Proposed mechanical edit: surface=woodchip to surface=woodchips

Posted by Mateusz Konieczny on 1 September 2015 in English (English)

this entry is copy of

I plan to change surface=woodchip to surface=woodchips.

surface=woodchip is a clear duplicate of surface=woodchips. It is also less popular and undocumented on Key:surface. It would be a good idea to retag it to already documented tag before this tags are used more.

amount of surface=woodchip in OSM as of 2015-09-1 is 135.

amount of surface=woodchips in OSM as of 2015-09-1 is 228.

I’d download all surface=woodchip using Overpass API and change the tagging by search and replace using Level0 editor. The upload of the changed data I’d do in chunks to check the data once more before upload and not to create a worldwide changeset.

This would be a one time edit.

Edits will be made from account “Mateusz Konieczny: bot account”


state before mechanical edit:


state after mechanical edit:


Changeset comment would be “ changing surface=woodchip to surface=woodchips as surface=woodchip is less popular duplicate. This mechanical edit is documented at

Comment from mcld on 4 September 2015 at 20:42

Hi - I’m not in favour of this.

  • BOTH woodchip and woodchips are very rarely used at present - less than 300 each - therefore it’s still early days and there are too few instances for it to be menaingful to say one is “more popular” than the other.
  • In English language, “woochip” is a mass noun. We never say “woodchips” in this context. I don’t know who decided to put “woodchips” on the wiki or if there was any official process, but I think the decision is foolish, because native English speakers will continue to use “woodchip” because to an English speaker it’s clearly the correct term.

So I would argue that the wiki entry should be changed. That’s not necessarily your responsibility Mateusz, but I would certainly say that your proposed mechanical edit would be unproductive. I promise that people will carry on using “woodchip” - because it’s the correct english term - until the key gets popular enough to have presets, which is some way in the future.

Comment from Mateusz Konieczny on 5 September 2015 at 06:51

In English language, “woodchip” is a mass noun” - can you give source for this? “woodchips” seems to be OK or better - for example Wikipedia has (and my printed Polish-English dictionaries lack both versions of this word)

As mentioned in - Collins also has woodchips ( ).

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