[Talk-GB] ref:hectares on admin boundary, and non-responsive mapper

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Tue Aug 16 15:01:15 UTC 2016

In the specific case of the UK, I am not convinced that is_in has no
value at all. This is because of the huge divergence between people's
perceptions and administrative reality. If you ask someone to give their
location/current address, they will most likely refer to the postal
addressing system, which is completely unconnected to administrative
boundaries. They will also tend to add a level of detail to the address
which the postal system does not require, but tolerates. The admin
boundaries represent the legal status, but it will be more relevant to
most people's minds if Nominatim et al. recognise an alternative place
hierarchy. I think place=* polygons/nodes may already be used, but the
results sometimes seem to be an awful jumble of admin boundaries and
place-based info. The fact that large swathes of the countryside are
unparished (i.e. no admin_level=10 polygon with a name) makes the
quality/accuracy of the results variable according to the location. Alex
Kemp is experimenting with introducing artificial admin_level=10
polygons for these unparished areas with names based on historical data
to help Nominatim which IMHO is not the way to do it. Parishes are
useless for navigation/addressing anyway. 

Bottom line is that locations have multiple ways of being defined, and
this is not currently embraced by OSM which wants a nice simple
address+polygon hierarchy. For many countries that works, but not for
the UK. It is possible that the is_in data can give an alternative
perspective. BUT it needs to be kept distinct from the admin boundaries,
which are a matter of law, and it needs to give complete coverage of the
country, which at present is probably not the case. 


On 2016-08-16 14:55, Dave F wrote:

> +1
> Also his use of is_in:* is also redundant when the boundary tag is used,
> Dave F.
> On 16/08/2016 13:25, Andy Allan wrote: On 16 August 2016 at 13:11, Will Phillips <wp4587 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Regarding the 'ref:hectares' tag, it does seem wrong to me. It's not
> consistent with other uses of the ref tag in OSM. Also, I agree that tagging
> area values seems redundant, but perhaps doesn't do any harm in this case. I
> do think at least, they should be retagged, perhaps to area:ha or
> area:hectares? No, they should be removed.
> While it seems like tags like this do little harm, they encourage
> future importers to follow the same path, and our database ends up
> full of cruft. It's also off-putting to mappers, who might be scared
> off from fixing the geometry of features since they don't know how to
> recalculate the area.
> There's no good reason to keep them.
> Thanks,
> Andy
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