[Talk-us] Talk-us Digest, Vol 116, Issue 44

OSM Volunteer stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Fri Jul 28 04:16:40 UTC 2017

Albert Pundt <roadsguy99 at gmail.com> writes:
> Why are townships, boroughs, towns, and cities in PA mapped with separate admin levels, or at least "supposed to be" mapped that way according to that page? As far as I know they're always only ever one level below county, and never overlap. i.e. you never have a town in the middle of some other township. There are plenty of smaller towns and villages that are unincorporated and just census-designated places, but these aren't administrative divisions and are mapped with boundary=census. So why should the various county subdivisions get differing admin levels? Plus, from what I've seen they seem to only ever be admin_level=8 anyway.

Albert:  CDPs, by wide and long-ago OSM consensus are not boundary=administrative, they are boundary=census, if those even get entered.  (There are places where it makes sense to do so, like Alaska, and perhaps others, I reserve judgement and prefer to listen and watch).  If I must answer "why do we do it like this in Pennsylvania?" I will say "because OSM has expressed that there are admin_level values of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 (national, state, county, city, neighborhood) which express themselves this way in the USA, Pennsylvania is no exception.

So, limiting the instant discussion to Pennsylvania, let's agree that the state is admin_level=4 and counties are admin_level=6.  If you disagree there, we should resolve that first.  I am in listening mode here.

By wide consensus, and because it works this way in a large number (perhaps even unanimously?) of the 20 out of 50 states in which townships exist, townships are a "complete" division of a county, with no "leftovers."  This means that Townships in Pennsylvania are admin_level=7 (because we've agreed that counties are admin_level=6).  Beyond that, I am in listening mode.

We now have (I repeat myself):
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.

If you disagree, talk-us and I (both) now listen.  If you disagree (please discard talk of CDPs in this context, it is not germane), help us to craft a better structure in Pennsylvania than what is listed above:  I want to hear your proposal of what might be a better structure, you might use the same text-based structure that I do above.  We want to better channel what is really "in" Pennsylvania and how it maps to OSM's admin_level tagging.  Your input is important, even it is just more questions of "why do we do it this way?"

Thank you,

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