[Talk-us] railway=abandoned and mapping things that are not there any more?

Nathan Edgars II neroute2 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 12 21:21:30 BST 2012

On 7/12/2012 3:15 PM, Mike N wrote:
> On 7/12/2012 3:10 PM, Greg Troxel wrote:
>> So let's spiff up the render, not lose the info from the db.
>    At some point, historical railways are just like general historical
> items in OSM: after years of buildings are built, demolished, and roads
> rerouted, editing becomes impossible due to clutter.
>    Try to explain to a newbie who is mapping a new park or shopping
> center that he must carefully work around and not disturb all those
> abandoned railway lines that no longer exist.

This is a strawman, since there will rarely be more than one former line 
across a small area. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think anyone 
wants to map all the former second tracks, sidings, and such, especially 
where they've changed over the years.

I am of course one mapper who's been mapping former railways. (Russ 
Nelson is another.) There is certainly value in seeing how the current 
disconnected bits of railway infrastructure used to connect. I've also 
mapped the occasional highway=abandoned, e.g. where the old road was cut 
off by the Interstate.

I have no major objection to using the dismantled tag, and will only 
change it to abandoned if there clearly are traces remaining. But I 
personally won't use it, since the line is too subjective. For example, 
is this abandoned or dismantled: 
Note the switch stand being used as a mailbox. But the actual grade 
isn't much more than a typical property line.

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