[Tagging] Dispute on tagging place=* in Turkmenistan

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 03:23:00 UTC 2019

In OSM a neighborhood is a named part of a larger settlement, usually a
town or suburb or city, though in Indonesia some “desa” (villages) consist
of a dozen named “kampung” (neighborhoods).

Suburbs are also considered parts of larger towns or cities. So a city can
be divided into a dozen suburbs, each of which is divided into a half-dozen
On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 11:19 AM Allan Mustard <allan at mustard.net> wrote:

> 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
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Turkmenistan#Administrative_Structure).
> 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.
> apm-wa
> On Tue, Jan 1, 2019 at 7:32 PM Joseph Eisenberg <
> joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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
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