[Talk-us] Pittsburgh neighborhood boundaries mapped with admin level 9?

OSM Volunteer stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Thu Jul 27 19:53:59 UTC 2017

OK, three topics shake out from this, two Pennsylvania, one Boston.  I'll try (and likely fail) to be brief:

1)  Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, now entered and tagged admin_level=9, seem like they are better entered as admin_level=10, to harmonize with neighborhoods in many other states.  Boundaries with value 9 are "something else," emerging as consensus (not necessarily fully entered into OSM, though they could be in, say, New Orleans) for a city with BOTH wards as 9 AND neighborhoods as 10, since we need to preserve the hierarchy between the two.  I propose that the Pittsburgh neighborhood polygons be changed from 9 to 10 and that a "Neighborhood" entry at 10 be entered into Pennsylvania's row in US_admin_level wiki's "Big Table" (I could change them with a quick Overpass query-to-JOSM edit).  Yes?

2)  Pennsylvania's structure in the Big Table (the above notwithstanding) is now:

Pennsylvania-4, County-6, with City-8 directly subordinate to County-6,
Pennsylvania-4, County-6, Township-7, Village-8/Hamlet-8,
Pennsylvania-4, County-6, Borough/Boro-7, Town-8.

However, we'll need to add Neighborhood-10 (assuming the answer to 1) above IS "Yes") somewhere, at least to the City-8 sub-row as Pittsburgh is a City.  I doubt we need to add Neighborhood-10 to the Township-7, Village-8/Hamlet-8 sub-row, but I could be wrong.  What about the Borough/Boro-7, Town-8 sub-row?  Do THOSE have Neighborhood-10?  (I doubt it, but I could be wrong).  City, yes.  The others?  Let's leave those "N/A" for now.

> On Jul 27, 2017, at 11:02 AM, Bill Ricker <bill.n1vux at gmail.com> wrote:
> Massachusetts looks correct in the small table to my eye in terms of legal entities, Wards and Precincts are primary fine-scale legal entities. I know my Ward and Precint numbers in Boston, so can confirm they exist.
> OTOH there are no "signs on the ground" for Wards or Precincts.
> As noted in Talk, there are also Council Districts but their mapping onto Wards/Precincts will *change* for re-gerrymandering after each census (which in Boston is an on-going process, we don't wait for Federal census to count noses!)  and could be easily abolished if we opted for all city-wide seats again.  Wards and Precinct boundaries are less flexible; deeds reference them; Precincts are  the fundamental unit that City, State House, State Senate, US House district gerrymanders are built from; but still even Ward&Precinct boundaries are adjusted periodically if a precinct suddenly is built up or industrialized.
> Neighborhoods are also formally defined by city planning dept in Boston.

So, Bill, Massachusetts' entry in the Big Table is a bit of a hack, since we have:
Massachusetts-4, County-6, Town-8, Precinct-9
Massachusetts-4, County-6, City-8, Ward-9, Precinct-10
but in Ward-9 we say "Boston has Districts and Wards."

As you say you can confirm that Boston has Ward and Precinct (which we capture without Boston's exceptional mention), and (Council) Districts are "mapped onto Wards/Precincts," can you clarify whether the Big Table needs an entry for Boston for (Council) Districts?  Where would that go?  9?  10?  Are there other cities in Massachusetts which do this?  And as you say that Neighborhoods are also in Boston, where do those fit into Boston being 8, having 9 as Ward and Precinct as 10 (with perhaps Districts as a "different 9" and perhaps Neighborhoods as a "different 10")?  Or, perhaps because these are so changeable (with regular re-districting) we simply do not enter them, or enter them and perhaps leave them alone.  Whew!

Regarding signs:  admin boundaries sometimes do have signs on the ground, often do not, especially for 9 and 10 entities.  OSM consensus seems to be OK with saying that an admin boundary not clearly being delineated "in real life" or being marked by signage everywhere "on the ground" is not really sufficient reason to suppress these important map objects from OSM's database.  While it may seem controversial, I believe a strong argument can be made that if we are defining and mapping admin_level=2, 4, 6 and 8, because we also define 10, we might as well map 10 where it really exists (often, big-city neighborhood councils are real things, with real boundaries).

I know OSM may never get type=boundary, admin_level=* PERFECT, but I'll take "very good or excellent," as the US does seem to be getting there.


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