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cleary osm at 97k.com
Fri May 13 11:22:43 UTC 2016

I agree that there is a need to improve our classification of places.
However I think that taking population as the sole criterion will create
more discrepancies than we have already.
For example, I live in a Sydney suburb that has a population greater
than the gazetted "state suburb" of Sydney (roughly the CBD area). If we
adopted a strictly population-based criterion, my suburb and many others
with more than 10,000 people would be "towns" in OSM and Sydney CBD be a
"town". My suburb has about the same population as the rural city of
Griffith, NSW. I think Griffith is a city but my suburb is not.
The figure extracted from the OSM population data shows Nowra with over
32,000 population. On the ABS website, the ABS census data for 2011
shows the "state suburb" of Nowra having 9,200 people .. just a village.
If we add the adjacent areas of North Nowra, South Nowra, West Nowra and
Bomaderry, then ABS shows the "Nowra/Bomaderry Urban Centre" which
includes the areas around Nowra as having approx. 28,000 people. So do
we show Bomaderry as part of greater Nowra, or is it a village/town in
its own right?  Does North Nowra exist in its own right as a
suburb/village or is it just part of the larger Nowra?
There is also the issue of population density. 500 people living in a
couple of square kilometres might be a village. Another 500 people
living in a gazetted location of hundreds of square kilometres could
hardly be said to be living in a village even though their location has
an equivalent population.
I won't keep going on and on, but there are many questions thrown up by
relying on population alone as the criterion for determining if a place
is a city or town or whatever. I think it has to be a sort of "common
sense" decision taking population into account but other factors as
well.  But I do support the need to try to clarify our classifications
and appreciate the difficulty in resolving the issue.
On Fri, May 13, 2016, at 07:11 PM, Warin wrote:
> On 5/13/2016 11:36 AM, Warin wrote:
>> On 5/6/2016 9:51 AM, Simon Slater wrote:
>>> On Thu, 5 May 2016 10:10:35 AM Ian Sergeant wrote:
>>>> 1. Any attempt to make something render on sparse parts of the map,
>>>>    is a rendering issue.  Any renderer is free to pre-process the
>>>>    data based on a population and remoteness algorithm if they
>>>>    wish.  2. Personally, I make anything a town if it has services.
>>>>    If it has a pub, a take-away, a supermarket, a post-office, and
>>>>    a fuel station, then it's a town.  I save hamlet for a
>>>>    population grouping without any services, and a locality for a
>>>>    place where there is essentially no population clustering.  This
>>>>    is a natural skew towards remoter destinations becoming towns,
>>>>    because they are service towns for surrounding areas, rather
>>>>    than necessarily having large populations themselves.
>>> Post offices may be a good guide.  25 years ago there were at least
>>> 4 post offices between here (Swan Hill) and Kerang.  Now there is
>>> only one at Lake Boga, but all the other post codes are still in
>>> place, mail routing through either Kerang or Swan Hill.
>> Australia post has;
>>  * Post Office (PO) and
>>  * Local Post Office (LPO) The LPO is usually smaller and within
>>    another business ..usually a local convenience store.
>> The ABS has this
>> http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/1d90c1ef4ac928d5ca2570ec0018e4f7!OpenDocument[1]
>> "*Identifying towns*

>> In this review *small towns* have been defined as population centres
>> with between 1,000 and 19,999 people. Towns might ideally be
>> distinguished from cities and from smaller rural communities
>> according to functional criteria, such as the presence or absence of
>> various educational, medical, recreational and retail services,
>> together perhaps with administrative criteria such as whether or not
>> a city or town council operated from within the town. While such
>> conceptual distinctions might be made, it is difficult to put such
>> definitions into practice. The above population size was therefore
>> considered the most suitable alternative which would generally
>> encompass these criteria."
>> I tend to concur with this - simplest to implement and verify.  I do
>> note the 'medical' services that ABS have for identifying towns etc,
>> that may be a usefull criteria in addition to number of pubs, petrol
>> stations etc.

> I have gotten some 1,400 'towns from the OSM data base .. many of
> these have no population given, but from those that do; Penrith
> 178465 Bunbury          64385 Maitland  61431 Palmerston        46618
> Melton            45624 Port Macquarie    41723 Sunbury
> 33062 Pakenham  32911 Nowra             32556 Albany            30656
> Devonport 29051 Goulburn  21484 Busselton 21407 Ocean Grove
> 16093 Bacchus Marsh     14913 Port Hedland      13772 Torquay
> 13339 Coolum Beach      13154 Broome            12766 Batemans Bay
> 12000 Lara              11192 Drysdale  10927  Compare this to the
> 'cities';  Charters Towers   8,234 Charleville       4,700 Caloundra
> 3,550 Winton            1,337    Winton and Charleville 'cities' when
> Broome is not? No .. sorry that makes no sense, even when taking into
> account 'remoteness' and services.  And the other end of 'towns';
> Marble Bar       194 Coral Bay   190 Coorow              176
> Guilderton  146 Marvel Loch 98 Popanyinning 87 Betoota              0
> Ooldea                0  Ooldea used to have a hermit, he could still
> be kicking ... the others there were railway workers with homes
> elsewhere. Betoota used to have 1, but he died. I don't think anyone
> could call these 'towns'! Even on a 'services' scale.

> _There is a clear disparity here. _   I hope to get all the 'towns'
> populations that are missing entered from the ABS census 2011, and
> then look again at these 'towns'. I have entered all the 'cities'
> population data that was missing, so that bit is done.  I am yet to
> get the villages list, if I do!  ----------------------- As a reminder
> of what I first proposed OSM wiki presently has by population
> city>100,000>town>10,000>village>200>hamlet>100  _
_I think for Australia;
> city>10,000>town>1,000>village>100>hamlet>10

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  1. http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/1d90c1ef4ac928d5ca2570ec0018e4f7%21OpenDocument
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