[Talk-us] admin level for US states

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Wed Nov 26 14:00:40 UTC 2014

2014-11-25 10:59 GMT+01:00 Sarah Hoffmann <lonvia at denofr.de>:

> admin_levels have been invented "in order that different borders can be
> rendered consistently among countries" according to the wiki[1].

+1, that's also what I am after.

> That's
> also what I remember. "State eqivalent" doesn't mean that they must be
> organised exactly in the same way but that they are roughly at the same
> level of administrative hierarchies.

my point was, that they aren't. Italian regions aren't roughly at the same
level of administrative hierarchy than are the US States, and I guess also
the French regions aren't.
Japan does have states on admin level 3.

> Under that definition US states are
> the same as German bundesländer, French regions, Canadian provinces etc.
> even though their political influence and internal organzisation is
> wildly different.

how could you compare hierarchical levels if the organization is wildly

> There is a lot of software around that works under the assumption that
> US states (and the equivalents in other countries) can be found at
> admin_level=4.

and this would break if level 3 was used?

> The current admin level hierarchy is not perfect but
> it works for most practical applications.

actually it seems that changing the rendering to administrative polygons
rather than using place nodes will create/reveal some inconsistencies and I
was trying to fix this / find a solution. Maybe you are right and the
solution is not in modifying the US state admin level but changing
elsewhere. It simply seemed kind of an inconsistency to have the US state
at the same level as German Länder and French Region, but maybe that was a
misinterpretation of the admin levels.

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