[Talk-us] Hamlets!

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Thu Jul 25 23:26:25 UTC 2013

I know I'm following  up late (I am dreadfully behind on talk{,-us}

Two separate points:

  I think it's important not to conflate a logical concept that we can
  define for a tag and what some word means in many jurisdictions.

  In Mass, there are cities and towns (which are really the same thing,
  with different forms of government).  But within each, there are place
  names that people use to refer to particular sections, usually
  something that feeels like a village center but is not the current
  town center.   Historically towns have gotten smaller and in the
  1680-1900 time frame these non-town named places would split off and
  become towns.

On point 2, I just searched for "Gleasondale, Mass" which is a place
name that everyone in the two bordering towns knows, and sure enough
it's tagged as a hamlet, probably from GNIS.  But this is correct data -
if you asked a local, you'd get the same answer.  I looked up a few
others and got sensible results.

The bug is probably that these hamlets should be indexed as subunits of
the towns they are in, rather than first-class entities.

I'm not claiming this applies to NYC names, but "Hell's Kitchen",
"Chelsea", "Meatpacking District" probably are fair.   I found 2 out of
3 of those in OSM.

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