[OSM-talk-ie] Tagging townlands in OSM-Ireland

Dermot McNally dermotm at gmail.com
Wed Sep 10 15:28:47 BST 2008


Hi Patrick,

Welcome!

2008/9/10 Patrick Casey <pcasey at compuserve.com>:

> I see that townlands are being marked with points tagged as hamlets. This
> seems to me a bit odd because a townland is an area rather than a point,
> rather analogous to a lake. Also, many of the townlands in the West of
> Ireland are as good as uninhabited so the term 'hamlet' would hardly apply
> to them.

Fair comment. I can give you some background on how this happened.
Most of the place names on the map in Ireland were imported (by me)
from a US government source known as GNS. It theory, the points
provided by GNS ought to be tagged according to their importance. In
effect, most don't, and for these, I tagged them as hamlets. As you
rightly point out, locality is a better tag, but either this wasn't in
standard use at the time or I wasn't aware of it.

I have since repeated the import for Northern Ireland - here I _did_
use locality as the default place type.

> Wouldn't the tag 'place=locality' be a better choice from the existing tags
> than 'hamlet' ? Or could Ireland-OSMers have a tag 'place=townland' within
> the category 'Places' (see
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Map_Features#Natural ) ? Would that
> confuse the renderers, i.e. would it have to be added to some kind of
> official OSM list so as to be accepted by the rendering software ?

Well, it's a bad idea to tag for the renderer, but I still think that
considering a townload as equivalent to a locality provides the best
global understanding of our Irish data (and it's shown on the map). We
are free to change our minds in the future and re-tag them, of course.
Also, note that for all place types - cities, towns, village,
townlands - we'd prefer to represent them as areas, not points. That's
hard to do, of course...

Cheers,
Dermot

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