[Talk-us] Moving historic railroad ways from OSM to OpenHistoricalMap

Bryce Nesbitt bryce2 at obviously.com
Thu Apr 2 04:47:08 UTC 2015

On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 2:27 AM, Minh Nguyen <minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us>
> I'd imagine that most railbanked rights of way would be mapped with
> railway=disused (inactive tracks, possibly overgrown) or railway=abandoned
> (no tracks but an embankment, greenway, or clearing still present), as
> opposed to something like railway=razed. [1] The tags' definitions
> acknowledge physical characteristics rather than ownership.

Depending on the climate, a corridor can become all but invisible on an air
photo long before even the tracks are removed.
There is no firm line between OSM's definition of physical characteristics
on the ground.

I've followed hundreds of miles of such corridors, and only those still
"active" enough to be candidates for trail development,
yet faced severe challenges staying on track as it were.  These railbanked
corridors are in a legal sense still active: they're still
registered with the Surface Transportation Board, yet they can take a real
eye and skill to actually find.

Armchair deleting them because you can't find them on an air photo seems to
go too far.
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