[Tagging] Advice & clarification of the railway tracks=* tag required.

David Fisher djfisher81 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 14 10:39:57 BST 2012

As a relative OSM rookie, I find this an interesting discussion.  Here's my

-- the "tracks" tag was/is clearly intented to denote that multiple
parallel tracks are represented by a single way (cf Wiki)

-- as Richard Mann correctly points out, we are rapidly (in UK anyway)
moving towards having all tracks individually mapped, making the "tracks"
tag redundant in the long-term (except maybe for consistency/error checking)

-- as RM also correctly points out, knowledge of the total number of
running tracks on a stretch of railway is useful for operational reasons,
as shown in the ITO map... IMO this is *not* tagging for the renderer, but
genuinely useful data for potential OSM clients

-- BUT as Dave F suggests, it is probably not prudent to re-use an existing
tag for a new purpose, as this creates confusion and inconsistency

-- therefore RM's suggestion to create a new tag (such as passenger_lines)
is a good one and should be encouraged.


Another Dave F (user Pgd81)

On Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 11:33 PM, Dave F. <davefox at madasafish.com> wrote:

> On 10/08/2012 23:30, Richard Mann wrote:
>> I've added track_detail=yes in places where there are tracks>1 tags but
>> the lines are separately drawn. I've included some that have been there for
>> a while.
>> I've contacted the only people who I'm aware that use the tracks data
>> (itoworld) to see if deleting the tracks tags (or setting them all to
>> tracks=1) causes them any stress, and whether they prefer it one way or the
>> other.
>> Deleting a lot of tracks tags (or setting them all to 1) involves
>> removing data that some people may be using, so I'm not proposing to do
>> that yet.
> There is no benefit in adding yet another tag to cover up other inaccurate
> tags. Just revert your detrimental edits.
> I fail to see the point in asking ITO as the tag usage is clearly laid out
> in the wiki.
> Please rescind your edits. They add errors into the OSM database.
> Dave F.
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