[Tagging] Can OSM become a geospacial database?

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Fri Dec 7 00:58:42 UTC 2018

On 12/7/18, Eugene Podshivalov <yaugenka at gmail.com> wrote:
>> чт, 6 дек. 2018 г. в 19:30, Kevin Kenny <kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com>:
>> ... Is it immediately obvious in the field that one thing is a
>> 'gorod' and another is a 'gorodskoy posyolok,' while a third is a
>> 'perevnya?' If so, what is the difference? ...
> They cannot be put into name tag because they are not part of the proper
> name. It would be like renaming "Paris" into "Paris city".
> Neither the admin boundary scheme can help here because one settlements of
> different local category can belong to one and the same admin level.
> Here are a couple of cases when the knowlege of these local categories is
> needed.
> 1) They are used in address strings

In this case they should be included in at least one of the name tags,
perhaps official_name="XXX Gorod"  or alt_name="XXX Gorod" etc.

Her in Indonesia, admin_level 5 can be a "Kabupaten" ("Regency" or
county) or "Kota" ("City"), so we use:
name = "Kabupaten Jayapura" and
name = "Kota Jayapura"
for the two, adjacent administrative entities. Jayapura is also a
place=city which is tagged as a node, without the "Kota", but the
official_name could be "Kota Jayapura" as well.
You could also use official_name or alt_name for these situations, if
it fits better in Belarus

> 2) They are sometimes displayed in maps to resolve ambiguousness (when two
> neighbourhood settlement have one and the same name and differ only in
> category name).

If they should normally be displayed this way on local maps, then the
full name should certainly be included in the "name=" tag eg name="XXX
Gorodskoy Posyolok", if local people expect the full name to be
displayed on maps.

The "name" tag is for the full name as used by local people, and often
includes a word that describes the type of features. Eg "Rio Grande"
is the correct name for the "Big River" on the USA-Mexico border, even
though it just means "big river".

"The Central Valley" is the correct name of the very large valley or
plain in the center of California.

> * There is a common practice in Belarus to draw residential area of
> different settlement types in different color.

This would require a different solution. If it is only the residential
area that is shown in a different color, then you can tag the area as
usual, with landuse=residential.

Then add an additional subtag, such as residential=village,
residential=town and residential=city. This will then make it quite
easy to render each type of residential area differently.

If the current settlement names are not precise enough, you could use
residential=small_town, residential=large_town, etc, to fit the
meaning of  "gorod", "perevnya" and such.

But I agree that the current 5-level system of settlements, from
isolated_dwelling to city, can probably be adapted to fit the common
usage of the words in Belarus.

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