[Tagging] admin_level in EU & NUTS/LAU

Sander Deryckere sanderd17 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 20:18:54 BST 2011

If you can map Belgium, you can map all countries.

Belgium is divided in three language-cultural regions (with their own
government and parliament): The Flemish region, the French region and the
German region. Brussels is part of both the Flemish and the French region
since Brussels is bilingual.

Belgium is also divided into three economical regions (also with their own
government and parliament): Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.

Flanders = the Flemish region without Brussels
Wallonia = the French region without Brussels but with the German region

Next, Belgium is divided into ten provinces:

West-Vlaanderen, Oost-Vlaanderen, Antwerpen, Vlaams-Brabant and Limburg are
provinces in Flanders

Hainaut, Brabant Wallon, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur are provinces in

And Brussels is completely inside Vlaams-Brabant, but Brussels is not part
of the province and is not a province on it's own.

After that, you have the arrondissements (I don't know how to translate it).
This is simple, a few arrondissements per province.

As last, you have the communities and the districts. A community typically
consists out of a few districts.

Example: Roeselare consists out of Roeselare, Beveren, Rumbeke and Oekene.
Second example: Lo-Reninge consists out of Lo, Reninge, Pollinkhove and
Third example: Heuvelland consists out of Kemmel, Wijtschate, Wulveringem,
Nieuwkerke, Dranouter, Loker, Westouter and De Klijte

If I look at NUTS, I see that the language regions aren't part of it (only
the three economical regions) and that Brussels is NUTS1 and NUTS2 (while
NUST2 are the Belgian provinces and Brussels isn't a province). NUTS3 are
the arrondissements, and the communities and districts aren't mapped either.

So for the moment, NUTS doesn't do a great job for Belgium. And if you can
map Belgium, you can map most other countries.

Greets, Sander

PS, it's weird to live in a country with only 11.000.000 people and 6
governments (the Flemish region and Flanders have merged, where certain
persons may only vote on language-cultural issues and not on not on
economical issues because they were elected in Brussels). In fact the
federal government is quitting for the moment (they have been quitting since
June 2010), so we only have 5 working governments and 1 inactive.

2011/9/14 "Petr Morávek [Xificurk]" <xificurk at gmail.com>

> Hello,
> I would like to open the discussion about determining the admin_level of
> administrative boundaries in Europe according to NUTS/LAU division.
> Though this probably of interest only for people from EU, I don't think
> there is any better mailing list for this.
> There are several countries with complete import of administrative
> boundaries, but the problem is that admin_level values are comparable
> only inside one country. If you want to render boundaries  (or work in
> any other way with them) even only for a couple of neighbouring
> countries, you're in trouble - whatever settings you choose, you're end
> up with at least one country having too little or too many boundaries at
> the given level compared to its neighbours.
> I think the answer to this problem is to use NUTS/LAU division to derive
> the admin_level value (maybe with a few exceptions) and unite the scheme
> across EU countries. I'm not sure what scheme is the best, but I would
> like to hear your opinions.
> Best regards,
> Petr Morávek aka Xificurk
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