[Talk-us] Abandoned railway

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Sat Aug 30 18:59:38 UTC 2014

On Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 6:28 AM, Mike N <niceman at att.net> wrote:

>  Landing on the high plains desert in the west does not make a good case
> that OSM in the US is broken.  Desert imagery cues do not match those of
> conventional climates.   Those roads likely do exist, but are barely
> visible in contrast to the surroundings.  We city-folk would classify them
> as tracks, but a desert prospector or park ranger would consider them
> secondary.

NO!  We would *still* classify them as tracks!  Because there's no good
reason to classify them as more major, given consistency.  We're trying to
* not* break the routers, after all.  Yes, I realize that the vast majority
of county roads are *not* paved in my region.  But to classify them as more
major is a sickening choice, and would actually make OSM much worse than
Yahoo Maps, given the situation that actually killed a Yahoo founder.

Just because it's a county road doesn't stop it from being a track.  It
might be a grade1 track, but that's still a track.  Even on the most major
tracks, even if they're capable of letting you hit the default speed limit
in most counties (45 mph), I'd still consider them a track.  Mostly because
if it's not paved at all, there's a good chance that 1) it floods
regularly, 2) it's not always the grade reported in OSM and therefore not
always possible in all vehicles, and 3) completely irresponsible to
represent them as something people unfamiliar are going to want to take.
 My comfort level in taking a Chevy Malibu over dozens of miles of county
track, even if it's the shortest or fastest way, is going to be completely
different from someone unfamiliar with the territory, and unfamiliar with
the map's foibles in the region.

At least in North America, I'm willing to go so far as to say as tagging
any unpaved road as anything higher than track is Considered Harmful.
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