.


why would you want to do this, if the common name has nothing to do with the formal definition of a feature type (your point 2)? This operation would only give you the expected results if there was a Mexican Spanish word of with an identical definition as the definition of an English word (which is often not the case, generally, with different languages).

Even without knowing the details I agree it is quite unlikely gorge, canyon and other similar words all have an identical meaning.

Cheers Martin 


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Re: Gorges, Canyons, Ravines: natural=valley or new tag?

Kevin Kenny-3
In reply to this post by Michael Patrick
On Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 4:34 AM Michael Patrick <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 4. These folks have their own 'Encyclopedia of Geomorphology', which gives detailed explanations of what sorts of observable features define a term, and where terms overlap. ( See page 486 'Ravines and Gullies at http://bit.ly/2YJca7I ). Various agencies in various countries dealing with geomorphology nomenclature also publish there own glossaries ( see Part 629–Glossary of Landform and Geologic Terms at https://directives.sc.egov.usda.gov/OpenNonWebContent.aspx?content=41992.wba ), derived from an American Geologic Institute (AGI) publication.

And please, please, don't make me follow it to the letter! I live in
an area where there's a lot of highly complex glaciokarst terrain, and
the correct classification of many landforms, even where not
controversial, is rather récherché for the ordinary mapper.

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