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

Mark Goodge mark at good-stuff.co.uk
Wed Aug 8 17:17:04 UTC 2018

On 08/08/2018 17:05, Stephen Doerr wrote:
> On 8 August 2018, at 15:50, Sean Blanchflower <smb1001 at gmail.com> wrote:
>  >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.
> I for one am glad to have the boundaries of the 'real' counties in OSM, 
> so thank you for doing this.

I'm sorry, but this is complete and utter bullshit. The "historic" 
county boundaries are no more "real" than the current ones. They were, 
at the time, the administrative boundaries. They are no longer the 
administrative boundaries.

I do appreciate that there are matters where the historic boundaries are 
relevant (primarily genealogical research). But that's not really a 
mapping issue., And the emotional attachment to the pre-1974 boundaries 
is just that - emotion, not based on any objective assessment. And the 
fact that, in retrospect, the 1970s changes were over-reaching and did a 
lot of harm does not change that.

Describing the historic boundaries as "real" is like insisting that we 
map, say, the old Euston station the way it was before it was rebuilt, 
because it was a lot nicer then. It may well be the case that it was. 
But we map what exists now, not what existed in the past and in 
rose-tinted memory. The same with county (and other administrative) 
boundaries. We map what is, not what was.


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