[Tagging] Dispute on tagging place=* in Turkmenistan

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 00:30:48 UTC 2019

Those municipalities are relations of type=boundary and
boundary=administrative with an appropriate admin_level, no?

These are different from the OSM settlements, which are mapped as a node at
the center of a city, town, village, hamlet or isolated dwelling or farm.

While the pages suggest certain population ranges for each of these settled
places, in the past they were defined by available services in England. A
city had a cathedral or university, a town had a (full-time) marketplace, a
village had a church, and a hamlet was too small for its own church but had
more than one family. That’s the historic basis for the OSM system, though
in modern times the standards are less certain.

I suspect this sort of classification can work even in places that do not
have good population figures available, like where I map in Indonesia. For

a farm or isolated dwelling has only 1 or 2 households, a hamlet has a few
families but no services (maybe there is a tiny kiosk or a very small place
of worship)

A village has some services but only for the local community; people do not
travel to a village to go shopping, except from the closest farms or
hamlets. Probably there is a primary school, certainly there is some sort
of place of worship.

A town is a significant local destination. People from the surrounding
hamlets and villages will go to the nearest town to buy clothing, tools,
specialty foods and other necessities. There may be some cultural and
entertainment options, and usually some level of government services. Towns
always have secondary education (high schools) in the countries that I have

A city has all this as well as major healthcare and educational
institutions, and is often as administrative center for businesses,
organizations (NGOs, religious) and local government. People travel to
cities from the whole surrounding region, including from towns, for
business, entertainment, cultural facilities etc. generally a city should
have just about all of the services that a middle-class person would use
(though the rich may need to go to larger cities for some specialty and
luxury services - OSM doesn’t have a special class for large cities or
global cities however)

By population a hamlet has less than 1000 residents (often less than 100),
and a city has over 50,000 (usually over 100,000), but the population
cut-offs vary by region.

A very isolated settlement may still qualify as a town with a relatively
small population if it has the only high school, government office,
supermarket and airport on a large island, for example - in this case the
whole population of the island comes to the town for services even if they
do not live there, so I would be comfortable tagging a settlement of 4000
people as a town on an island with 200,000 people but no other settlements
over 1000 people in size.

This is how I tag places in eastern Indonesia, where many villages and
towns are very isolated. Perhaps this is similar in your country?

But in a densely populated region, like Java (where there are 120,000
million people on one island), even a settlement with 20,000 people might
just be a conglomeration of farming villages that hardly qualifies as a
town, and a town could grow to 200,000 residents and still lack any
characteristics of a city.
On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 8:46 AM Allan Mustard <allan at mustard.net> wrote:

> Looking for some guidance here from the tagging experts.  Please see the
> dispute section on the Turkmenistan wiki discussion page
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Turkmenistan#Disputed:_Suggested_Place_Tags_for_Administrative_Subdivisions
> The nub is that I advocate classifying Turkmenistan's municipalities based
> on their official status according to the host government (see the wiki
> article Districts in Turkmenistan).  Another mapper, Aka_Bob, disagrees and
> insists that there are OSM guidelines based on population (I note that the
> OSM place=village article says a village can have up to 10,000 population,
> which in the United States is laughable--that would be a town or a city).
> Aka_Bob edited that section of the wiki article unilaterally without first
> consulting local mappers.  I have no intention of entering into an edit
> war, but rather want to take this out to the community for discussion.
> I'd like to hear what people think.  Opening classification of Turkmen
> muncipalities to free interpretation rather than a standard official
> classification strikes me as a recipe for chaos, particularly since
> official population data have not been published for over a decade (the
> 2012 and 2017 censuses were made secret) but maybe that's just me.  What do
> you think?
> Best regards and Happy New Year to all!
> apm-wa
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> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
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