[OSM-talk] stop deleting abandoned railroads

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Sat Aug 15 11:55:24 UTC 2015


On 2015-08-15 13:15, Serge Wroclawski wrote: 

> On Sat, Aug 15, 2015 at 6:43 AM, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote: 
>> So who decides what is good data and what is bad data?
> The community as a whole decides what is good and bad data. That starts with the local community and moves up to the OSM community as a whole in terms of whether or not data belongs in OSM or not.

I disagree here, you are in a dream world. The decision is made on an
individual, case-by-case basis by the mapper who exercises his
inalienable right to delete or modify data. These decisions are not
ratified by the community, but they are discussed to death if anyone
happens to notice and takes exception. There is no consensus, there is
just one vociferous minority (of the set of all mappers) shouting at
another vociferous minority until one party or the other loses the will
to live. 

Should we be working towards creating a consensus, or at least working
out a workable definition of "consensus?" (Actually I think the current
malaise is deeper than that - it's an identity crisis) 

Should we still be saying that the user is free to tag as they see fit?
Quote from the wiki: "Remember that OpenStreetMap does not have any
content restrictions on tags that can be assigned to nodes, ways or
areas. You can use ANY TAGS YOU LIKE, but PLEASE DOCUMENT THEM here on
the OpenStreetMap wiki, even if self explanatory." (Interestingly, it
doesn't mention relations, but I assume this is an oversight.) 

>> And "visibility on the ground" needs nuancing. Are we to remove underground pipelines/power lines?
> If you were able to go underground, then you'd find such data. But if you can't- how do you know these lines exist? You probably are using a feature that you *can* see without being underground.

Good question. We assume they were not entered from sources without a
suitable licence. Should we delete them? I certainly don't need to know
where the gas pipelines are. 

>> Or boundaries?
> I specifically addressed political boundaries in my previous mail.

I was talking about all kinds of boundaries, not just political. 

>> "Visible and/or verifiable" might be better. A rule that needs loads of exceptions, is not a well formed rule.
> Verifiable and visible are essentially synonymous in this discussion.

If that were true, then the existence of an abandoned railway route
would effectively be "visible" by virtue of the fact that it is

>> An abandoned railway route IS an abandoned railway route, even today (i.e. that is current data). It WAS a working railway line. That is all verifiable.
> Yes, but we don't map things that used to be present but are no longer present. A road used to be here but is now a building. We don't map the old road, only what's present now.

An abandoned railway route is present now. It may not may not be
immediately obvious from a quick look on site. What about roman roads
which are no longer visible without remote sensing or ground penetrating
radar? Are we suggesting they also have no place in OSM? 

> - Serge
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