[Tagging] Tags for neighborhoods / subdivisions

Josh Doe josh at joshdoe.com
Wed May 11 17:49:56 BST 2011

On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 6:08 AM, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:

> I would recommend maintaining clarity as to whether an admin_level is
> *    official (as opposed to informal)
> *    strictly hierarchical (as opposed to geographic/topographic areas)
> For example, "London" in an informal sense will probably not correspond to
> the area governed by the "Greater London Authority" and will overlap with
> other local government areas. With "neighbourhoods" and "suburbs" which are
> frequently "informally" defined, the admin_level does not imply a particular
> position in a particular hierarchy, but would simply be a way of selecting
> boundaries of a given type. In this case the actual value doesn't matter so
> much, as long as it is unique.

But sometimes they are formal, either at the governmental level or
semi-governmental level (think HOA that has legal rights to enforce .
In my area we have neighborhoods which are well defined, and even
appear on county government maps. These are planned subdivisions which
were created in the past thirty years or so. For my area, the
hierarchy would go:

Martins Landing (a Cluster in local HOA terms, a subdivision in county
terms, a hundred or so homes with a sign at the entrance, I'd consider
a place=neighbourhood)
The Landings (a Neighborhood in local HOA terms, just a bigger
Burke Centre (the rather large HOA, which again I'd call a
place=neighbourhood, also a census-designated place)
Burke (a CDP, no government, but the "city" used for mailing
addresses, a place=locality and admin_level=8)
Fairfax County (border_type=county, admin_level=6)
Virginia (admin_level=4)

For my area I would mark Burke Centre as admin_level=9, The Landings
as 10, and Martins Landing as 11, though this would of course vary
from country to country and even state to state.

As for whether to use admin_level or some other *_level key, I think
there shouldn't be a problem to use/abuse the former. For my area,
Burke has an admin_level=8. Burke is a census- designated place
(determined by the United States Census Bureau largely for statistical
purposes), and an unincorporated community recognized by the United
States Postal Service for mail delivery purposes. However we have no
local government. Burke Centre is also a CDP, and while it is not
recognized by the USPS, it along with Martins Landing are shown on
county maps. Therefore I feel that admin_level=* should be applicable
at least in my case.


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