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

moltonel 3x Combo moltonel at gmail.com
Tue Mar 10 00:53:56 UTC 2015

On 09/03/2015, Bryce Nesbitt <bryce2 at obviously.com> wrote:
> Somehow I come down on the side that railways have enough footprint on the
> current world that
> they belong in OSM proper, unlike say old buildings or former shops.
> A abandoned railway slowly evolves from a mappable way, to a series of
> other things, before disappearing
> completely.   But it leaves significant land use patterns on the waterways,
> roadways and buildings it once ran near.
> I know it's a messy dividing line.  I see it as important context to
> current day mapping.

That's a fair point, but I've seen it pushed beyond reason too many
times. Often it seems that the contributor used an old map to trace
railway=abandoned without glancing at the satellite imagery (no,
there's nothing left of the raillway when a housing estate with a pond
have been built in its location).

Also, if an abandoned railway has evolved into something else, then
it's not an abandoned railway anymore. If you add a highway=cycleway
tag, you should remove the railway=abandoned tag. Lots of real-world
objects evolve while retaining traits from their previous use. In some
cases that trait can be tagged for itself and kept after the evolution
(deconsecrated building=church for example), but in the case of
railways, the only traits that survive are normally bridges, cuttings
and embankments. Those can be mapped for their own sake, without
resorting to railway=abandoned.

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