[Talk-us] GNIS POI populations

Greg Morgan dr.kludge.gm at gmail.com
Wed Jan 28 06:42:03 UTC 2015

On Wed, Jan 14, 2015 at 2:29 AM, Paul Norman <penorman at mac.com> wrote:
> On 1/13/2015 5:34 AM, Minh Nguyen wrote:
>> It looks like most of the place=city/town/village/hamlet POIs from GNIS
>> are tagged with 2000 Census populations in the population tag. These
>> population tags allow renderers to label places with font sizes
>> corresponding to population, which is a pretty common use case.

OSM Inspector[1] has a nice tool to check issues with these
city/town/village/hamlet  POIs.  I updated a bunch of the POIs in
Arizona to the 2010 numbers.  I see that some mappers changed the
values to the estimated value.  Another mapper would change it back to
the 2010 actual numbers.  I have don't have an issue with the
mechanical edits unless the edits would remove gnis id tags or other
useful data.  Just as with the manual edits both the estimated value
and actual 2010 values were close enough.  They correctly raised the
value closer to the 2010 number from the 2000 number.

> Although I somewhat like the idea of updating the population tags, I think
> we should give higher priority to fixing their tagging. When I did some
> cleanup of Washington place=city POIs I found that I ended up retagging
> most, deleting many, and only a few were place=city.

Deleting?  I question this.  I am not in favor of it.  I think there
is a mismatch between rural America and Metro America areas.  I have a
sense that Metro mappers have a lower value of some POIs that are
essential to rural areas. Vicksburg Junction[2] could be a possible
deletion target.  I am not sure if there is an actual boundary for the
area. Cleator Arizona[3] is another example.  People live there with
real addresses even though it looks like a ghost town.  The best I
could do is make a residential landuse area. There are any number of
small named areas from the Census that are significant names that the
locals use. How do you know that you are not deleting valuable named
data?  Moreover, you can query on "Moon Valley Arizona" and find a
well known area in metro Phoenix.  Sure someday that POI can be made
into an area.  I have wondered what kind of a polygon would be the
correct one for this area. There's no real legal boundary for the
area.  I have already had to dig that POI out of the trash bin once.

Finally, why would you want to dash the hopes of a new mapper[1]?  I
shared the excite with a mapper as he talked about his recent project.
He had just put in the Phoenix Urban Planning Villages or whatever
they are called.  Now you can look for "alhambra arizona" and find one
of these areas as a POI.  I am afraid that his victory would fall prey
to your deletions.  If you don't know the area or are not sure, then
just leave it alone.

A mechanical edit for populate is safe.  I just don't agree with the
deletion idea!


[1] http://tools.geofabrik.de/osmi/?view=places&lon=-112.09991&lat=33.59617&zoom=14&overlays=megacities,largecities,cities,towns,villages,hamlets,islands,suburbs,farms,localities,municipalities,errors_unknown_place_type,errors_population_format,errors_place_without_name,errors_population_number_format,errors_pop_type_mismatch,population

[1] https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/150948419#map=14/33.7224/-113.7690

[3] https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/150957968

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