[OSM-talk] Deleting data

Bryce Nesbitt bryce2 at obviously.com
Wed Oct 23 08:11:00 UTC 2013

On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 6:48 AM, Russ Nelson <nelson at crynwr.com> wrote:

>  > As a mapper, you have mapped from third party sources and not been in
>  > the place physically to confirm. But you expect other mappers to have
>  > a different threshold for deleting these edit, why?
> Because they are not an expert. Sorry, they're not. You have to use
> multiple sources to find a railroad right-of-way. You can't just look
> at a leafed-over aerial photo (as above), or an aerial photo where you
> can't identify the railroad remains.

As a person who has traced far more than the average number of dead
railroads, on foot
or by mountain bike or canoe: I agree.  It takes an expert.

But this also means a non-expert could well* actually visit the area* and
miss the subtle signs
of the former railroad.  The curved wall of the factory probably has a
parking lot below it now,
with a truck loading dock, yet you expect an average mapper to realize the
railroad shown
is valid?

It seems the real issue is the use of OSM for barely observable former
features.  A shiny new
loading dock, rail trail, or light rail system is mappable by anyone.

Historic features are more problematic.  At what point does a railroad stop
getting mapped?
When the rails are taken away?  The ballast?  The piers and footings?  When
the occasional
building is built on the old roadbed?  What if the railroad was moved a few
feet, do both routes get mapped?

With better tagging the editors could help, distinguishing between features
observable now
and features that are no longer (or barely) observable.  But this is
basically a history discussion,
not so much one about uncaring deletions.
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