Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

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Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Joseph Eisenberg
At the US talk mailing list and https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:United_States_admin_level there has been discussion about whether or not certain features should be tagged as administrative boundaries in the States of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

While all these States have counties, in some cases most of the government functions have been lost, and are handled by the State (admin_level=4) or Town/City government (admin_level=8).

However, I have the impression that in some countries, certain local administrative boundaries do not actually have "home rule", or the ability to make their own laws, for example in French-infuenced areas?

What is the minimum qualification for a boundary to be considered a boundary=administrative with an admin_level in your country?

-- Joseph Eisenberg

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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Phake Nick
In South Korea/Japan/China/Taiwan, the minimal administrative level are usually equivalent of neighborhoods, and have little to no substantial administrative functions.
For example, https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/3987250 this is admin_level=9 in South Korea, https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/5830985 this is admin_level=10 in Japan, https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/9230465 this is admin_level=9 in Taiwan, https://www.openstreermap.org/relation/8248082 this is admin_level=10 in China.
Note that admin_level=10 also exists in Taiwan but only a few of them have already been mapped as a relation in OSM.

在 2020年5月14日週四 05:29,Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]> 寫道:
At the US talk mailing list and https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:United_States_admin_level there has been discussion about whether or not certain features should be tagged as administrative boundaries in the States of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

While all these States have counties, in some cases most of the government functions have been lost, and are handled by the State (admin_level=4) or Town/City government (admin_level=8).

However, I have the impression that in some countries, certain local administrative boundaries do not actually have "home rule", or the ability to make their own laws, for example in French-infuenced areas?

What is the minimum qualification for a boundary to be considered a boundary=administrative with an admin_level in your country?

-- Joseph Eisenberg
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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Andrew Harvey-3
In reply to this post by Joseph Eisenberg
Agreed with Phake, any boundary that's used for administrative purposes could be included, that's what I understand from https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:boundary%3Dadministrative. That doesn't mean that each area needs to have it's own legal entity and administrator, nor need to be able to set laws, rules, codes etc. just that the boundary itself is used for some administrative purposes.

On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 07:29, Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
At the US talk mailing list and https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:United_States_admin_level there has been discussion about whether or not certain features should be tagged as administrative boundaries in the States of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

While all these States have counties, in some cases most of the government functions have been lost, and are handled by the State (admin_level=4) or Town/City government (admin_level=8).

However, I have the impression that in some countries, certain local administrative boundaries do not actually have "home rule", or the ability to make their own laws, for example in French-infuenced areas?

What is the minimum qualification for a boundary to be considered a boundary=administrative with an admin_level in your country?

-- Joseph Eisenberg
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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

dieterdreist


sent from a phone

> On 14. May 2020, at 04:03, Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> That doesn't mean that each area needs to have it's own legal entity and administrator, nor need to be able to set laws, rules, codes etc. just that the boundary itself is used for some administrative purposes.


This is also my interpretation, in the context of osm.

Cheers Martin
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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Colin Smale
In reply to this post by Andrew Harvey-3

On 2020-05-14 04:02, Andrew Harvey wrote:

Agreed with Phake, any boundary that's used for administrative purposes could be included, that's what I understand from https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:boundary%3Dadministrative. That doesn't mean that each area needs to have it's own legal entity and administrator, nor need to be able to set laws, rules, codes etc. just that the boundary itself is used for some administrative purposes.
 
I would suggest a filter that the area needs to be formally defined, possibly by some level of government. I agree that whether or not there is any active form of local government is not a prerequisite. But we need to draw the line somewhere.... If a group of neighbours got together and said "our area is called Homesville" would that qualify? If a company with a huge plant divided the campus into North, South, East and West with Regional Managers, it is using the areas for "administrative purposes" but I would not expect this to be reflected in OSM as admin boundaries.
 
As with everything in OSM it should be "independently verifiable" which implies there should be some publicly accessible single source of truth, i.e. the definition of the area is written down somewhere that Joe Bloggs or I could access freely.
 
In the UK there are multiple hierarchies of geographic areas, for widely differing purposes, that frequently (but not always and not necessarily) share borders. For example Police Regions are based on traditional counties (which are not "administrative") with lots of anomalies. They are subdivided into districts. Calling these areas "boundary=administrative" instead of "boundary=police" would cause confusion!
 
The use of admin_level=* allows a proper hierarchy to be defined, but is currently only used with boundary=administrative. If this concept is extended into (for example) boundary=police, you enable a parallel hierarchy, which reflects real life much better and keeps things clearer for both mapper and user.
 
 

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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Paul Allen
On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 08:39, Colin Smale <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
In the UK there are multiple hierarchies of geographic areas, for widely differing purposes, that frequently (but not always and not necessarily) share borders. For example Police Regions are based on traditional counties (which are not "administrative")

By "traditional," do you mean the ceremonial counties (aka "lieutenancies")
and the Welsh preserved counties?
 
with lots of anomalies.

Yeah, like Police Scotland.  Or the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Or the various forces in Wales, such as Dyfed Powys.  Dyfed was
formed by amalgamating Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and
Cardiganshire, was later split back into its component parts
(Cardiganshire was renamed Ceredigion in that split), and Dyfed
is now a preserved county.
 
Then we have communities.  Which are the secular replacement for
parishes and in most cases parish councils have been replaced
by community councils, often with the same name.

And then there are health boards/NHS trusts.  These are devolved.  For
example, Hywel Dda University Health Board (Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol)
is part of NHS Wales (GIG Cymru).  The Welsh health boards are
divided into "network clusters", so Hywel Dda has Amman/Gwendraeth,
Llanelli, North Ceredigion, North Pembrokeshire, South Ceredigion,
South Pembrokeshire and Taf/Tywi.  Good luck trying to figure out
the boundaries of those.

--
Paul





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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Colin Smale

On 2020-05-14 11:49, Paul Allen wrote:

On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 08:39, Colin Smale <[hidden email]> wrote:
In the UK there are multiple hierarchies of geographic areas, for widely differing purposes, that frequently (but not always and not necessarily) share borders. For example Police Regions are based on traditional counties (which are not "administrative")
 
By "traditional," do you mean the ceremonial counties (aka "lieutenancies")
and the Welsh preserved counties?
with lots of anomalies.
 
Yeah, like Police Scotland.  Or the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Or the various forces in Wales, such as Dyfed Powys.  Dyfed was
formed by amalgamating Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and
Cardiganshire, was later split back into its component parts
(Cardiganshire was renamed Ceredigion in that split), and Dyfed
is now a preserved county.
 
By anomaly I meant where the boundary deviates from the basic high-level area boundary. 
 
Then we have communities.  Which are the secular replacement for
parishes and in most cases parish councils have been replaced
by community councils, often with the same name.
 
Civil Parishes in England and Communities in Wales (in fact all government admin areas) are legally defined as areas of land. The associated council may or may not exist, and the council may or may not be active. Council jurisdiction can span multiple such areas (joint/grouped parish councils, also happens with Communities in Wales), and a polygon can actually be common to two or more such areas (LCPs, Lands Common to Parishes). Many areas in England are unparished, meaning they are not part of any Civil Parish area. What a mess. Scotland and Northern Ireland are of course different again...
 
And then there are health boards/NHS trusts.  These are devolved.  For
example, Hywel Dda University Health Board (Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol)
is part of NHS Wales (GIG Cymru).  The Welsh health boards are
divided into "network clusters", so Hywel Dda has Amman/Gwendraeth,
Llanelli, North Ceredigion, North Pembrokeshire, South Ceredigion,
South Pembrokeshire and Taf/Tywi.  Good luck trying to figure out
the boundaries of those.
 
I am sure someone knows where the boundaries are. Why should the fact that health in Wales is a devolved responsibility make it any more difficult?
 

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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Paul Allen
On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 11:21, Colin Smale <[hidden email]> wrote:

[Sub-divisions of health boards in Wales]
I am sure someone knows where the boundaries are.

Yes,  But that doesn't mean they're making the information public.  I had a
brief look around Hywel Dda's site and couldn't find even a statement that
they covered the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and
Pembrokeshire.  The only place I found a list of the sub-divisions was
on Wikipedia, but I couldn't see any pointer to the original source of
those lists.

 
Why should the fact that health in Wales is a devolved responsibility make it any more difficult?

It makes it more difficult to the extent that a decision has to be made as to
whether we treat the NHS in the UK as a whole as admin level 1 or NHS Wales
as admin level 1.  Or some other hierarchical arrangement.  Or not bother
mapping it.

--
Paul


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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Philip Barnes
On Thu, 2020-05-14 at 12:15 +0100, Paul Allen wrote:
On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 11:21, Colin Smale <[hidden email]> wrote:

[Sub-divisions of health boards in Wales]
I am sure someone knows where the boundaries are.


Yes,  But that doesn't mean they're making the information public.  I had a
brief look around Hywel Dda's site and couldn't find even a statement that
they covered the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and
Pembrokeshire.  The only place I found a list of the sub-divisions was
on Wikipedia, but I couldn't see any pointer to the original source of
those lists.

 
Why should the fact that health in Wales is a devolved responsibility make it any more difficult?


It makes it more difficult to the extent that a decision has to be made as to
whether we treat the NHS in the UK as a whole as admin level 1 or NHS Wales
as admin level 1.  Or some other hierarchical arrangement.  Or not bother
mapping it.

And the main hospital for parts of Wales is sometimes in England, operated by NHS England.

Phil (trigpoint)

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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Colin Smale
In reply to this post by Paul Allen

On 2020-05-14 13:15, Paul Allen wrote:

On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 11:21, Colin Smale <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
[Sub-divisions of health boards in Wales]
I am sure someone knows where the boundaries are.
 
Yes,  But that doesn't mean they're making the information public.  I had a
brief look around Hywel Dda's site and couldn't find even a statement that
they covered the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and
Pembrokeshire.  The only place I found a list of the sub-divisions was
on Wikipedia, but I couldn't see any pointer to the original source ofthose lists.
 
This indicates that the health board boundaries are maintained by the Welsh Government (i.e. not by NHS Wales):
 
This shows that each Principal Area is covered by one health board
 
 

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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Paul Allen


sent from a phone

> On 14. May 2020, at 13:16, Paul Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> It makes it more difficult to the extent that a decision has to be made as to
> whether we treat the NHS in the UK as a whole as admin level 1 or NHS Wales
> as admin level 1.  Or some other hierarchical arrangement.  Or not bother
> mapping it.


level 1 is improbable because level 2 is the national level.

Cheers Martin
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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Paul Allen
In reply to this post by Colin Smale
On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 12:46, Colin Smale <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 2020-05-14 13:15, Paul Allen wrote:

On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 11:21, Colin Smale <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
[Sub-divisions of health boards in Wales]
I am sure someone knows where the boundaries are.
 
Yes,  But that doesn't mean they're making the information public.  I had a
brief look around Hywel Dda's site and couldn't find even a statement that
they covered the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and
Pembrokeshire.  The only place I found a list of the sub-divisions was
on Wikipedia, but I couldn't see any pointer to the original source ofthose lists.
 
This indicates that the health board boundaries are maintained by the Welsh Government (i.e. not by NHS Wales):

That shows who actually controls the areas each health board covers.  It
doesn't state what areas those boards cover, just a change to the boundaries
of some of them.  However, that prompted me to search for gov wales
boundaries and that led to an Office of National Statistics page that
is not very usable.


That is probably the stuff on the ONS page but under an esri URL.  The ONS stuff
is released under the OGL, but that has references to OS opendata licence for
boundaries.

--
Paul


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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Paul Allen
In reply to this post by dieterdreist
On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 12:58, Martin Koppenhoefer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 14. May 2020, at 13:16, Paul Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> It makes it more difficult to the extent that a decision has to be made as to
> whether we treat the NHS in the UK as a whole as admin level 1 or NHS Wales
> as admin level 1.  Or some other hierarchical arrangement.  Or not bother
> mapping it.


level 1 is improbable because level 2 is the national level.

Increment my numbers, then.

--
Paul


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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Colin Smale

On 2020-05-14 14:07, Paul Allen wrote:

On Thu, 14 May 2020 at 12:58, Martin Koppenhoefer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 14. May 2020, at 13:16, Paul Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> It makes it more difficult to the extent that a decision has to be made as to
> whether we treat the NHS in the UK as a whole as admin level 1 or NHS Wales
> as admin level 1.  Or some other hierarchical arrangement.  Or not bother
> mapping it.


level 1 is improbable because level 2 is the national level.
 
Increment my numbers, then.
 
Anyway, getting back to the original subject... Should these NHS area boundaries be tagged as "boundary=administrative" or something else like "boundary=state_healthcare"? They are obviously used for some kind of administration, but my vote would be for the latter.
 
 

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Re: Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?

Minh Nguyen-2
In reply to this post by Joseph Eisenberg
Vào lúc 14:27 2020-05-13, Joseph Eisenberg đã viết:
> At the US talk mailing list and
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:United_States_admin_level 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:United_States_admin_level>
> there has been discussion about whether or not certain features should
> be tagged as administrative boundaries in the States of Connecticut,
> Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Thanks for everyone who has weighed in so far in this thread. By way of
an update, the counties in Connecticut have regained their
boundary=administrative and admin_level=6 tags. The regional councils of
government (RCOGs) are currently tagged boundary=COG, and some of the
mappers involved have shown interest in enriching Wikidata with the
legal nuances of these administrative structures instead of making them
boundary=administrative relations.

> While all these States have counties, in some cases most of the
> government functions have been lost, and are handled by the State
> (admin_level=4) or Town/City government (admin_level=8).
>
> However, I have the impression that in some countries, certain local
> administrative boundaries do not actually have "home rule", or the
> ability to make their own laws, for example in French-infuenced areas?

I think this is even clearly the case in some parts of the U.S. There
are named but unorganized territories that never had a government of
their own in the first place. For example, Todd County, South Dakota, is
coextensive with an Indian reservation and doesn't have its own county
government, but common sense would call for it to be mapped as an
administrative boundary, for consistency with the surrounding organized
counties.

There are also cities where neighborhood boundaries are so well-defined,
well-known, and well-used that we can map them as administrative
boundaries. In some cities, these neighborhoods have no councils or only
advisory councils, but what matters more is that the city government and
residents understand these boundaries to be the main formal way to
divide locations within the city.

On the other hand, paper townships that were created as legal fictions
to facilitate annexation shouldn't be mapped as administrative
boundaries. After all, OSM is a resource for understanding geography,
not the nuances of the legal system.

> What is the minimum qualification for a boundary to be considered a
> boundary=administrative with an admin_level in your country?

I realize you were asking about other countries for a sense of
perspective, but since I only have local knowledge in the U.S., here's
an attempt at defining a set of principles for distinguishing
administrative boundaries from non-administrative boundaries or
non-boundaries in the U.S. (not necessarily applicable elsewhere):

* _A boundary may be disputed or undemarcated, but it should be
delimited._ Otherwise, we would lead data consumers to misrepresent a
subjective or poorly defined boundary as a crisp, objective line. We
should not map the indeterminate boundaries of neighborhoods in many
cities, nor ZIP codes, which are actually delivery routes.

* _OSM is a map, not an org chart._ If a district exists solely for a
government entity to divide its workforce or allocate resources, it
shouldn't be mapped as a boundary in OSM, even if it's possible to draw
each district's territory. Examples of unmapped boundaries might include
divisions of a state department of transportation and a city's police
precincts. However, it would be a great idea to map the DOT's depot and
each precinct's police station as POIs.

* _Administrative boundaries are designated by government authorities,
not private entities._ A retail or residential development may have many
of the trappings of a municipality, such as welcome signs or a
homeowner's association that regulates front door colors. But with some
rare exceptions, they aren't administrative boundaries because nothing
changes about your relationship to the government depending on which
side of the property boundary you stand on. Fortunately, named landuse
areas can represent these boundaries decently. A religious group might
divide a state into dioceses and parishes, but even if we were to map
their boundaries, they would deserve a different boundary=* tag with a
parallel level hierarchy.

* _Administrative boundaries are intended for the general public's
everyday use, not for specialists._ It's common for junior high
geography teachers to teach students about administrative boundaries but
not more specialized boundaries. Welcome signs are a strong sign that a
boundary is intended for the general public. A specialized boundary
tends to be strongly associated with a particular government agency
rather than the government as a whole. Examples of specialized
boundaries are the Census Bureau's census-designated places and census
tracts (for demographers), the Office of Management and Budget's
metropolitan statistical areas (economists), and a city zoning agency's
planning areas (planners).

* _Don't optimize around a particular data consumer's quirks [1] or map
categories as relations [2]._ Even though it might be convenient to make
extracts of groups of states, we'd avoid mapping the Western Governors
Association as a boundary encompassing its 19 member states. Instead, we
could map its headquarters as a POI and tag the member states' Wikidata
items with statements about their membership in the organization.

That it. Nothing about the level of service, degree of autonomy, or
amount of political maneuvering required to abolish the boundary.

These principles are imperfect: Indian reservations and school districts
would be false positives according to these principles. What can I say
-- I'm a mapper, not a political scientist, and there are exceptions to
every rule in the U.S. Still, based on these principles, a reasonably
well-educated layperson would probably be familiar with the name of each
of the boundaries they live in. They would be able to tell if OSM got
those boundaries terribly wrong so they could help us improve the map.

Besides, I'm already exhausted by having to spell things out in such
detail to figure out where I stand on these lengthy debates. I would've
loved it if we could've just left it at, "Use common sense, and consult
NIST/ANSI/ISO technical standards if in doubt," but what is OSM if not
gloriously overthought?

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tagging_for_the_renderer
[2] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Relations_are_not_categories

--
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