[Imports] Oahu, Hawaii CDP boundaries

Brian M. Sperlongano zelonewolf at gmail.com
Wed Sep 4 21:29:30 UTC 2019

Aloha OSM community,

I am looking to start the process of adding missing city/town boundaries to
the island of Oahu in the US state of Hawaii.  Currently on Oahu, only the
city of Honolulu has an administrative boundary in OSM.  I am the developer
of an application that consumes administrative boundary data and it would
be useful to me to have boundaries for the other towns on the island in
OSM.  I have recently fixed a handful of boundary issues in JOSM such as
duplicated nodes, unclosed loops, and missing boundary roles so I'm
generally familiar with how boundary relations and ways are constructed.

I have local knowledge of the island, hence why I am focusing on Oahu and
not the other islands.

The state of Hawaii does not have political divisions below the county
level and so there are no municipal-level entities (e.g. the mayor of
Honolulu is actually the county mayor).  However, the statewide GIS
publishes census-designated place (CDP) boundaries for 30 or so localities
on the island, and they are public domain.  For the most part, CDP
names/boundaries match the local usage for town-level/postal place names
and are analagous to towns even though there are no town-level governments,
however, there are a number of exceptions that need to get dealt with
manually.  Honolulu has a level 8 boundary in OSM even though there is no
defined city limits.

Place names in Hawaii derive from ahupuaŹ»a (historic chiefdoms) and are
observable on the ground today by signs marking the historic boundaries
(normally aligned to geographic ridge lines).

There are a number of TIGER imported census boundaries that often, but not
always, line up with the local usage of place names.

I think it makese sense to sort through through the existing census
boundaries, GIS CDP boundaries, and place name markers, and create level 8
administrative boundaries that reflect local postal and customary place
name usage, adding existing place= marker nodes to the relations.  This
would be done one at a time rather than a bulk import.  This is a somewhat
larger project than the usual streets and trails editing that I normally do
so I'd appreciate community feedback on whether this approach makes sense.
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