[OSM-talk] stop deleting abandoned railroads

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Thu Aug 20 05:12:49 UTC 2015

Frederik Ramm writes:
 > Also I have the impression that, contrary to what you're saying, at
 > least some proponents of abandoned railway mapping find it totally ok to
 > map an abandoned railway that "leads through" a modern day housing
 > development.

"Abandoned"? No. Dismantled? Yes. Now, I must admit that I have added
a lot of abandoned railways that really ought to be dismantled in
places. At the time, it wasn't an issue. Definitely I can clean up my
data, and I'm willing to do that. The trouble is that I'm being
threatened with having my contributions deleted!


Why incentive do I have to correctly tag, when people are saying "Go
ahead, I'm just going to delete it anyway and I'm going to encourage
other people to do the same thing." And indeed, rather than doing
that, I've been adding lakes and ponds and rivers and streams in
NY. These have been multi-year projects for me. If, IF, I can get
agreement from people that they won't delete dismantled railways, I
will go through each and every railway=abandoned in NY and re-tag them
as dismantled as needed. It will be a multi-year project, but I'm good
for it.

Here's a perfect example of how a railway should be mapped: 

You've got a railway going through a "modern day housing
development". The railway is a foot/bike path on the north side of the
development, visible in the back yards going through the development,
and on the south side of the development. It's been bulldozed,
dismantled, razed where houses were built.

Some people think the railway should be deleted. That makes a hash, a
mishmash, a farrago, of the relation which is the railway. Rather than
having a nice neat set of connected ways, you have a way here and a
way there, everywhere a way, way. It's simply true, and makes OSM
better, to say that the railway has, for those stretches, one 130
meters and another 300 meters, been dismantled.

--my blog is at    http://blog.russnelson.com
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