[Talk-us] MA county boundaries

Metcalf, Calvin (DOT) calvin.metcalf at state.ma.us
Tue Aug 21 17:01:38 BST 2012

So I was focusing on the state and county boundaries because they are very noticeable at normal zoom levels and very noticeably wrong.

The issue is that massGIS is apparently not publishing the up to date off-shore town boundaries until the feds sign off.  So while the CZM boundaries is extremely helpful (as massGIS doesn't link to it) it doesn't solve the problem of knowing how the accurate ones that end at the shoreline connect with the off shore outline.

Anyway I posted some more details at http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:MassGIS#admin_boundaries_in_Boston_area.3F

From: peter.dobratz at gmail.com [mailto:peter.dobratz at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Peter Dobratz
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10:00 AM
To: Metcalf, Calvin
Cc: talk-us at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] MA county boundaries

Personally, I think it's easier to work from smallest to largest.  I've been trying to keep track of the boundaries relations that have been created here:


It seems to be easiest to go town by town and then once you have all the towns in a county, to clean up the county boundary.  Then once you have all the county boundaries, clean up the state boundary.

This is a potential source for the territorial waters in the sea:


TIGER also has county subdivisions for MA that can be used.

Whether you work smallest to largest or largest to smallest, it should be possible to work on this concurrently without stepping on each other's toes.  As long as you are making the boundaries more accurate each time you edit them, then we'll eventually get to where there are sections of the county/state/municiple boundaries that are one in the same.

Note: use fiveisalive may prefer to communicate via wiki.  See:


Also note: portions of the town boundaries in MA where imported improperly resulting in duplicate Ways being uploaded.  If you notice up to a dozen Ways on top of each other, all with the same tags, then delete all but one of them before adding to the new boundary relation for the town.
On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 10:59 AM, Metcalf, Calvin (DOT) <calvin.metcalf at state.ma.us<mailto:calvin.metcalf at state.ma.us>> wrote:
I've been slowly editing the county boundaries in MA and today noticed somebody else (a user named fiveisalive) is also editing them, so I sent him the following message and suggest we coordinate our efforts here.

Hey I see you've been editing the county boundaries for MA as have I and we seem to be working against each other.  I was merging the county boundaries with the state boundaries (same way, different relations) as a step one before as a step two fixing the state boundary, while you seem to be fixing the county boundaries while leaving the state boundaries alone.  The two issues I can think of with your method are

1. I'm not so sure how accurate the off shore county boarders are.  Both as compared to their offshore town boundaries (which they updated 1 year ago vs 5 years ago for the counties) and as compared to OSMs definition of the boundaries.
2. The state offshore boundaries are one and the same as the offshore county boundaries as all parts of the Massachusetts are within counties and all parts of counties are within cities or towns (note other state are not like this).

Feel free to message me back, or email me via the us-talk or import list

Calvin  Metcalf
Office of Transportation Planning

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