[Talk-GB] 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Sean Blanchflower smb1001 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 8 14:49:28 UTC 2018

Hi all,
I'm smb1001 and have been adding the traditional county boundaries
recently. DaveF kindly let me know of the discussion thread here so I've
joined Talk-GB to add my side of things.

I'm not alone in thinking the traditional county boundaries have a place on
current maps. It's unfortunate here that these counties are known as
'historic counties' as this implies that they are no longer extant. The
debate as to their current utility or their immutability is not one I feel
is relevant here as there are arguments on both sides, but the Association
of British Counties summarises it more succinctly than I could in any case
(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_British_Counties and the
many links therein).

I have no intention of adding any "historic" boundaries beyond the
counties. I settled on the (static) definition of "historic counties" used
by the Ordnance Survey and UK government and was going to stop there.

I would also have never started my efforts if the results would have
littered invisible lines all over the map. Similarly, if there were an
authoritative trace that could be imported then I'd agree that that also
should be blocked. The reason I've been doing it is that 99% of the ways
required to create the counties are already in OSM. Pretty much all I've
been doing is adding existing (administrative) boundary ways to these new
'historic' relations alongside the 'ceremonial' and myriad 'administrative'.

(As an aside, I would also have never started my efforts if I hadn't been
inspired by finding that the same had been done for other countries.)

I fully agree with Lester's comments on OHM in all this. Without the
presence of the 'current' OSM database in OHM, it's impossible to get any
traction there. For example I can't actually add the traditional counties
to OHM without the current OSM administrative boundaries (county and
parish). Then again, as he said, if the current OSM set were put there to
do so, it ends up duplicating the site.

I also agree with DaveF that to add every iteration of former boundaries is
not for OSM, but I would argue that the addition of the traditional
counties as defined by this current definition does not fall into that.
After all, certain councils have already been erecting road signs
indicating the presence of these county boundaries so why would we not
reflect that.

I begin to fear I've caused offence in my recent editing, so apologies if
so. I'm just a keen OSM editor trying to add what I see as a valuable
omission in its database.

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