[talk-au] place=? and oldie but a goodie.

Frank Sundowner61 at optusnet.com.au
Tue May 3 12:15:40 UTC 2016


I came across Quobba Station and Canarvon where Canarvon is a 'village' 
and Quobba Station is a 'town'. I know Canarvon is larger than Quobba 

So I re-tagged Quobba Station as 'village'.

But I wondered on it.. so looked up the OSMwiki .. not much help... the 
Australian tagging guidelines ... errr not really.

I then considered getting all the Australian OSM data on places with the 
population data,

got the cities data fine, but the towns data is too large a single bite 
and the server objected. Fine, I worked on the city data.

Some 90 are set as cities... I'll ignore those above 10,000 people and 
list the others here so you have an idea of those that maybe 
reclassified as

'towns' under my proposal. If a place is close to the 10,000 mark and 
there are no others around that location then I'd consider it a city, 
but other wise a town.

Charters Towers    8,234

Charleville        4,700

Caloundra        3,550

Winton        1,337

I know Winton ... it is smaller than Longreach (both in population and 
number of pubs).. yet Longreach is not a city?

Clearly the relative sizes (and importance) of places is not being 
correctly tagged.

So to further explore the situation I downloaded the 'cities' of 
Australia with their populations from the OSM data base... extracted the 
data into a .csv file and looked at it... some 90 'cities' ...

errr Winton, Qld population ~1,300 is a city ... yet a little way down 
the road Longreach is not a city? I know both those places ... Longreach 
is bigger (population about 3 times... and yes it does have more pubs!).

Conclusion: there is a significant error in the relative ratings between 
places - even ones that are not that far apart!

The situation with towns and villages is more numerous!

The server objected to my bulk download ... so I'll do that in bits 
later ... unless there is no point - that is if there are strong 
objections here?

Little point in doing the large bit of work if there will be no outcome.

So below is a small attempt to clarify and simplify the situation in 

 From the OSM wiki I get the following use of occupied places

By population.


humm looks like present Australian use is roughly

By population.


I think that is reasonable.

The difference between the two is that Australia has a smaller than 
'average' population density,

so smaller places have more facilities due to the distance involved to 
get to the nearest larger place.

For example - Australia is about the same size and mainland USA .. but 
1/10 th the population..

so it stands to reason that the Australian population density would be 
about 1/10th .. so a 'town' would be about 1/10th too.

Why judge on the population?

Larger populations get more services - Police, Medical, Education ... 
they go hand in hand.

Populations are usually stated - on the entry signs to towns, villages 
.. and collected by the ABS. So verifiable and accessible.

Yes they do change .. but not by vast amounts quickly.

Usually the relationship between population centres remains fairly 
static .. if one grows so do the surrounding ones.

Much easier to quickly asses and correctly tag this way. So it satisfies 
the KISS principle.


  In large centres like Sydney and Melbourne some parts would be judged 
as 'cities' in their own right ...

not certain if that is a problem or not? Comments? I am more concerned 
with the country side, rather than the messy cities. :-)

Are there any objections/comment/other ideas to the above ?


I have read the past posts on this ...


but I could draw no reasonable conclusion.

There was a suggestion that the number of pubs be used ... which I think 
is quite Australian,

I use it to judge safety when parked .. less than 3 pubs = safe.. 
everyone knows everyone.

By pubs


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