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

Albert Pundt roadsguy99 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 28 23:10:50 UTC 2017

Perhaps this <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Township_(Pennsylvania)>
Wikipedia entry will help clarify things. Pennsylvania's townships are
incorporated and exist on a level equivalent with boroughs (towns), cities,

On Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 5:07 PM, OSM Volunteer stevea <
steveaOSM at softworkers.com> wrote:

> On Jul 28, 2017, at 1:12 PM, Albert Pundt <roadsguy99 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yes, rereading what I said, it does sound a lot like "This is the way it
> is because of the way that it is."
> Firstly, "towns" ("town" in quotes here referring to anything that would
> be generically called a town in everyday language) in Pennsylvania are
> almost never incorporated as towns. Only one is: Bloomsburg. Every other
> "town" that is incorporated is actually a borough (and I'm not aware of any
> boroughs that aren't "towns"), a township (e.g. Annville Township in
> Lebanon County, Mt. Lebanon Township in Allegheny County), or a small city.
> Most townships, however, are just wide rural area and not really based
> around any real settlement like my two examples are.
> These "towns" (i.e. boroughs, etc.) aren't part of the surrounding
> township, much like Philadelphia isn't part of any of the surrounding
> counties. It's a "county" all its own (actually a consolidated city-county,
> so the analogy isn't perfect). They're all isolated from each other on the
> same equivalent level directly below the county. For the purposes of admin
> level, these various boundaries (township, borough, town, etc.) are
> interchangeable. I don't know how things are set up on a sub-county level
> in other states, but in Pennsylvania, this is all a single level of
> boundary.
> On Jul 27, 2017, at 9:19 PM, Albert Pundt <roadsguy99 at gmail.com> wrote:
> No, I meant that townships, boroughs, cities, etc. should all  be mapped
> with admin level 8, which they seem to already be, but the information from
> the wiki seemed to contradict that.
> Thanks, Albert:  we are both doing well at keeping our tone civil and
> generating more light than heat.  This can be hard work, but it's worth it!
> If I may paraphrase/simplify what you say above:
> 1)  Towns are not incorporated (as opposed to cities, which are), unless
> they really are incorporated small cities, but are colloquially called
> "towns."
> 2)  If what is colloquially called a town IS incorporated, (as above), it
> could be a small city, or it is possible that its true name is "borough."
> 3)  If what is colloquially called a town is NOT incorporated, its true
> name is "township."
> When you say that "most townships are just wide rural area," I ask you to
> note that admin_level rather exactly denotes NOT how rural or (un)populated
> an area is, but rather how an administrative (governmental) organization
> subordinates to a higher level (and has lower levels subordinate to it).
> So while I do pay heed to "wide rural area" (because you make that
> observation to me, and I wish to respect it), for purposes of assigning the
> correct value to admin_level in OSM, I steer focus instead directly to the
> proper question of "townships subordinate to what government?"  In that
> light, I do believe (though I continue to listen) that "township" (in
> Pennsylvania, like all other states) is a set of subdivisions which
> completely subdivide counties — directly.  (Some might be "organized" with
> a government, some might not).  And as county is 6, township, because of
> the DIRECT subordination, must be 7.  This is consistent with all other 19
> states which have townships, though, again, if Pennsylvania's townships
> truly aren't like this, I'm listening.  I don't think you can make a case
> that a township should be an 8 because of this "direct subordination
> coupled with complete subdivision:"  as county is 6, township must be 7,
> not 8.
> It may seem that a "single level of boundary" is below county, but as
> township is a legal division of a county, I don't think this is possible.
> Continuing my paraphrasing:
> 4)  Boroughs are not part of surrounding townships.  (I do note with you
> that Philadelphia is a Consolidated City County, which OSM maps as two
> coterminous boundary relations, one tagged admin_level=6 for the county,
> another tagged admin_level=8 for the city.  Yes, it does make Philadelphia
> a confusing example, so we should erase it from the set of examples as a
> confusing special-case).
> I consider https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania#Municipalities an
> authoritative source.  (It happens to agree with you about "Bloomsburg as
> incorporated and the only town in the state.")  It says (quoting the
> "Pennsylvania Manual," which I assume actually governs these things)
> "Pennsylvania is divided into 67 counties (which) are further subdivided
> into municipalities that are either incorporated as cities, boroughs, or
> townships."
> OK, (once again) the wiki has:
> Pennsylvania-4, County-6, City-8,
> Pennsylvania-4, County-6, Borough/Boro-7, Town-8,
> Pennsylvania-4, County-6, Township-7, Village-8/Hamlet-8.
> (I might edit "Town-8" to become "Town of Bloomsburg-8").  I believe what
> Wikipedia/Pennsylvania Manual say is EXACTLY expressed by the current table
> entry.  (With the exception of Bloomsburg, and noting that Town-8 might
> "disappear," or become Bloomsburg-8 as there is only that one town noted as
> being in Pennsylvania).  If you don't agree, please, I am listening.
> And, once again, I ask you to provide a similarly-structured "proposal" of
> what you believe correct.  Parsing out what you say here, I might posit:
> Pennsylvania-4, County-6, City-8/Township-8/Borough/
> Boro-8/Town-8/Village-8/Hamlet-8
> But I don't really think that is or even can be correct, because of what I
> believe to be true (and explain above) about townships.  But you might.
> Please include a similar structure you believe correct which might make its
> way into OSM's United States/admin_level wiki as you reply to this.
> Thanks for the good dialog,
> Steve
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