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

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Sun Jul 29 06:42:07 BST 2012

Toby Murray writes:
 > On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM, Richard Fairhurst
 > <richard at systemed.net> wrote:
 > > Peter Dobratz wrote:
 > >> I'm trying to get a better understanding of the railway=abandoned
 > >> tag and see what the community thinks about it.
 > >
 > > FWIW there's been a similar discussion on talk-gb recently.
 > >
 > > The consensus seems to be railway=abandoned for railways where there's still
 > > some physical trace (and "you can see it from the air" includes that!), and
 > > railway=dismantled used fairly sparingly where there's no trace left.
 > Yeah I have no problem having railway=abandoned ways going through
 > wheat fields. As has been pointed out, you can still see traces even
 > 20 years after the last train rolled through. But as soon as it hits
 > an area with other objects that conflict with it, I usually hack it
 > off and delete it outright. I had a friend complain to me about an
 > abandoned railway running right through the middle of a mall in his
 > city so I told him to just nuke it.

Every ("Every" being more a goal than a state) railbed that ever
existed in New York State is in OSM, including the ones for which
there is scant trace. I wouldn't consider deleting any of it, even if
there is "no trace" left, because there usually *is* some trace
left. Even if it's just some concrete posts such as were used by the
New York Central in somebody's back yard. How are these artifacts to
be put into their proper context unless the railbed's existence is
known and published?

I would tag a railbed with railway:historic=abandoned or somesuch, to
keep it from being rendered if people got grumpy about it.

--my blog is at    http://blog.russnelson.com
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