[OSM-talk] Orphaned Relations

Jorge Gustavo jgr at osgeopt.pt
Mon Jul 18 23:54:04 BST 2011

Hi Sarah, hi all,

Thanks for pointing out the problem. In my case, there were orphaned 
relations without any use at all. They simply were not removed after 
cleaning some administrative boundaries and I didn't noticed.

I remove "my" orphaned relations, using JOSM.
1) wget 
-O old_relation_boundary_jgr.osm
2) JOSM -> Open -> old_relation_boundary_jgr.osm
3) JOSM -> Select All
4) JOSM -> Delete
5) JOSM -> Upload
Relations deleted!



On 17-07-2011 22:55, Sarah Hoffmann wrote:
> Hi,
> I recently stumbled upon some empty route relations, so I had a
> closer look at the OSM planet and found that there are about
> 10.000 orphaned relations in the database and the number is growing.
> With orphaned I mean relations that have no members and are not
> member of any other relation. Some are completely empty but most
> still have some tags. I have created a list of the relations sorted
> by last editing user here:
> http://osm.lonvia.de/stuff/orphans.html
> Quite a few of those have been created by some import gone wrong
> but there is also a significant part that are the result of editing
> mistakes. Some relations seem to have been uploaded empty in the
> first place. In some relations, especially multipolygons, the member
> ways were deleted but the relation was left in the DB. And then there
> seem to be some users that think that removing all members from a
> relation is the same as deleting the relation.
> According to the created_by tag, this seems to be a problem in
> all major editors:
> 4188 JOSM
> 1614 Potlach 1
> 1565 Potlach 2
>    55 Merkaartor
> 	 2 Mapzen Beta
> 2671 (bots and scripts)
> I don't know about forbitting orphaned relations but it would
> certainly be helpful if the editors would show a big red warning
> sign if somebody tries to upload an empty relation.
> Question remains what to do with the existing orphaned relations.
> Is there any legimate use for them or would it be save to simply
> delete them all?
> Cheers,
> Sarah
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