[OSM-talk] Ground truth for non-physical objects

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Mon Dec 17 09:41:13 UTC 2018

On 2018-12-17 09:57, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:

> Am Sa., 15. Dez. 2018 um 16:09 Uhr schrieb Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl>: 
>> "without access to the same sources" ... what if there is only one source of truth? With these non-observable items like admin boundaries that is often the case.
> for admin boundaries there will often be at least 2 "true" document sources: one for each party / side. They are also often observable, at least punctually.

Looking at the UK position, I have to disagree with you here. Definitive
admin boundaries are administered by a "higher level". The two parties
to a common boundary do not have the authority to define the boundary
unilaterally. The "higher level" will tell them where there boundaries
are. Both parties refer to a single legal document (primary or secondary
legislation). So there is only one true source, but a variety of way of
getting there. You could ask each party for their understanding of where
the boundary is, but they don't own that information, they inherit it.
They should both point you at the same Statutory Instrument. 

There are legal processes for making changes to boundaries, which
sometimes have to be managed and/or reviewed by the LGBCE (Local
government boundary commission for England) or equivalent bodies in the
other nations. The result of the consulation process is a recommendation
to "change the law" which, on coming into force, becomes binding on the
parties named in the Statutory Instrument. 

One other thing: in the UK the boundaries of the area and the local
authority running that area are two different things. A local authority
can run a combination of adjacent admin areas; some admin areas are
defined in law without there being a local authority; and some admin
areas are legally shared between councils. What we have in the official
sources (e.g. OS Boundary-Line) shows the geometry of the areas, but it
tells you nothing about the authority/ies "running" that area.
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