[talk-au] Historical rail lines

Matt White mattwhite at iinet.com.au
Mon Nov 26 08:31:07 GMT 2012

Admin boundaries are a slightly different thing - they may be intangible 
on the ground, but they are also current. We don't keep historical 
versions of admin boundaries either

The problem with the historical thing is that to my mind, it is a 
slippery slope. There's a park near me that is currently, well, a park. 
But I know that it was previously a quarry, and then a rubbish 
tip/landfill, cos there is a sign saying so. But I certainly wouldn't 
tag the parks as a quarry or landfill, because it isn't. It's a park....

Ditto with historical names. Piera St in East Brunswick was originally 
named Nicholas St, and Jenkin St was Baden St in 1936. No idea why they 
were changed - confusion with other more major streets nearby I guess - 
but there is no sign of the old name on the ground. Yeah - I know there 
is a fixed historical name tag I can set, but even then I wonder about 
it. It's not like anyone in the street ever called it that (which is 
possibly different to something like Whitehorse Road in Nunawading, 
which I think is technically now Maroondah Highway, but Whitehorse is 
the historical name that is still in use)

What we really need is a better storage model - the simple one we use 
just isn't up to the task for this kind of data. It barely copes with 
teh actual "on-the-ground" info as it is. Remember segments, anyone?


On 26/11/2012 1:38 PM, Paul Norman wrote:
>> From: Alex Sims [mailto:alex at softgrow.com]
>> Subject: Re: [talk-au] Historical rail lines
>> On 26/11/2012 10:38 AM, mick wrote:
>>> I'm in two minds about removing 'historical' data.
>>> Yes, objects no longer visible on the ground shouldn't be rendered on
>> the map.
>> I've been following this discussion with interest. We do mark and should
>> mark administrative boundaries which are not visible on the ground. Can
>> the logic for these boundaries which be usefully extended to historical
>> data?
> The subject of historical rail lines and historical roads came up on the
> talk-us@ mailing list relatively recently.
> As always, there were multiple views. The result of the discussion was that
> the general view is that historic information only belongs in OSM when there
> is some trace on the ground.
> As a practical matter, historic roads are not generally mapped in OSM.
> Whenever a road is physically realigned and the new alignment mapped in OSM
> the old alignment is not saved as a separate way. If I survey the area I
> only look at how it looks now so I don't know if the old alignment in the
> database is because it was aligned that way in the past or because the data
> was inaccurate.
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