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Recently I came across a map feature in my vicinity where someone entered a highway proposed in the early 20th century, which was never built. The highway is tagged abandoned=yes, abandoned:construction=motorway, abandoned:highway=construction and highway=proposed. It shows up like a proposed or under construction highway on the map and it looks like the user that added it is or was adding lots of such motorway that were planned or partially realized by the German authorities in the early 20th century. However, it looks like construction actually never started or at least only some very basic preparation work was done since there aren't any obvious hints for it neither on aerial imagery nor directly visible in the landscape.

At first look I though "oh nice, they're building a bypass to the often crowded interchange further west..." until I realized that this thing was abandoned long time ago. I also understand that it might be interesting from a historical point of view, but then I think it shouldn't be on a map contemporary map as it is displayed as under construction bus is actually never going to happen.

So my question is, how to deal with that? Should I contact the guy that added them? Is there some general discussion board where such cases can be disputed with a wider audience?

asked 28 Apr '15, 14:03

bbauer's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

To your last question, if you are wondering what a user has mapped or why they did it a certain way, you should definitely contact them, with with a private OSM message or comment on the changeset (which is public).

To the larger question, OSM runs on the general principle "map what's on the ground", which would tend to mean that something like what you describe should not be in the database.

However, there is not complete consensus about this. For example, there was a long discussion in April 2015 on talk-us (multiple threads) about whether abandoned (not used, but still with evidence on the ground) and/or razed (completely removed) railroads should be kept in OSM. There was general consensus to keep abandoned-tagged features, but disagreement about razed-tagged features. Many argued against keeping them in OSM for the above reasons, but some, especially railway mappers, argued to keep them in OSM. A "third way" that was also discussed is for historical objects to be moved to OpenHistoricalMap, but that project is still a work in progress.

As the above also shows, a place to discuss these issues is on the local OSM mailing list.

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answered 28 Apr '15, 15:01

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

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question asked: 28 Apr '15, 14:03

question was seen: 2,840 times

last updated: 28 Apr '15, 15:01

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum