[Tagging] Blatant tagging for the renderer: bridges & abandoned railways

ael law_ence.dev at ntlworld.com
Mon Mar 9 16:18:39 UTC 2015

On Mon, Mar 09, 2015 at 04:14:58PM +0100, Michael Reichert wrote:
> Hi,
> Am 2015-03-09 um 16:06 schrieb ael:
> > Well, I have only changed the tag on the bridges themselves, and only on
> > ways for which I did the original (and usually any subsequent) survey
> > and edits. So I am not corrupting other people's data.
> Wrong! You have corrupted data because you have changed tags to values
> which are wrong. What about people who want to calculate the length of
> the railway network including disused tracks which have not been removed
> yet (and therefore are easy to reactivate)?

That is ludicrous. I have changed a few metres only. The error bars on
my surveys of several km of abondoned railway will far exceed that.

> The edits you did can be described as (semi-)vandalism.

That sort of comment is unworthy of OSM. I did the surveys. Very
carefully. I tagged corectly as far as I knew at the time. I only
changed a very small section on a couple of bridges to explore the
rendering and was unaware of this hornets' nest of bickering. And
consulted this list.  Another mapper who has given no source has added
1/2 km or more of track that I am fairly confident no longer exists: I
intend to try to survey to confirm or refute, but it is on private
ground.  He also added an entirely ficticious section of railway right
across what is now a dual carriage way and other developments.  That
might perhaps be near vandalism, although I suspect that he was a novice
perhaps looking at an historical route, perhaps without realizing that
he was modifying the database.

Your sort of comment to someone who has contributed years of solid work
to OSM is enough to make me consider ceasing to contribute.

> Well, if these people do not like OSM because /one/ OSM-based map does
> not show a couple of bridges, it is not bad if they do not use OSM. OSM
> is a database and no map! Please explain this if they ask why osm.org
> does not show bridge X.

Many are likely to be complete novices, and even drawing that
distinction at their first brush with the project might put them off.
If I still give the talk after this reaction, I will pitch as best
I can to the audience. If they are at the right level, obviously
I will explain and illustrate the distinction between the data base
and rendering. But that may be way over the heads of some local
politicians. Or not.


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