Yeah, that’s right. Sometimes splatting is also called “decals” but I like “splatting” better because it’s often something you want to add to the terrain at runtime.
The gamasutra link is abusing the term for “texture blending”. (Which is also important, TBH.)
Splats can be all kinds of things as you mentioned. Some others, leaves, foot prints, scattered paper, etc…
The issue is that all of the good ways to implement those efficiently need to be hooked into the terrain directly, either by doing fun stuff in the shader or by extrapolating mesh parts, and so on. General “works with any mesh” solutions tend to be suboptimal for blasting a bunch of permanent/semi-permanent ‘decals’ onto the terrain.