[Talk-us] California is too big ;)

OSM Volunteer stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Tue Nov 6 21:58:08 UTC 2018

Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
> I think the question is less where N vs S California is but more if
> there is a regional split of California that would make sense from a
> processing pov. Is for example somebody likely to do something with a
> North-CA extract, or if you would want to do something on a smaller
> scale, would that clearly be at a county level. Frederik is likely to
> groan at that idea, but some how I suspect that CA county level extracts
> would be comparable with states in other countries.

Simon, I hear you, yet "processing" is what would happen data-wise after this split, yet it's also what Californians do in their brains when they hear of or think of "Northern"  vs. "Southern:"  we tend to think right around that "pretty close to straight line" (it's not, though it's darn close, and it looks straight on a larger-scale county map) we are all huddling around as "about" where the chop is or should be.  Remember, Frederik's ask is for a sensible methodology to break apart something that is now or soon "too big."  Basic computer science implies a binary "chop it in half" approach (for now, we can do this again, and again...), which is exactly what we're doing.

And, nothing stops anybody from "drilling down" to a county level (or deeper) if, as you say, they want to "do something smaller."

I'm a couple of counties away from SLO and know people who live there, work there and go to university there; SLO really is a "could go either way" case, which makes it a good place to at least start to define (beginning at the ocean) a "north-south boundary" of sorts (the only sort of binary chop that makes sense:  nobody realistically talks about "Western California" or "Eastern California" though "the coast" is both a useful demographic/population concept and a geographical reality, however, much fuzzier about "how far inland" is meant by "the coast").

Taken "straight across the state" (west to east), following the political boundaries of "the northern edges of three counties" (admin_level=6) to break up a state (admin_level=4), it's both easy (technically, simply "10 counties out of 58" or "northern edges of three counties"), agreeable by many, a political reality right now, mostly straight along a similar latitude line and already somewhat harmonious among the relatively small sample of people here on this list who have something to say about it.  (Not that we're definitive, nor am I, personally).  But, look, we did come to a rough consensus on a relatively simple solution rather quickly and easily.

I say "we've thrown it against the wall, and it seems to stick."  (Though of course, more discussion is welcome).


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