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

Ed Loach edloach at gmail.com
Sat Aug 20 14:57:41 UTC 2016

I don’t think we should be mapping things as parishes then adding an extra tag to say “this isn’t a parish”. It isn’t an administrative area so shouldn’t have an administrative boundary. 


At best you could perhaps use something like boundary=unparished_area (no admin level needed, though I suspect people might add 10 so they can extract the full set by admin_level) to keep it separate from the admin and political boundaries.




From: Colin Smale [mailto:colin.smale at xs4all.nl] 
Sent: 20 August 2016 13:34
To: Talk-GB
Subject: [Talk-GB] Admin boundaries for unparished areas - how to handle?


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 country?

Best regards,



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