[Tagging] [OSM-talk] Should we map things that do not exist?

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 8 12:45:31 UTC 2020

On Mon, 8 Jun 2020 at 13:28, Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging <
tagging at openstreetmap.org> wrote:

> I added explicit "Everyone agrees that overgrown railway rails remain
> mappable.",
> removed explicit claim that "road geometry as sole trace" is not mappable.

"Road geometry" is a little confusing.  So is the implicit requirement that
rails remain.  The track bed is often visible even though the rails have
removed, especially where the terrain is not uniformly flat.  The rails of
railway may be gone, but the way remains because there is no point in going
to the expense of removing it unless you want to put something else there
(rails can be sold for scrap, so are worth removing).

Although this video is about the construction of roadways, the principles of
cut and fill are equally applicable to railways and give a good indication
the kind of remains that are visible after the track has been lifted:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIK6I6Q58Ec  Even where the
terrain is completely level and the rails have been removed, the way will
be visible from the ballast that remains.

In some cases, the way will also be visible in aerial imagery because it is
with hedges or leaves visible gaps in woods it passes through.

> Would be OK to add "road geometry where it is clear that it replaced
> railway may make such former railway mappable (+ image link). But in a case
> where on old map or
archeological survey would be needed to identify whatever road replaces
> former fortification/railway/canal such object is not really identifiable
> and mapping such historic object in OSM is a bad idea."

Erm, what about cases where a road or footpath or cycleway has been
along the old line and we know that because it is mentioned on current

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