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

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Mon Dec 17 23:42:08 UTC 2018

On 2018-12-17 23:16, Steve Doerr wrote:

> On 17/12/2018 09:41, Colin Smale wrote: 
>> 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.
> Hi, Colin. I'm British and I have no idea what you're talking about here. Could you quote some examples that I could relate to?

Sure Steve. 

The laws (often SIs) that create an "admin boundary" do exactly that -
they define the boundary. In the case of counties and districts, which
are created by primary legislation, it is defined that there must be a
council. One of the embryonic council's first jobs is to decide on a
name: are we called "X Borough Council" or "Borough of X" (assuming
borough status) or something else? 

Think of Civil Parishes. There are many examples of Joint (or Group)
Parish Councils which operate in N (>1) civil parishes as a single
entity. The underlying parishes are what is defined in law, in terms of
their boundaries, and the information that they share a council is not
part of the definition of their boundaries. In Swale district,
Sheldwich,  Badlesmere and Leaveland Civil Parishes share a parish

Not all defined Civil Parishes have a council. Some smaller (in terms of
population) parishes make do with a Parish Meeting, in which essentially
all the electors are "councillors". In Maidstone borough, the parish of
Frinsted has only a Parish Meeting. 

There are a few examples of so-called "Lands Common" which are areas of
land which officially belong to 2 or more Civil Parishes, and are
therefore governed by multiple Parish Councils. The land concerned is
usually sparsely populated, or unpopulated, and the councils find a way
of working together when required. These are located in Devon, Yorkshire
and County Durham. 

And of course, there are many "unparished areas" (often in urban areas)
which do not fall within the boundary of a Civil Parish at all (e.g.
Gravesend and Northfleet). 

Thinking bigger: The non-metropolitan county of Berkshire exists,
although it does not have a council (the entire land area is divided up
into Unitary Authorities). In theory this situation applies to e.g.
Rutland and Herefordshire as well, but in this case the entire county
has been "divided" into a single Unitary Authority (which also calls
itself "Herefordshire County Council" / "Rutland County Council") so it
is not so noticeable. 

Hence, looking at a single point and establishing which OSBL polygons
contain it, does not tell you which councils have some role for that

Does that help? 
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