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

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Sat Jan 2 19:54:37 UTC 2021

On Sat, Jan 2, 2021 at 1:28 PM Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net>

> Kevin Kenny wrote:
> > disused - track still present, could be put back into service
> > with minimal work (vegetation clearance, track inspection, ...)
> >
> > abandoned - track still present, deteriorated, would need
> > construction work (repairing washouts//slides, realigning
> > track, removing trees, ...) before being placed in service
> >
> > razed - rails lifted or buried [1], sleepers and ballast may
> > remain, traces on the ground such as embankments,
> > cuttings and drainage features observable OR track visible
> > in obsolete imagery and way included to prevent re-
> > addition of a demolished feature.
> That isn't how the tags are customarily used.
> In OSM to date, the majority usage is
>     disused = tracks still down
>     abandoned = no tracks but clear traces remain
>     dismantled (or razed) = no clear traces
> This has been the case since OSM year dot and was strongly influenced by
> the terminology traditionally used in the UK. dismantled/razed is a newer
> tag.
> Obviously individual mappers have their own preferences, but in many years
> of editing features adjacent to disused railways, I'd say the
> "disused=tracks, abandoned=no tracks" rule is followed in 90-something% of
> cases.
> (dismantled/razed - the tags are synonymous - is something I find useful
> where a railway bridge deck has been removed, typically over a river or
> road, but the pillars or abutments are still standing.)

Ok, so 'disused' might be grown to trees as long as nobody bothered to pull
up the rails, and 'abandoned' is everything that's visible on the ground,
with 'dismantled/razed' reserved only for the case you mentioned (missing
bridge) or for the case where no traces exist on the ground but obsolete
aerials might still show something?

(I guess there may be subjectivity as to what are 'clear' traces. Some eyes
see more than others.)

73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin
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