[Imports] RFC for City of Basel Suburb Import

Johannes Singler johannes at singler.name
Fri Dec 29 13:32:33 UTC 2017

Hi Rafael,

thanks for your feedback.

Am 29.12.2017 um 06:22 schrieb Rafael Avila Coya:
> Hi, Johannes:
> Thank you for this work.
> I have just small questions about the import.
> I am not swiss, so I am not going to doubt that suburbs don't have 
> administrative significance, as you say in the wiki. But a bit further 
> down in the wiki you say "We will not import the neighborhoods 
> ("Wohnbezirke"), as some of their names are not familiar to the general 
> public, but seem to exist for administrative statistical purposes only."
> So my understanding is that neighborhoods have some administrative use, 
> and so I find it a bit strange that suburbs, that are higher level than 
> neighborhoods, don't have any administrative interest (not even 
> statistical).

Both are used for statistical purposes by the administration, the 
suburbs even more so.  However, there exist no political institutions 
for suburbs/neighborhoods (at least not consistently), that was the main 
argument on the Swiss mailing list.  But maybe we over-interpret the 
term "administrative" here, it does not read "political" after all.

@Simon, what do you think?
In Bern, we have admin_levels both 9 and 10.  Okay, for 9, there exist 
"Quartierkommissionen" as political institutions (except for the inner 
city), but I don't know any political institution for admin_level 10 
(e.g. Breitenrain).

> Also, in the boundary=administrative wiki [1] it gives admin_level=10 
> for neighborhoods in Switzerland, so it might be admin_level=9 or so 
> according to the wiki?

Sure, admin_level=9 would be the perfect fit.

> In case of continuing with that tagging, I guess the suburb segments 
> should have a boundary=suburb tag (they come with no tags in the osm 
> file you share).

True, I forgot that.  However, the suburbs share many segments with 
higher-level administrative boundaries, should those then have the tag 
twice, or two semicolon-separated values for the key?  One more argument 
for using boundary=administrative, it seems.

> boundary=suburb, as a new tag, should be documented in the OSM wiki, in 
> case it's finally decided to continue with that tagging schema.

Well, it says "	All commonly used values according to Taginfo" there, 
and "suburb" is used in other places already.  "statistical" would be an 
alternative that is used even more often already.

Overall, the simplest would be to just use boundary=administrative 
instead of boundary/place=suburb.

Another argument against place/boundary=suburb is that the suburbs do 
not appear in address searches, e.g. "Terwijde" does not appear for this 


> Cheers, and have an excellent end of the year,
> Rafael.
> [1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:boundary%3Dadministrative
> On 28/12/17 14:42, Johannes Singler wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> after discussing this on the Swiss OSM mailing list (talk-ch), I 
>> hereby announce the import of the suburbs of the city of Basel in 
>> Switzerland.
>> The one-time import is manual and comprises 19 suburbs.  It touches 
>> three country borders, though.
>> The import wiki page can be found here:
>> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/City_of_Basel_Suburb_Import>
>> I'm a local mapper living in the area.
>> Looking forward to your comments,
>> Johannes
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