[OSM-talk] Orphaned Relations

andrzej zaborowski balrogg at gmail.com
Tue Jul 19 14:03:53 BST 2011


On 17 July 2011 23:55, Sarah Hoffmann <lonvia en denofr.de> wrote:
> 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:
> 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?

So I had stumbled on the same fact about a year ago and after some
discussion on this list I deleted about 8000 empty/orphaned relations.
 It seems all except a handful of those 8000 relations had indeed been
left in the not-deleted state by mistake.  There were a couple (<5)
that had still been referenced from the wiki, rather than from inside
the database through other relations.  I got a couple of e-mails
months later asking about those relations and undeleted them, it would
probably be a good idea to check for references in the wiki beforehand
this time.  I don't think it makes sense to create such empty
relations before any members are added to them because it's quite
likely someone else is going to create a duplicate, but I don't have a
strong opinion and being in the losing position as an author of an
automated edit I didn't want to argue with the creators of these


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