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

Mateusz Konieczny matkoniecz at tutanota.com
Sat Jan 2 14:45:20 UTC 2021

Jan 2, 2021, 15:32 by pla16021 at gmail.com:

> On Sat, 2 Jan 2021 at 14:09, Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging <> tagging at openstreetmap.org> > wrote:
>> Previous discussions changed my mind on such cases and I am OK with mapping this -
>> though we really should have some tagging to describe what kind of traces remained.
>> Some time ago I retagged removed railway into
>> railway=abandoned
>> railway_remains:gravel=yes
>> railway_remains:railway_signs=yes
>> service=spur
> Sometimes not even the gravel remains, or it is so overgrown by weeds
> it is not easily spotted even on the ground.  However, if the right of way
> still remains then there are likely to be fences or hedges bracketing the
> former way.  And often there will be embankments, cuttings, bridges
> and tunnels which make no sense without knowing there was a 
> former railway line.
> I'm not sure it's sensible to do more than we have now: disused track
> (perfectly usable if somebody wanted to run a train on it), abandoned track
> (needs work before trains could run on it), razed track (you'd need to do a
> lot of work, which might include regrading and re-ballasting before new track
> could be laid).  Oh, and planned laying of new track where a razed track is
> now, and/or construction.
railway=abandoned seems to be primarily used for places where 
railway tracks are gone and railway=disused in used also for 
extremely overgrown tracks, that would require cutting 20m
high trees growing now between railway tracks.

railway=abandoned is getting used for everything from 
(1) "railway tracks damaged but present" 
(2) "track ballast and sleepers are present" 
(3) "railway is gone, rail use struck from development plans, 
embankment gone, housing estate constructed there,
area is not even owned by railway company"

I am pretty sure that tagging of that would strongly benefit
from more specific tags.

"I'm not sure that everyone will agree on this, but I've seen a few "abandoned"
railway lines being rendered diagonally across well mapped housing estates,
and it looks terrible."

"A tag to map former railways, where the rails have been removed but
the route is still visible in some way."
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