[Talk-us] Characterizing Systematic Errors in Hawaii and US Pacific Island Data

Kevin Samples ksamples at uga.edu
Fri Oct 2 22:39:45 BST 2009

it looks like the county boundaries were imported from a USGS source 
with a very course scale of 1:2,000,000.  The tiger county boundaries 
are much better and have a scale of about 1:100,000.   in any case, the 
county boundaries in the 2008 tiger dataset maintain an approximate 3 
mile buffer around the coastline.  maybe we should think about importing 
the tiger county boundaries.  but i'm sure it won't be easy.


Scott Atwood wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 1:24 PM, Richard Weait <richard at weait.com 
> <mailto:richard at weait.com>> wrote:
>     On Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 3:39 PM, Scott Atwood
>     <scott.roy.atwood at gmail.com <mailto:scott.roy.atwood at gmail.com>>
>     wrote:
>     > Once again, if the political boundaries are supposed to
>     correspond exactly
>     > to the shoreline data, the whatever is done for Kohoʻolawe and
>     Lanaʻi should
>     > also be done for these three islands to correct the political
>     boundaries.
>     >  The rest of the data can be easily cleaned up manually.
>     When the boundary and shoreline correspond, should they be on the
>     same way?
>     boundary=administrative
>     admin_level=?
>     natural=water
> I'm honestly not sure what official boundaries, if any, correspond to 
> the coastlines in the state of Hawaiʻi.  I know that users yellowbkpk 
> and/or elyk appear to have imported data from source county_import_v0 
> that roughly corresponds to the coastlines, that is tagged as both 
> state and county boundaries.
> However, Wikipedia cites the US Census Bureau as saying that Maui 
> county has 1159 square miles of land and 1240 square miles of water, 
> which suggests that at least this one federal agency uses a boundary 
> for Maui County that doesn't follow the shoreline of the islands 
> that comprise the county.  Likewise, Wikipedia lists Hawai‘i island 
> with an area of 4028 square miles, but Hawaiʻi County with an area of 
> 5087 square miles.
> According to this New York Times article from 1991 
> (http://www.nytimes.com/1991/12/15/us/new-rule-for-census-adds-girth-to-nation.html), 
> since 1990 the U.S. Census Bureau includes coastal waters out to 3 
> miles as part of the area for each state.  According to international 
> law, a country's sovereign territory extend 12 nautical miles from the 
> coastline.  The same international law also defines additional 
> boundaries of decrease sovereignty at 24 nautical miles and 200 
> nautical miles.
> So there are quite a number of potential or actual political 
> boundaries exist around the islands of Hawaiʻi.  I suspect that a 
> mapping project such as OSM ought to include all of them in its data.
> As nearly as I can tell the shoreline does not currently have any 
> official status as a political boundary.  I *think* the official 
> county, state, and US boundaries in Hawaiʻi are at 3 miles out from 
> the coastlines.  That would be a very difficult boundary to draw 
> manually.  Is there any way to programmatically create such a boundary 
> based on the existing shoreline data?  Surely this problem must have 
> been encountered and solved before for other jurisdictions with 
> territorial waters.
> -Scott
> -- 
> Scott Atwood
> Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.  ~H.G. Wells
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