david at frankieandshadow.com
Sun Nov 25 18:25:12 GMT 2007
I noticed when doing the name finder that there are a number of places
Though not recognised on Map_features, I kind of feel the need for a
recognised tag like this, between town and village. What do others
think? I'll add something to the proposals page if there's any
enthusiasm for it.
Having been working mostly in rural South Cambridgeshire over the last 6
months, it seems to me there are two distinct kinds of village:
- those with a population of several thousand, generally with services
ike a post office, primary school, several pubs, some shops, maybe a
supermarket, sometimes a secondary school
- those with only a few hundred people, too many for a hamlet, but with
few or no services to speak of.
At the moment, the cut off for town is listed as 10,000. But there are
some places like Soham, Cambridgeshire (pop 9,000) which is (rightly)
marked as a town. On the other hand, Bedford, also a town (pop nearly
80,000, nearly as big as Cambridge) is in another league from Soham, yet
it really ought to show up pretty much as significantly as Cambridge
IMO, and Sandy and Biggleswade to its east look similar but are much
Then to complicate matters, there's places like Hay-on-Wye in Powys,
Wales, population only about 1,500, but is definitely a major market
town with every kind of service because it is the centre of a large
rural hinterland. (Even if we had small_town, I'd continue to label Hay
as town because of this - it punches above its weight).
So whether it is small_town or large_village for the 1,000's or
conversely small_village for the 100's, I'd quite like to see a way I
can distinguish the larger rural settlements, often 2,500+ but sometimes
smaller, which have more significance. This would allow us to have a
somewhat denser rendering of place names at lower zoom levels (e.g. 12
on both maps), without swamping them, and we can highlight the more
Examples in South Cambridgeshire which I would promote to large_village
or small_town are: Melbourn, Linton, Swavesey, Cottenham,
Histon/Impington, Milton, Fulbourn, Great Shelford, Sawston, Bar Hill. I
might also want to downgrade Cambourne if there were an intermediate.
There's always a matter of judgement involved, and it isn't solely on
population, but at the moment I think the granularity is too coarse.
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