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

Arun Ganesh arun.planemad at gmail.com
Sun May 6 13:28:47 BST 2012

> 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
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:place%3D<http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:place%3Dtown>city
>  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.

While such definitions may be a good yardstick in places like Europe,
(which is where btw such definitions arose for OSM), its not practical to
classify Indian or Chinese places with the same measure.

Even in China, the lowest population of a designated city is 300,000

A city is usually this highest centers of economic importance in a country
and is region specific.It  cannot be classified just by population or size.
In that case, Thimphu with 80,000 people will not classify as a city. While
Tinsukia or Mandya will, which are nothing more than large towns of
regional importance. These are not places that must show up on a 'city map
of the world'

>  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.

The proportion of Cities:Towns:Villages must be maintained in proportion.
The census classification  maintains that relationship and will maintain
consistency with other datasets following this scheme like Compensatory
City Allowance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification_of_Indian_cities

Hubli-Dharwad is a special case where the urban centres are far apart that
it makes sense to have two city nodes, otherwise I see no reason not to
adopt the census document as is for this purpose.

> indigomc
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j.mp/ArunGanesh <http://j.mp/ArunGanesh>
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