[Tagging] Metropolitan counties and other boundaries
colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Thu Feb 20 11:34:29 UTC 2014
In the last couple of years I have put in a lot of hours maintaining the
UK's admin boundaries in OSM. Having started in Kent (home territory) I
have gradually been fanning out to cover more and more of the country.
Although there is a lot of consistency in the tagging, one thing I
noticed is that there are two schools of thought regarding Metropolitan
Districts. These are a subdivision of Metropolitan Counties, of which
there are six: Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and
Wear, West Midlands and West Yorkshire.
The Metropolitan Counties still exist in law, and certain functions
(e.g. Fire&Rescue, public transport) are often governed at that level.
The Councils no longer exist as bodies however. The Metropolitan
Districts (which are styled as Boroughs or Cities) are therefore
effectively 99% the same as "unitary authorities".
In the situation between 1974 and 1986 the tagging would be obvious:
both the County and the District would be boundary=administrative, with
admin_level=6 for the county and admin_level=8 for the districts. In
OSM, things have diverged a bit since then, and proper Unitary
Authorities are tagged as admin_level=6 putting them on the same level
as Non-Metropolitan Counties.
The current situation in OSM is:
County county tag county district
GM ceremonial n/a 8
Merseyside ceremonial n/a 8
S Yorks administrative 6 8
T&Wear ceremonial n/a 6
W Mids administrative 6 8
W Yorks ceremonial n/a 8
I would like to normalise this tagging, and looking at the current usage
above and the wiki, propose that the Metropolitan Counties become
boundary=ceremonial, and the Metropolitan Districts become
Are there any objections or other comments? If not I will make the
changes in a few days' time.
By the way, I have been creating a wiki page to try to give an overview
of UK boundary tagging at . Please look at it - any comments,
corrections, additions etc are most welcome, and if people feel it's
useful the content can be moved into a more "obvious" place in the wiki.
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