[OSM-talk] stop deleting abandoned railroads

moltonel 3x Combo moltonel at gmail.com
Tue Aug 18 12:04:53 UTC 2015

On 18/08/2015, Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 17/08/2015 10:48 PM, moltonel 3x Combo wrote:
>> On 17/08/2015, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Am 17.08.2015 um 02:39 schrieb moltonel 3x Combo <moltonel at gmail.com>:
>>>> * A broken bridge with just a few meters left on both riverbanks
>>> I surely wouldn't have removed this one. Isn't this a significant feature
>>> to
>>> many people?
>> In only deleted the middle bit, not the bridge=yes stumps. At least
>> that's what I remember; I couldn't find it again in
>> https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/16286467. Maybe it was a
>> different railway line.
> Retag the middle bit demolished:bridge=yes would be a better solution?
> Retains all the data. If the bridge were rebuilt then it could simply be
> retagged back.
>> On the other hand, there's an instance of a bridge that is the only
>> thing left standing (green undisturbed meadows on both sides), and
>> that bridge is kept in OSM (while the sections in the meadow were
>> not).
> Then retag the ways leading to the bridge using the prefix demolished:

The demolished: prefix only makes sense when there is something left
of the former feature, typically rubble (useful for example to alert
boattripers of the hazard). When there is nothing left in reality,
there should be nothing left in OSM.

Even when we expect the feature to be rebuilt someday (not the case
for this bridge), there's no advantage in keeping the OSM object
around just to simplify restoring it: creating a new osm way is just
as easy as retagging an old one.

Saying that we should retag no-longer-existing objects rather than
deleting them is like saying that we should always use strike-through
in a text document rather than using document history, or that we
should always comment lines in a program rather than using source code
management like git.

Remember that deleted osm objects *are* kept in the osm history and
can even be undeleted (finding the old object id is currently a pain,
but I certainly hope that this'll become easyer someday). Deleting an
object is hardly different from editing it as far as osm history is
concerned. Russ singled out actual deletion as something specific, but
disagreement on if/how to map something happen all the time in OSM
(thankfully rarely with that level of drama), not just when deletion
is involved.

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