[Talk-us] West Point

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Sat Mar 18 04:01:04 UTC 2017

I have some questions about US Military Academy - West Point.

I was resolving a map note
http://www.openstreetmap.org/note/929376#map=14/41.3276/-74.1002&layers=N ,
where the user queried a fence and gate signed, "US GOVERNMENT PROPERTY."
Looking at the map, and with personal knowledge of the area, I realized
that the boundaries of the US Military Academy (West Point) were cut off
incorrectly at the boundary of the Town of Woodbury.

Since the tax rolls for the town are released to the public domain, I also
knew that I had the data to repair the boundary of the Academy, and I did
so (correcting parcel alignments with respect to Bing where they were
obviously supposed to follow natural features or roads). I uploaded that,
and there the map stands.

But then I realized that West Point is mapped rather peculiarly - rather
than being a multipolygon with landuse=military, as I'd have expected, it's
mapped as a city, boundary=administrative, admin_level=8. It is not a city,
it is a military base, no different from any other. It is large, and
therefore it extends into three townships. The relevant parcels are part of
the Towns of Woodbury, Cornwall and Highland. The boundary between Woodbury
and Highland had been included in the relation for West Point, possibly in
an effort to make it a city within the Town of Highland?

In any case, I realized that in moving the boundaries of the reservation, I
was also adjusting township lines. I'm fairly certain that I managed to put
them back.

In addition, there are a few more issues with West Point.

The legal boundary of the reservation does not encompass the rights-of-way
of New York State Route 293, Mine Road between 293 and Fort Montgomery, and
possibly a couple of lesser ways, although these would need a field check -
I suspect they come from a failed conflation in the tax maps.

It's also pretty badly mapped all around its border, apparently as it came
in from TIGER. There are a lot of places where it misaligns with Harriman
and Storm King State Parks, with the highway grid and with the features
visible on Bing. There's quite good concurrence between the highway grid as
mapped in OSM, the aerial imagery, and the property lines from New York
State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. West Point's
boundary from TIGER is the odd man out.

I'm a little nervous about proceeding, not wanting to break boundary
relations, but it seems to me that West Point should not be
boundary=administrative, and its relation should not be type=boundary.
Instead, I think it should be a multipolygon, landuse=military, and have
the mess of TIGER and is_in tags simply removed.

Also, "The Plain" parade ground should simply be a point of interest, not
part of the relation.

I'm sorely tempted simply to rebuild the multipolygon from the tax data,
conflating its shared boundaries with those of the rivers and of the
adjoining state parks and golf courses as they already appear on OSM, and
inspecting it manually against Bing where it appears to follow natural and
human geographic features. Would it give anyone a horrible case of
heartburn if I were to do this? Or is this simply tidying up yet another
one of TIGER's messes?


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