[Talk-in] Classifying places - cities, towns and villages

I Chengappa imchengappa at gmail.com
Sun May 6 11:38:07 BST 2012

On 6 May 2012 09:48, Arun Ganesh <arun.planemad at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, May 6, 2012 at 1:47 PM, doc.aneesh at gmail.com <doc.aneesh at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>> I vote for 2 separate cities (if each is of population 100k+) else
>> towns(if less than 100k)
>  A city is not defined by its population, but by other factors like
> economic productivity, administration , civic services..
> We need a better definition to classify them. If 100k is the definition,
> you will have around 400 cities in the country.
> http://censusindia.gov.in/Census_And_You/area_and_population.aspx
>> And marking the local governing body as an administive border (user
>> Indigomc suggested level=7)
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>  I raised the question (with the wrong person, sorry) over the inclusion
of a Hubli-Dharward place node in countryside between the two urban areas,
and the downgrading of these two to 'towns'. In terms of Hubli-Dharwad;
both Hubli and Dharwad are 'cities' by the OSM definition


 I think it is necessary that the OSM should map primarily on its own
account. It already has its own recommendations, which are based on
population of settlements (i.e. any individual populated area that is
actually identified on the ground). See

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:place%3Dtown and related;

towns are settlements with populations between 10000 and 100000, cities
above this, villages et.c. below this. This designation is roughly in
accordance with general usage of these terms.

 Government designations should be shown drawing administrative areas
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:boundary%3Dadministrative ;
currently there are state and district boundaries, taluk and metropolitan
boundaries should be added later. Applying terms defined in the ODP
differently from general practice there will mean that the general world
wide renderings of the maps may show up oddly. As and when these admin
boundaries are added to the database then of course specific renderers
could show these as desired, and depending on need, these could be given
priority over the point nodes.

 For a place like Pimpri-Chinchwad in which (as far as I know) there is no
longer any clear distinction between the two places, then of course there
should be one place node. For Hubli-Dharward however where the two cities
have their own distinct geographic identity, this should be reflected on
what we map.

Comparison with other countries; the US has lots of 'cities', which include
quite small settlements. Those with populations under 100k are shown in OSM
as towns. London, UK is shown as a city in the OSM even though it does not
have a formal designation as such because it is one recognisable entity.
However it contains multiple city sized subdivisions including three
administrative 'Cities' within it, which are shown by their admin
boundaries. All this matters because of the use of general rendering
engines; applying distinct practices for one country can result in
anomalies when only the general rendering is used.

400 cities is not a large number for  the size of India. Look at the
Netherlands for one example of the density of cities.

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