[Tagging] Boundaries for suburbs

Tyler Gunn tyler at egunn.com
Fri Feb 25 03:34:38 GMT 2011

What is the "proper" way to tag a boundary for a suburb?  I'm trying to avoid using "place=suburb" nodes as they don't accurately capture the boundaries of the neighbourhoods I'm attempting to map.

I've been playing around with this in my area and came up with two examples:

Example One:
- "place=suburb" node central to neighborhood:  http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/node/1168219909
- Boundary relation with the the "place" node marked as a label: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/relation/1438874; included the place attributes on the boundary as well.  Not sure if required.

An example of how I've attempted this is as follows.  At this zoom level, Mapnik correctly renders a label for the suburb, 
Zooming in once more reveals TWO labels for the area:
See above links for the node and relation in my example.
It's clear that when you zoom in the larger label is from the place node, and the smaller one is from the boundary itself.
Mapnik seems to render appropriately.

Example Two:
Another attempt I made used the scheme:
- "label" node central to the neighborhood: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/node/499644122
- Boundary relation with just administrative level stuff in it: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/relation/1438875
Here you can see that the neighborhood label renders much smaller

I'm inclined to think that example Two is more correct, but I have to say I like the larger more prominent labels of Example One.  I know, probably not good to map for the renderer.

Opinions are appreciated!


Tyler Gunn
tyler at egunn.com

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