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

Dave F davefoxfac63 at btinternet.com
Tue Aug 16 15:37:02 UTC 2016

I queried Alex's rational:


As I noted is_in tags are hard-coded so become inaccurate if boundaries 

I also asked about Nominatim's search criteria on the Talk forum:


Dave F.

On 16/08/2016 16:01, Colin Smale wrote:
> 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.
> Colin
> 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 
>>> <mailto: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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