[Talk-GB] Admin boundaries for unparished areas - how to handle?

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Sat Aug 20 12:33:50 UTC 2016

Hi everyone, 

There have been some discussions in the past couple of weeks about
unparished areas, i.e. areas in England which are not part of any Civil
Parish. Civil Parishes are given an administrative boundary relation
with admin_level=10 to represent their entity as an administrative area.
But the unparished areas are not, because by definition they are not an
administrative entity. 

In the East Midlands Alex Kemp has been adding relations for these
unparished areas, only distinguishable from Civil Parish relations by
means of the value of the "designation" tag. This is contrary to our
normal practice and feels counter-intuitive - why add an object to OSM
which by definition does not exist? 

To an extent I can understand his rationale. Without these areas there
are holes left in the coverage at admin_level=10, and often these areas
can be correlated to places or former administrative entities, giving
more-or-less obvious candidates for names in many cases. Doing this is
alleged to improve the behaviour of Nominatim, which sometimes struggles
with the complex structures in the UK compared to many other countries.
However they are NOT administrative entities, and to tag them as such
would be wrong. Words like "tagging incorrectly for the renderer" come
to mind. 

So, ahow *should* they be tagged? What should be done with these
unparished areas? Should the existing relations be reverted? Retagged to
something else? Should we document this and encourage other admin
boundary maintainers like me to replicate the pattern across the whole

Best regards, 

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