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

Mateusz Konieczny matkoniecz at tutanota.com
Mon Jun 8 13:05:50 UTC 2020

Jun 8, 2020, 14:45 by pla16021 at gmail.com:

> 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 the
> rails remain.
I added explicit "even if rails are gone".
and https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Demolished_Torwoodlee_Railway_Bridge_-_geograph.org.uk_-_750961.jpg was already present.
I will move it to the top.

>   The track bed is often visible even though the rails have been
> removed, especially where the terrain is not uniformly flat.  The rails of the
> 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 of
> 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 still
> be visible from the ballast that remains.
> In some cases, the way will also be visible in aerial imagery because it is lined 
> with hedges or leaves visible gaps in woods it passes through.
I also added a photo of a former railway cutting.

Is there a consensus how such feature should be mapped?

"the way will still be visible from the ballast that remains."

Can you find a good photo of that on https://commons.wikimedia.org/ ?
I would add it to examples.

>> 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 constructed
> along the old line and we know that because it is mentioned on current websites?
Describe it as part where different mappers have different opinions? 
I guess that some people would want to map this, for me it is case of copying maps of historic data.

(the tricky part is that both of us have strong opinion here and it is tricky to distinguish case
of "person is representing silent mappers not participating in discussion" and 
"person has fringe opinion not shared by anybody").
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