[OSM-talk] Abandoned Rails

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Sat Aug 29 03:43:11 UTC 2015

I don't understand why people suggest things that don't work. How do I
make a route in OSM that includes the active railways, disused
railways, washed_out railways (where you can SEE rails in the river),
cycleways, footways, bridges, hedges, cuttings, embankments, and
shadows in fields if there is not a way in every case?

Or conversely, how does OHM allow for a route that includes ways going
through a farmer's field where everything has been plowed away, the
cinders scattered, the spikes buried beyond the reach of metal
detectors, where I, even I, agree that there is nothing to be seen
there .... AND ways where any damned fool can see that this used to be
a railroad because it lines up with existing tracks? (hint: like OSM,
it doesn't.)

Perhaps some day in the future, what you suggest will be practical
when the data schema has been revised to implement layers stored in
different databases. For now, no. Please stop suggesting this.

Tim Waters writes:
 > I'd like to recommend OpenHistoricalMap.org (OHM) which will welcome
 > all types of historical, disused and abandoned features. Please, go
 > add every abandoned railway to OHM, and then together we can
 > eventually get an accurate map of 1880s railway network compared to a
 > 1940's, compared to yesterdays world!
 > Tim
 > On 22/08/2015, Jason Remillard <remillard.jason at gmail.com> wrote:
 > > Hi
 > >
 > >> I'd therefor like to propose that abandoned railways be treated like
 > >> borders.  Even if you can't see it along a given stretch there are people
 > >> who can and they have put a huge amount of effort into that work.  Lets
 > >> respect that and strengthen the community rather than deleting it and
 > >> doing
 > >> the opposite.
 > >
 > > I 100% agree. The amount of data required to map abandoned railroads
 > > is tiny. An occasional way through a new development is not going to
 > > hurt anybody or impair normal mapping activity.
 > >
 > > Apparently, the people that like to map railroads think OSM is the
 > > best place to do this. We are not in any position to be chasing them
 > > off. OSM has a long, long way to go still. Above all else, it needs to
 > > more active mappers if we are serious about being the best map for the
 > > entire world. Also, It seems likely they are also mapping non
 > > controversial things like roads while working on the railroads.
 > >
 > > Dave F, OSM is doing just fine. It is full of contradictions,
 > > redundancies, disagreements, and broken rules (see the tagging list).
 > > It is not some kind of business database that requires normalization,
 > > strict schema definitions, and vigilant protection. It can't have any
 > > once sentence rules defining its boundaries. It is a great big blank
 > > sheet of paper, relax and let the railroad people draw on it a bit.
 > > Nobody is going to get hurt.
 > >
 > > Jason
 > >
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 > >
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