[Tagging] Subtag for place=locality?

Dave Swarthout daveswarthout at gmail.com
Mon Apr 15 12:05:56 UTC 2019

Yes, that's one locality for every four persons in the state, an
interesting statistic. Many of these are indeed GNIS imports and some of
those are also tagged with
"gnis:Class": "Populated Place"
which is often inaccurate. I'm certain the gold rushes Alaska experienced
during the past 150 years contributed to many of these abandoned "Populated
Places". Some of them were quite large (several thousands of inhabitants)
but as gold became scarcer and more difficult to extract from the ground,
were abandoned. I typically add only the abandoned=yes tag on any feature
that either appears to be or is known to be deserted.

I tag a typical abandoned place=locality with only the name, the source,
the abandoned=yes tag and occasionally with a description if I think it's
interesting enough. Some of this information is found in a very useful
public domain publication, the Dictionary of Alaska Place Names, which
contains a wealth of information about such localities. I use it constantly
in my Alaska mapping work.

I don't have a good guess as to the validity of the existing localities nor
can I estimate how many might be actually natural features like
mountain_range or valleys but there are definitely plenty of those.
Sometimes people tag groups of islands with the locality tag as opposed to
creating a relation of some sort. It's a much simpler solution and provides
the mapper assurance that it will render. I don't use that approach because
I don't think it's correct.

On Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 7:29 AM Joseph Eisenberg <joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com>

> > There are countless old settlements, gold mining camps, road building
> > camps, airstrips, and even Native American villages scattered around our
> > immense state. Most are indeed abandoned and sometimes I add
> abandoned=yes
> > to the tags, especially if there is no longer any sign of habitation
> > visible on satellite imagery.
> Thanks Dave,
> What tags do you usually add for a former settlement, or for an
> abandoned gold mining or road building camp?
> Are you using just place=locality with abandoned=yes, or is the tag
> "abandoned" always referring to a more specific feature, like
> historic=mine or aeroway=aerodrome?
> > An Overpass query returned almost 190,000 nodes along with 417 ways and
> 46
> > relations tagged as place=locality, that are located in Alaska.
> There are 750k people in Alaska, so there's more than one locality for
> every 4 people!
> Clearly most of these were imported, probably from GNIS(?).
> In your experience, how many of the imported locality nodes seem to be
> correctly tagged?
> Could many of them be something more specific, like natural=valley,
> natural=ridge, natural=peak, natural=bay, railway=junction,
> highway=junction, place=island, etc?
> Joseph

Dave Swarthout
Homer, Alaska
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com
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