[OSM-talk] stop deleting abandoned railroads

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Fri Aug 14 03:32:16 UTC 2015

On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 11:09 PM, Russ Nelson <nelson at crynwr.com> wrote:

> It's really just a small handful of people who think it's okay not
> just to delete things, but to counsel other people to delete
> things. "I didn't see it, so I deleted it" is a reason for a ban, not
> an excuse against being banned.

Russ, I doubt that you mean it this way, but if you set the bar too high,
then you're essentially asking people to disprove a negative.

Of course, the defining problem here is what are these "things"? Are
> they something that is obvious to everyone? Or are they something that
> you can barely see as a shadow on an aerial photo, a bit of vegetation
> in the wall between fields, or a small depression in a field, or
> cinders where there ought to be sandy loam?  I will cheerfully
> acknowledge that I am expert at locating abandoned railbeds, and that
> my expert's eye can see things other people don't see. This isn't
> Wikipedia. We allow original research and expert testimony.

We allow original research and expert testimony, but we also don't require

So, is OSM to contain only the obvious that everyone can see? Or
> should it contain everything that can be seen?

We have generally not required specialized knowledge or equipment for
observations in the past and I don't think that we should change that going

> I'll leave the issue of railway=dismantled where I agree that there is
> nothing to be seen for hundreds of feet for another day. Clearly we
> are talking now about railway=abandoned that can be easily discerned
> on the ground and from aerial photos.

The issue of areal photos vs on the ground observation is an interesting

Is there a way to observe these tracks on the ground other than in
aggregate via areal imagery?

If so, can you post photos of ground observable features and place those
photos on the wiki page for the tag?

- Serge
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