[OSM-talk] stop deleting abandoned railroads

moltonel 3x Combo moltonel at gmail.com
Tue Aug 18 12:39:45 UTC 2015

On 18/08/2015, Russ Nelson <nelson at crynwr.com> wrote:
> Serge Wroclawski writes:
>  > TIGER wasn't what I was referring to.
>  >
>  > Please don't speak on my behalf.
> Very well. Feel free to point to anything anywhere that people are
> afraid to delete. I want to see 1) something that obviously doesn't
> belong there, 2) which isn't TIGER and 3) evidence that someone
> expressed a reluctance to delete it.


Didn't have to look far. But really this is a commonplace occurence.
Most of the OSM world isn't TIGER, and doubting one's edits (including
but not limited to deletions) is a healthy quality-assurance reflex.

> Is it unreasonable of me to ask for evidence of a claim that you have
> made? I mean, besides TIGER, which is a perfectly reasonable
> assumption for an ambiguous claim.

If I'm following things right, the claim was :

> in other parts, we have an abundance of bad imports, and a general
> timidness around the removal of data that we can't find the owner of, which
> leaves us with data that *we know is bad*, but where the individual mappers
> do not feel empowered to act on because of this exact attitude of needing
> to contact and work with the importer.
> This leaves our project with a problem of lots of data and no one feeling
> empowered to remove it.

I'm sure nobody will disagree that we have a lot of bad data (in
absolute numbers, not in percentage :p), and it's silly to think that
TIGER is the only source of it, or even that all TIGER data is bad.

In that context, arguing that deletions are intrinsincly a bad thing
does harm OSM's QA process. Clearly we should think twice before
deleting something and don't want to reach an extreme of "if in doubt,
delete", but what you've proposed is the opposite extreme and is just
as unhealthy.

For what it's worth, the only place I've felt disempowered in OSM
(appart from the lack of free time) is the very high bar set for
automated edits. Wether that disempowerment has resulted in a net
positive or negative for OSM is left as an exercise to the reader.

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