[Tagging] Dispute on tagging place=* in Turkmenistan

Allan Mustard allan at mustard.net
Wed Jan 2 02:18:15 UTC 2019

Very interesting.  In the Turkmen case, the classifications are defined in
law and involve both size (though population data are secret) and type of
governance structure (for full details please see

Is it fair to call a settlement a "neighbourhood" when it has a governance
structure (a village council with a chair who serves effectively as the
municipal manager/mayor)?  In my experience a "neighbourhood" lacks any
sort of governance structure aside from (sometimes) Neighborhood Watch.


On Tue, Jan 1, 2019 at 7:32 PM Joseph Eisenberg <joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com>

> 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
> example:
> 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
> visited.
> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> Tagging mailing list
>> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging
> _______________________________________________
> Tagging mailing list
> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/attachments/20190101/75d0bab1/attachment.html>

More information about the Tagging mailing list