[Tagging] How to determine the value for admin_level?

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Mon Sep 2 09:57:46 UTC 2013

2013/9/1 Greg Troxel <gdt at ir.bbn.com>

> As Frederik points out, admin_level=8 is typically used for "town",
> "city", or "municipality".  To the extent that (some) administrative
> divisions in Nepal are functionally similar to administrative divisions
> in other countries, using the same admin_level numbers is helpful
> because in theory osm is a country-agnostic database, and then a query
> on level=4 would get semantically consistent results.
> It would help to hear a bit more about how these levels function.

+1, usually administrative entities should have some sort of governmental
entity at this level (e.g. a president, a governor, a mayor or some similar
function), if this isn't the case most probably it is not an administrative
subdivision. Another question might be (similar): "at which levels is there
legislation?" Then you can look at what part of legislation has certain
competences and how independent are they, in order to determine whether
something is level 3 or 4 or 5 or 6, ...

> So I think zones should get admin_level=4.  Development regions should
> then be admin_level=3.
How long have zones existed?  Development regions?  If the zone concept
> is 150 years old and the development region 25, that's a huge clue that
> zones are the real subdivision.

-1, it doesn't matter how old they are, the only important thing is how
things are organized now, not how long they have been organized in this way.

This page suggests that the 5 development regions are the main subdivision
and that zones ceased to exist in 2002 (disused since 1995):
According to this the next step would be the districts, but other sources
suggest that these development zones haven't been of administrative
significance for the country so far and that zones are what really is the
actual top level administrative subdivision.
It is you, resident in the country and able to read the laws and
publications in the local language, that has the best possibilities to put
these administrative levels "right". Like Frederik pointed out, if you can
find references to LAU or NUTS levels you could take the shortcut and most
easily determine which levels fit best.

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