Rail Easterly

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Rail Easterly

stevea
In 2013 OpenRailwayMap was released.  After 2014 talk-us posts about "Rail Westerly" I spoke at SOTM-US Seattle in 2016 about Rail USA during a theme of building community.

Let's call Rail USA today (a decade after our mid-2000s rail import) a version 0.4.  This includes:

* a certain amount of TIGER Review of our rail import is substantial, though still plenty to do,
* wiki to reflect that status in color-coded tables, "all Western states" (save Hawai'i) roughly done, and
* the actual state of USA rail data in OSM (completion, correctness).  "Looks OK" at a macro-level.

(Hawai'i, our national page says light_rail is "westerly portion is under construction."  Updates?)

Viewed in OpenRailwayMap, our TIGER data continue to improve, especially over the last months and years, demonstrating solid progress:  improvement, cohesion, inventory, status, upgrades, relatively recent data and status.

I estimate USA rail which is "somewhat TIGER Reviewed" (as well as the state of the wiki describing them) at about 35% to 40% complete today, but that is a loose number with hundreds of thousands of miles of ways with railway=rail (the largest active and abandoned rail network on Earth).  These numbers might be higher "locally," so for example perhaps 60% completion is a reasonable estimate of data, wiki and "completeness" status in California.

OSM-US' rail has enjoyed good growth.  Wiki demonstrate both inventory and a status of completion of any given state's TIGER Review and have been doing steady work (and can keep doing so, or improve) of "reviewed by multiple sets of eyes."  A visual parse (wiki syntax and some color/graphic symbols) is underway in Arizona to succinctly visually describe this on a 0 to 4 scale, 4 is "multiple eyes reviewed these data."  (On passenger routes, this might get adopted for freight rail).  Wiki might also "fall away" as data in the map and good tools watch data in a more real-time way.  Wiki have and do serve "inventory and status," especially with widespread improvement.  (Underlying infrastructure, better tagging, gathering of subdivision rail elements into relations, TIGER Review, updating tables in the wiki with up-to-date status...), though that might change,  (Wiki as status, the way it helps us discover each other, "building community" and inventory... gets supplanted?  well, possible, yes).

The Western states have at least skeletal wiki (some are beta with up-to-date status).  Some Eastern states have skeletal wiki, though there is much more TIGER rail Review to complete, and depending on where and how it goes, wiki to be written.  Getting to a version 1.0 of rail in the USA "done" in some sense might be three, five or ten years hence, that's hard to say.  In that we might include:

* fully multiple-human review of all TIGER rail, sufficient to remove the tiger:reviewed tag.  The improvement we have seen between 2014 and 2018 is substantial.
* final (neither alpha nor beta) wiki (as our WikiProject_United_States_railways page defines these)
or perhaps a preferred functional equivalent of that, as in the 2020s it might be "this is how we keep an eye on rail now."

North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas are the next wiki-less states (Western becomes Eastern, marching south from Canada down the center of the lower 48).   A handoff feels "next underway.".  A "certain amount of skeleton exists in the data across the lower 48" so "here ya go, Eastern Rail USA."  An "on to version 0.5" of "Rail Easterly" seems to click in now.  For example, much happens in the Northeast Corridor, several high-speed plans and higher-speed corridors (Michigan, Rhode Island) where there are many vibrant data, Crescent Corridor, all kind of things.  Heck, I think South Carolina, a place you might not consider a universe unto itself regarding "a state's worth of rail," is quite a bit to chew, really!  Other OSM volunteers are better equipped and more local to improve these data and/or their wiki (should those get written or not).

Almost a decade in OSM, chugging along, workin' on the railroads, maybe a third of states roughed out, we're doin' fine, volunteers are welcome, maybe you'll help make it three years instead of five or ten,

SteveA
California
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Re: Rail Easterly

stevea
On Dec 21, 2018, at 4:17 PM, OSM Volunteer stevea <[hidden email]> wrote:
> (Hawai'i, our national page says light_rail is "westerly portion is under construction."  Updates?)

OK, I updated our Hawaii wiki so it has a Railroads section and table.  A dedicated Hawaii/Railroads wiki seemed a bit much, given there is only minor passenger rail and some light_rail construction there.

> * wiki to reflect that status in color-coded tables, "all Western states" (save Hawai'i) roughly done

OSM now has "all Western states" pretty much covered with rail wiki (again, "roughly done"), Hawaii included.

Happy New Year,

SteveA
California
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