[Talk-GB] too many universities in Cambridge

Andy Allan gravitystorm at gmail.com
Fri May 22 13:22:42 UTC 2015

On 22 May 2015 at 14:03, Christopher Baines <mail at cbaines.net> wrote:
> On 21/05/15 22:39, Dan S wrote:
>> I don't relish bringing this up since it's a bit of a tangle, but I
>> noticed Cambridge has a lot more universities than I thought!
>> Apparently 1219, judging from the number of amenity=university tagged
>> objects. In real life I'm aware of two: Cambridge Uni, Anglia Ruskin
>> Uni.
> I think that it is a poor assumption to make that there exists a one to
> one mapping between objects (nodes, ways, relations) tagged with
> amenity=university, and actual organisations.

Sure, but then you need to look at what is actually being tagged.
We've already heard that there are 1219 different universities in
Cambridge, so I was intrigued as to what they are. After all, I would
expect "amenity=university; name=University of Somewheresville" to be
a university. If there were two objects tagged as universities with
identical names within a few dozen miles, I could make a guess they
are the same university and write some rendering rules to suit.

But they are all different. There's a university named "Music Centre".
There's another university called "Pavillion D". There's a third
university called "Forbes Mellon Library" which is a surprising thing
to call a university. There's a bunch of little unamed universities.
And they all have different operator tags too.

I suspect these are the names of buildings, not universities. I
suspect they are operated by different sections of the one university,
but there's no easy way to tell from the operator tag without a
natural-language parser coupled with a wikipedia-based explanation of
the constituent college system.

Have a look at the data, and you'll see it's not as straightforward as
you think. Sure, there's no one-to-one mapping between the real world
and OSM features. But that's not what we're talking about here.


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