Extremely long Amtrak route relations

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Extremely long Amtrak route relations

Clay Smalley
I posted this on the Slack but I figured I should put this on the mailing list to make sure it reaches everybody:

Many long-distance Amtrak trains have route relations with 1000+ members. If I split one way that happens to be a member of one of these routes, I end up with a changeset with a gigantic bounding box, and often get edit conflicts due to someone doing a similar change hundreds of miles away along the same line. I really would like to split up these relations into smaller chunks to make them more manageable.

One way of doing that would be to split them up by state (as US and Interstate highways are) but that seems odd for a train relation, since they'd start and end at places that aren't train stations (except maybe Texarkana). My other thought would be to split them up at "station stops", where trains dwell for 10+ minutes to facilitate crew changes and allow passengers to step off the train and get some fresh air. These are roughly every 4 hours apart schedule-wise (typically 200-300 miles apart). The annoying part is that station stops are not well-advertised and you pretty much need to ride the train to figure out where they are.

Other suggestions on the Slack include splitting them up by the underlying railway infrastructure lines (aka subdivisions). I'm not convinced this is an intuitive way to approach splitting long routes into sub-relations.

Anybody have opinions one way or the other?

-Clay

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Re: Extremely long Amtrak route relations

Ray Kiddy

It seems that OSM has a an architectural problem with over-large relations?

Is modifying the relations in potentially arbitrary ways a good solution?

Seeking something that may work now, can any "size-based" relation splits be done in a way that they can be automatically removed at some futute point? Is there a meta-relation structure that can relate relations, or is that just a relation?

I do not know enough about how OSM is implemented to make real suggestions, but changing the data for this seems like a bad smell.

cheers - ray

On 11/21/20 9:06 AM, Clay Smalley wrote:
I posted this on the Slack but I figured I should put this on the mailing list to make sure it reaches everybody:

Many long-distance Amtrak trains have route relations with 1000+ members. If I split one way that happens to be a member of one of these routes, I end up with a changeset with a gigantic bounding box, and often get edit conflicts due to someone doing a similar change hundreds of miles away along the same line. I really would like to split up these relations into smaller chunks to make them more manageable.

One way of doing that would be to split them up by state (as US and Interstate highways are) but that seems odd for a train relation, since they'd start and end at places that aren't train stations (except maybe Texarkana). My other thought would be to split them up at "station stops", where trains dwell for 10+ minutes to facilitate crew changes and allow passengers to step off the train and get some fresh air. These are roughly every 4 hours apart schedule-wise (typically 200-300 miles apart). The annoying part is that station stops are not well-advertised and you pretty much need to ride the train to figure out where they are.

Other suggestions on the Slack include splitting them up by the underlying railway infrastructure lines (aka subdivisions). I'm not convinced this is an intuitive way to approach splitting long routes into sub-relations.

Anybody have opinions one way or the other?

-Clay

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Re: Extremely long Amtrak route relations

Brian M. Sperlongano


It seems that OSM has a an architectural problem with over-large relations?

+1 

The Tongass National Forest [1] was recently mapped with great detail.  It comprises most of the Alaska panhandle and all of its islands and inlets.  The relation has 28,000 members and contains over 2 million nodes.  It does not load on osm.org, and is single-handedly responsible for a 48-hour increase in the amount of time it takes to render the global tileset.

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, a few users moved all of Hampton Roads/Chesapeake Bay, and all of its inlets and estuaries, inside the coastline [2], in order to speed up the amount of time it takes to render the coastline and reduce the frequency of users breaking coastline continuity.  A heated discussion on this continues over on the tagging list.

Personally, I think if the world is complicated, the model should be complicated.  If the thing we're modeling is large in the world, it should be large in the map.  It seems that we are increasingly doing things to simplify the model because certain tooling can't handle the real level of complexity that exists in the real world.  I'm in favor of fixing the tooling rather than neutering the data.



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Re: Extremely long Amtrak route relations

ebel
On Sat, 21 Nov 2020, at 18:06, Clay Smalley wrote:
> Many long-distance Amtrak trains have route relations with 1000+
> members. If I split one way that happens to be a member of one of these
> routes, I end up with a changeset with a gigantic bounding box, and
> often get edit conflicts due to someone doing a similar change hundreds
> of miles away along the same line.

While mapping lots of little admin bounadaries in Ireland, I encountered this problem too, with splitting the "Ireland" admin boundary on the coast. It's a PITA, but if you upload & download/update as often as possible (even as soon as you make a change/split the way), then yous can alleviate as much as of the problem as possible. Essentiall "edit live"

On Sat, 21 Nov 2020, at 21:58, Brian M. Sperlongano wrote:
> Personally, I think if the world is complicated, the model should be
> complicated.  If the thing we're modeling is large in the world, it
> should be large in the map.  It seems that we are increasingly doing
> things to simplify the model because certain tooling can't handle the
> real level of complexity that exists in the real world.  I'm in favor
> of fixing the tooling rather than neutering the data.

I 100% agree. Let's fix the tooling. Let's not map for database backend.

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