[talk-au] Converting railway= abandoned to highway=track

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Mon Feb 15 05:35:16 UTC 2021

No reason to get harsh.  OSM has historically, does now and will into the future map abandoned rail.  OHM is an interesting project, but it isn't OSM.

It is neither harmful nor incorrect to "continue to include" a tag of railway=abandoned on a railway which is abandoned.  It is a simple statement of fact that "wishing away" isn't going to annihilate.

I think you mean "razed," Warin, not "raised."  There is no delusion, merely another dimension understood of "what is there."

Such tagging has its contentious cheerleaders on both sides of the argument.

Abandoned railways have serious and long-lasting implications (decades, centuries) effects and on-into-the-future transformations on Earth.  Just because you can't see them (or they've built townhouses on top of where they used to be) doesn't mean all of what I just typed, and more, isn't true.  Piling on "we ONLY map 'what is' today..." is like slamming the barn door closed after the horse has bolted.  There is too much "wild" abandoned rail in OSM (and OHM, yes) to jump up and down that one thing or another should systematically happen with them.

I'm usually, in the case of rail in OSM anyway, for KEEPing data which are true (even if not exactly presently visible in the same way as when they were introduced), rather than deleting them.  And especially when "a rail right-of-way" is a real thing.  No, we don't map all of these, nor do we map all pipelines or power lines, yet, we do map some.  And you can't see underground pipelines, either, can you?  A right-of-way is a real thing, even if ephemeral in reality while logically explicit.

In short, no reason to remove railway=abandoned when what you're dealing with is an abandoned railway.  It's an accurate, truthful tag that represents a right-of-way which now has a particular surface or attributes (paved cycleway, unpaved track, pedestrians / equestrians / skate devices... allowed...) on it or segments of it (split and tagged accordingly).  I have no idea why anybody would say this is delusional or these truthful factual data are worthy of removal from our map, but to each his own.  When I see that said, I will (and do) say what I say here.  Let chips fall where they may.

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