'historic' county boundaries added to the database

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Mark Goodge


On 08/08/2018 17:05, Stephen Doerr wrote:
> On 8 August 2018, at 15:50, Sean Blanchflower <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  >I begin to fear I've caused offence in my recent editing, so apologies
> if so. I'm just a keen OSM editor trying to add what I see as a valuable
> omission in its database.
>
> I for one am glad to have the boundaries of the 'real' counties in OSM,
> so thank you for doing this.

I'm sorry, but this is complete and utter bullshit. The "historic"
county boundaries are no more "real" than the current ones. They were,
at the time, the administrative boundaries. They are no longer the
administrative boundaries.

I do appreciate that there are matters where the historic boundaries are
relevant (primarily genealogical research). But that's not really a
mapping issue., And the emotional attachment to the pre-1974 boundaries
is just that - emotion, not based on any objective assessment. And the
fact that, in retrospect, the 1970s changes were over-reaching and did a
lot of harm does not change that.

Describing the historic boundaries as "real" is like insisting that we
map, say, the old Euston station the way it was before it was rebuilt,
because it was a lot nicer then. It may well be the case that it was.
But we map what exists now, not what existed in the past and in
rose-tinted memory. The same with county (and other administrative)
boundaries. We map what is, not what was.

Mark

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

lsces
In reply to this post by Nick Whitelegg-2
On 08/08/18 17:03, Nick Whitelegg wrote:
>
> I think these things are at least partly a product of what generation
> you belong to.

I think one can include 'Middlesex' in that package? Just when will it
cease to exist ;)

--
Lester Caine - G8HFL
-----------------------------
Contact - https://lsces.co.uk/wiki/?page=contact
L.S.Caine Electronic Services - https://lsces.co.uk
EnquirySolve - https://enquirysolve.com/
Model Engineers Digital Workshop - https://medw.co.uk
Rainbow Digital Media - https://rainbowdigitalmedia.co.uk

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Sean Blanchflower
In reply to this post by Sean Blanchflower

I guess you at least acknowledge that not everyone agrees with your views below though. 

A quick factual error though: the traditional/historic counties were not administrative in the sense that current areas are. The changes of the Local Government Act 1888 were to create administrative areas for the first time, and it was the fact that they were called 'counties' that has caused all the trouble since then. The government acknowledged that the new areas were distinct from the existing counties and were not replacing them, and in fact the Ordnance Survey continued to print them on maps after then.

How do we reach some compromise here? We seem to be at an impasse.

> I'm sorry, but this is complete and utter bullshit. The "historic" 
> county boundaries are no more "real" than the current ones. They were, 
> at the time, the administrative boundaries. They are no longer the 
> administrative boundaries.
>
> I do appreciate that there are matters where the historic boundaries are 
> relevant (primarily genealogical research). But that's not really a 
> mapping issue., And the emotional attachment to the pre-1974 boundaries 
> is just that - emotion, not based on any objective assessment. And the 
> fact that, in retrospect, the 1970s changes were over-reaching and did a 
> lot of harm does not change that.
>
> Describing the historic boundaries as "real" is like insisting that we 
> map, say, the old Euston station the way it was before it was rebuilt, 
> because it was a lot nicer then. It may well be the case that it was. 
> But we map what exists now, not what existed in the past and in 
> rose-tinted memory. The same with county (and other administrative) 
> boundaries. We map what is, not what was.


On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 3:49 PM Sean Blanchflower <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,
I'm smb1001 and have been adding the traditional county boundaries recently. DaveF kindly let me know of the discussion thread here so I've joined Talk-GB to add my side of things.

I'm not alone in thinking the traditional county boundaries have a place on current maps. It's unfortunate here that these counties are known as 'historic counties' as this implies that they are no longer extant. The debate as to their current utility or their immutability is not one I feel is relevant here as there are arguments on both sides, but the Association of British Counties summarises it more succinctly than I could in any case (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_British_Counties and the many links therein).

I have no intention of adding any "historic" boundaries beyond the counties. I settled on the (static) definition of "historic counties" used by the Ordnance Survey and UK government and was going to stop there. 

I would also have never started my efforts if the results would have littered invisible lines all over the map. Similarly, if there were an authoritative trace that could be imported then I'd agree that that also should be blocked. The reason I've been doing it is that 99% of the ways required to create the counties are already in OSM. Pretty much all I've been doing is adding existing (administrative) boundary ways to these new 'historic' relations alongside the 'ceremonial' and myriad 'administrative'.

(As an aside, I would also have never started my efforts if I hadn't been inspired by finding that the same had been done for other countries.)

I fully agree with Lester's comments on OHM in all this. Without the presence of the 'current' OSM database in OHM, it's impossible to get any traction there. For example I can't actually add the traditional counties to OHM without the current OSM administrative boundaries (county and parish). Then again, as he said, if the current OSM set were put there to do so, it ends up duplicating the site.

I also agree with DaveF that to add every iteration of former boundaries is not for OSM, but I would argue that the addition of the traditional counties as defined by this current definition does not fall into that. After all, certain councils have already been erecting road signs indicating the presence of these county boundaries so why would we not reflect that.

I begin to fear I've caused offence in my recent editing, so apologies if so. I'm just a keen OSM editor trying to add what I see as a valuable omission in its database.

smb1001





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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Stuart Reynolds
Hi 

I’ve watched this from afar, but thought that I would add my two pennyworth, as a more casual mapper. 

Historic county boundaries have some merit (in a very general sense), but where do you draw the line? As it happens, I was discussing where, exactly, Middlesex was with my son only yesterday, and I looked it up on Wikipedia. Turns out that Middlesex has changed quite significantly over time. First of all, it existed. Then, some of it got plonked into London - and it had already lost the City of London and Westminster by then. Bits of it got hived off to Hertfordshire. Then the rest of it got incorporated into Greater London. So what would you map, historically? Do you map every single variation of it, and try and date them all? If you were going to map historic counties properly, then you must.

But think what this does to the data. Think what this does for the new mapper (who we are trying to encourage). There is now a mass of overlapping, conflicting entities to edit. You need to go through every one, laboriously, working out which ones you need to edit, and which ones you need to leave alone. It’s a data management nightmare, and the chances of the wrong thing being edited, or being edited incorrectly, rises exponentially.

Personally, I have never particularly liked the variety of ways that OSM attempts to map disused / demolished entities (e.g. bus station rebuilds, etc) even now. I am firmly of the opinion that we should be mapping existing, current, objects, and that things that don’t exist on the ground should be ripped out. If OSM as an organisation wants to take annual snapshots for posterity, or to set up a separate “historic OSM” then I am all for it - I won’t be mapping in it, myself, although I would have an interest in using it. As in my Middlesex example, though, you would still have data management issues unless you compartmentalise it by year - but that is a whole new interface or workflow.

So I am very strongly in favour of NOT mapping historic counties, and only mapping what is on the ground (or verifiably shortly to be there, as in new builds)

Stuart


On 10 Aug 2018, at 09:24, Sean Blanchflower <[hidden email]> wrote:


I guess you at least acknowledge that not everyone agrees with your views below though. 

A quick factual error though: the traditional/historic counties were not administrative in the sense that current areas are. The changes of the Local Government Act 1888 were to create administrative areas for the first time, and it was the fact that they were called 'counties' that has caused all the trouble since then. The government acknowledged that the new areas were distinct from the existing counties and were not replacing them, and in fact the Ordnance Survey continued to print them on maps after then.

How do we reach some compromise here? We seem to be at an impasse.

> I'm sorry, but this is complete and utter bullshit. The "historic" 
> county boundaries are no more "real" than the current ones. They were, 
> at the time, the administrative boundaries. They are no longer the 
> administrative boundaries.
>
> I do appreciate that there are matters where the historic boundaries are 
> relevant (primarily genealogical research). But that's not really a 
> mapping issue., And the emotional attachment to the pre-1974 boundaries 
> is just that - emotion, not based on any objective assessment. And the 
> fact that, in retrospect, the 1970s changes were over-reaching and did a 
> lot of harm does not change that.
>
> Describing the historic boundaries as "real" is like insisting that we 
> map, say, the old Euston station the way it was before it was rebuilt, 
> because it was a lot nicer then. It may well be the case that it was. 
> But we map what exists now, not what existed in the past and in 
> rose-tinted memory. The same with county (and other administrative) 
> boundaries. We map what is, not what was.


On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 3:49 PM Sean Blanchflower <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,
I'm smb1001 and have been adding the traditional county boundaries recently. DaveF kindly let me know of the discussion thread here so I've joined Talk-GB to add my side of things.

I'm not alone in thinking the traditional county boundaries have a place on current maps. It's unfortunate here that these counties are known as 'historic counties' as this implies that they are no longer extant. The debate as to their current utility or their immutability is not one I feel is relevant here as there are arguments on both sides, but the Association of British Counties summarises it more succinctly than I could in any case (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_British_Counties and the many links therein).

I have no intention of adding any "historic" boundaries beyond the counties. I settled on the (static) definition of "historic counties" used by the Ordnance Survey and UK government and was going to stop there. 

I would also have never started my efforts if the results would have littered invisible lines all over the map. Similarly, if there were an authoritative trace that could be imported then I'd agree that that also should be blocked. The reason I've been doing it is that 99% of the ways required to create the counties are already in OSM. Pretty much all I've been doing is adding existing (administrative) boundary ways to these new 'historic' relations alongside the 'ceremonial' and myriad 'administrative'.

(As an aside, I would also have never started my efforts if I hadn't been inspired by finding that the same had been done for other countries.)

I fully agree with Lester's comments on OHM in all this. Without the presence of the 'current' OSM database in OHM, it's impossible to get any traction there. For example I can't actually add the traditional counties to OHM without the current OSM administrative boundaries (county and parish). Then again, as he said, if the current OSM set were put there to do so, it ends up duplicating the site.

I also agree with DaveF that to add every iteration of former boundaries is not for OSM, but I would argue that the addition of the traditional counties as defined by this current definition does not fall into that. After all, certain councils have already been erecting road signs indicating the presence of these county boundaries so why would we not reflect that.

I begin to fear I've caused offence in my recent editing, so apologies if so. I'm just a keen OSM editor trying to add what I see as a valuable omission in its database.

smb1001




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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Sean Blanchflower
I completely agree that to map every iteration is of no merit, and that's never been the aim. There's an accepted definition of the boundaries (Historic Counties Trust) that by definition will never change. The Middlesex changes were to the administrative boundaries. The traditional boundaries remained constant through that.

On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 9:38 AM Stuart Reynolds <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi 

I’ve watched this from afar, but thought that I would add my two pennyworth, as a more casual mapper. 

Historic county boundaries have some merit (in a very general sense), but where do you draw the line? As it happens, I was discussing where, exactly, Middlesex was with my son only yesterday, and I looked it up on Wikipedia. Turns out that Middlesex has changed quite significantly over time. First of all, it existed. Then, some of it got plonked into London - and it had already lost the City of London and Westminster by then. Bits of it got hived off to Hertfordshire. Then the rest of it got incorporated into Greater London. So what would you map, historically? Do you map every single variation of it, and try and date them all? If you were going to map historic counties properly, then you must.

But think what this does to the data. Think what this does for the new mapper (who we are trying to encourage). There is now a mass of overlapping, conflicting entities to edit. You need to go through every one, laboriously, working out which ones you need to edit, and which ones you need to leave alone. It’s a data management nightmare, and the chances of the wrong thing being edited, or being edited incorrectly, rises exponentially.

Personally, I have never particularly liked the variety of ways that OSM attempts to map disused / demolished entities (e.g. bus station rebuilds, etc) even now. I am firmly of the opinion that we should be mapping existing, current, objects, and that things that don’t exist on the ground should be ripped out. If OSM as an organisation wants to take annual snapshots for posterity, or to set up a separate “historic OSM” then I am all for it - I won’t be mapping in it, myself, although I would have an interest in using it. As in my Middlesex example, though, you would still have data management issues unless you compartmentalise it by year - but that is a whole new interface or workflow.

So I am very strongly in favour of NOT mapping historic counties, and only mapping what is on the ground (or verifiably shortly to be there, as in new builds)

Stuart


On 10 Aug 2018, at 09:24, Sean Blanchflower <[hidden email]> wrote:


I guess you at least acknowledge that not everyone agrees with your views below though. 

A quick factual error though: the traditional/historic counties were not administrative in the sense that current areas are. The changes of the Local Government Act 1888 were to create administrative areas for the first time, and it was the fact that they were called 'counties' that has caused all the trouble since then. The government acknowledged that the new areas were distinct from the existing counties and were not replacing them, and in fact the Ordnance Survey continued to print them on maps after then.

How do we reach some compromise here? We seem to be at an impasse.

> I'm sorry, but this is complete and utter bullshit. The "historic" 
> county boundaries are no more "real" than the current ones. They were, 
> at the time, the administrative boundaries. They are no longer the 
> administrative boundaries.
>
> I do appreciate that there are matters where the historic boundaries are 
> relevant (primarily genealogical research). But that's not really a 
> mapping issue., And the emotional attachment to the pre-1974 boundaries 
> is just that - emotion, not based on any objective assessment. And the 
> fact that, in retrospect, the 1970s changes were over-reaching and did a 
> lot of harm does not change that.
>
> Describing the historic boundaries as "real" is like insisting that we 
> map, say, the old Euston station the way it was before it was rebuilt, 
> because it was a lot nicer then. It may well be the case that it was. 
> But we map what exists now, not what existed in the past and in 
> rose-tinted memory. The same with county (and other administrative) 
> boundaries. We map what is, not what was.


On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 3:49 PM Sean Blanchflower <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,
I'm smb1001 and have been adding the traditional county boundaries recently. DaveF kindly let me know of the discussion thread here so I've joined Talk-GB to add my side of things.

I'm not alone in thinking the traditional county boundaries have a place on current maps. It's unfortunate here that these counties are known as 'historic counties' as this implies that they are no longer extant. The debate as to their current utility or their immutability is not one I feel is relevant here as there are arguments on both sides, but the Association of British Counties summarises it more succinctly than I could in any case (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_British_Counties and the many links therein).

I have no intention of adding any "historic" boundaries beyond the counties. I settled on the (static) definition of "historic counties" used by the Ordnance Survey and UK government and was going to stop there. 

I would also have never started my efforts if the results would have littered invisible lines all over the map. Similarly, if there were an authoritative trace that could be imported then I'd agree that that also should be blocked. The reason I've been doing it is that 99% of the ways required to create the counties are already in OSM. Pretty much all I've been doing is adding existing (administrative) boundary ways to these new 'historic' relations alongside the 'ceremonial' and myriad 'administrative'.

(As an aside, I would also have never started my efforts if I hadn't been inspired by finding that the same had been done for other countries.)

I fully agree with Lester's comments on OHM in all this. Without the presence of the 'current' OSM database in OHM, it's impossible to get any traction there. For example I can't actually add the traditional counties to OHM without the current OSM administrative boundaries (county and parish). Then again, as he said, if the current OSM set were put there to do so, it ends up duplicating the site.

I also agree with DaveF that to add every iteration of former boundaries is not for OSM, but I would argue that the addition of the traditional counties as defined by this current definition does not fall into that. After all, certain councils have already been erecting road signs indicating the presence of these county boundaries so why would we not reflect that.

I begin to fear I've caused offence in my recent editing, so apologies if so. I'm just a keen OSM editor trying to add what I see as a valuable omission in its database.

smb1001




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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

David Woolley
In reply to this post by Stuart Reynolds
On 10/08/18 09:38, Stuart Reynolds wrote:
> If OSM as an organisation wants to take annual snapshots for posterity,

You are confusing two different things here.

1) Things that were never current during the lifetime of OSM;

2) Things that have ceased to exist after being mapped.

The latter are never removed from OSM; they are simply not returned by
standard API queries for the contents of an are.  Redactions apart, the
database still contains the previously mapped versions of things that
were mapped and then "deleted".

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

John Aldridge-2
In reply to this post by Stuart Reynolds
I'd like to register a +1 in favour of accepting these historic counties.

I *generally* agree with your principle of 'only mapping what is on the
ground', but if we followed that strictly we wouldn't map current
administrative boundaries either. These historic counties do, rightly or
wrongly, form part of some people's sense of identity *today*, and I
think that crosses the bar for inclusion.

--
Cheers,
John

On 10-Aug-18 09:38, Stuart Reynolds wrote:

> Hi
>
> I’ve watched this from afar, but thought that I would add my two
> pennyworth, as a more casual mapper.
>
> Historic county boundaries have some merit (in a very general sense),
> but where do you draw the line? As it happens, I was discussing where,
> exactly, Middlesex was with my son only yesterday, and I looked it up on
> Wikipedia. Turns out that Middlesex has changed quite significantly over
> time. First of all, it existed. Then, some of it got plonked into London
> - and it had already lost the City of London and Westminster by then.
> Bits of it got hived off to Hertfordshire. Then the rest of it got
> incorporated into Greater London. So what would you map, historically?
> Do you map every single variation of it, and try and date them all? If
> you were going to map historic counties properly, then you must.
>
> But think what this does to the data. Think what this does for the new
> mapper (who we are trying to encourage). There is now a mass of
> overlapping, conflicting entities to edit. You need to go through every
> one, laboriously, working out which ones you need to edit, and which
> ones you need to leave alone. It’s a data management nightmare, and the
> chances of the wrong thing being edited, or being edited incorrectly,
> rises exponentially.
>
> Personally, I have never particularly liked the variety of ways that OSM
> attempts to map disused / demolished entities (e.g. bus station
> rebuilds, etc) even now. I am firmly of the opinion that we should be
> mapping existing, current, objects, and that things that don’t exist on
> the ground should be ripped out. If OSM as an organisation wants to take
> annual snapshots for posterity, or to set up a separate “historic OSM”
> then I am all for it - I won’t be mapping in it, myself, although I
> would have an interest in using it. As in my Middlesex example, though,
> you would still have data management issues unless you compartmentalise
> it by year - but that is a whole new interface or workflow.
>
> So I am very strongly in favour of NOT mapping historic counties, and
> only mapping what is on the ground (or verifiably shortly to be there,
> as in new builds)
>
> Stuart
>
>
>> On 10 Aug 2018, at 09:24, Sean Blanchflower <[hidden email]
>> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>>
>>
>> I guess you at least acknowledge that not everyone agrees with your
>> views below though.
>>
>> A quick factual error though: the traditional/historic counties were
>> not administrative in the sense that current areas are. The changes of
>> the Local Government Act 1888 were to create administrative areas for
>> the first time, and it was the fact that they were called 'counties'
>> that has caused all the trouble since then. The government
>> acknowledged that the new areas were distinct from the existing
>> counties and were not replacing them, and in fact the Ordnance Survey
>> continued to print them on maps after then.
>>
>> How do we reach some compromise here? We seem to be at an impasse.
>>
>> > I'm sorry, but this is complete and utter bullshit. The "historic"
>> > county boundaries are no more "real" than the current ones. They were,
>> > at the time, the administrative boundaries. They are no longer the
>> > administrative boundaries.
>> >
>> > I do appreciate that there are matters where the historic boundaries are
>> > relevant (primarily genealogical research). But that's not really a
>> > mapping issue., And the emotional attachment to the pre-1974 boundaries
>> > is just that - emotion, not based on any objective assessment. And the
>> > fact that, in retrospect, the 1970s changes were over-reaching and did a
>> > lot of harm does not change that.
>> >
>> > Describing the historic boundaries as "real" is like insisting that we
>> > map, say, the old Euston station the way it was before it was rebuilt,
>> > because it was a lot nicer then. It may well be the case that it was.
>> > But we map what exists now, not what existed in the past and in
>> > rose-tinted memory. The same with county (and other administrative)
>> > boundaries. We map what is, not what was.
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 3:49 PM Sean Blanchflower <[hidden email]
>> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>>
>>     Hi all,
>>     I'm smb1001 and have been adding the traditional county boundaries
>>     recently. DaveF kindly let me know of the discussion thread here
>>     so I've joined Talk-GB to add my side of things.
>>
>>     I'm not alone in thinking the traditional county boundaries have a
>>     place on current maps. It's unfortunate here that these counties
>>     are known as 'historic counties' as this implies that they are no
>>     longer extant. The debate as to their current utility or their
>>     immutability is not one I feel is relevant here as there are
>>     arguments on both sides, but the Association of British Counties
>>     summarises it more succinctly than I could in any case (see
>>     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_British_Counties and
>>     the many links therein).
>>
>>     I have no intention of adding any "historic" boundaries beyond the
>>     counties. I settled on the (static) definition of "historic
>>     counties" used by the Ordnance Survey and UK government and was
>>     going to stop there.
>>
>>     I would also have never started my efforts if the results would
>>     have littered invisible lines all over the map. Similarly, if
>>     there were an authoritative trace that could be imported then I'd
>>     agree that that also should be blocked. The reason I've been doing
>>     it is that 99% of the ways required to create the counties are
>>     already in OSM. Pretty much all I've been doing is adding existing
>>     (administrative) boundary ways to these new 'historic' relations
>>     alongside the 'ceremonial' and myriad 'administrative'.
>>
>>     (As an aside, I would also have never started my efforts if I
>>     hadn't been inspired by finding that the same had been done for
>>     other countries.)
>>
>>     I fully agree with Lester's comments on OHM in all this. Without
>>     the presence of the 'current' OSM database in OHM, it's impossible
>>     to get any traction there. For example I can't actually add the
>>     traditional counties to OHM without the current OSM administrative
>>     boundaries (county and parish). Then again, as he said, if the
>>     current OSM set were put there to do so, it ends up duplicating
>>     the site.
>>
>>     I also agree with DaveF that to add every iteration of former
>>     boundaries is not for OSM, but I would argue that the addition of
>>     the traditional counties as defined by this current definition
>>     does not fall into that. After all, certain councils have already
>>     been erecting road signs indicating the presence of these county
>>     boundaries so why would we not reflect that.
>>
>>     I begin to fear I've caused offence in my recent editing, so
>>     apologies if so. I'm just a keen OSM editor trying to add what I
>>     see as a valuable omission in its database.
>>
>>     smb1001

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Mark Goodge


On 10/08/2018 12:05, John Aldridge wrote:
> I'd like to register a +1 in favour of accepting these historic counties.
>
> I *generally* agree with your principle of 'only mapping what is on the
> ground', but if we followed that strictly we wouldn't map current
> administrative boundaries either. These historic counties do, rightly or
> wrongly, form part of some people's sense of identity *today*, and I
> think that crosses the bar for inclusion.

The current administrative boundaries are relevant to everyday life in a
number of different ways. Even if you can't see them on the ground, the
boundaries determine who collects your bins, who you can vote for, who
fixes the potholes in the roads, who manages school admissions, etc.

The "historic" boundaries, though, whatever particular snapshot of them
you choose as the most important one, don't have any relevance to
everyday life. They do matter to a small number of people with
specialist uses, but - like now-obliterated routes of former railways -
they are better suited to a spin-off project rather than being in the
core OSM.

Mark

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Martin Wynne
> The "historic" boundaries, though, whatever particular snapshot of them
> you choose as the most important one, don't have any relevance to
> everyday life.

Are not some of them still relevant to post-code areas and postal counties?

Lots of useful stuff appears on OSM for which there is nothing physical
on the ground. Bus stops in rural areas are frequently timetabled as
"Rose & Crown" or the name of a side road. There is nothing on the ground.

In this area I was taken to task for adjusting an unexplained boundary,
which turned out to be the local "PlusBus" area boundary for inclusive
fares from the nearest railway station:

  http://plusbus.info/

Martin.

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Dave F
In reply to this post by John Aldridge-2
Hi

On 10/08/2018 12:05, John Aldridge wrote:
I *generally* agree with your principle of 'only mapping what is on the ground', but if we followed that strictly we wouldn't map current administrative boundaries either.

That isn't the correct mantra.

"OpenStreetMap is a place for mapping things that are both real and current"

https://www.openstreetmap.org/welcome

The admin boundaries we map are both real, as set out in legislation, & current.

The historic boundaries recently added are not current, their "
origins lie in antiquity." They are not "used for the purposes of administrative, geographical and political demarcation."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counties_of_the_United_Kingdom

These historic counties do, rightly or wrongly, form part of some people's sense of identity *today*, and I think that crosses the bar for inclusion.

But they don't cross OSM's bar.

I'm struggling to fathom how 1888 can be considered "today", and I'm unsure how someone's 'sense of identity' is relevant to what is mapped.

'wrongly' is not a reason for inclusion.

Cheers
DaveF




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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Colin Smale
In reply to this post by Mark Goodge

On 2018-08-10 13:37, Mark Goodge wrote:

On 10/08/2018 12:05, John Aldridge wrote:I'd like to register a +1 in favour of accepting these historic counties.

I *generally* agree with your principle of 'only mapping what is on the ground', but if we followed that strictly we wouldn't map current administrative boundaries either. These historic counties do, rightly or wrongly, form part of some people's sense of identity *today*, and I think that crosses the bar for inclusion.
The current administrative boundaries are relevant to everyday life in a number of different ways. Even if you can't see them on the ground, the boundaries determine who collects your bins, who you can vote for, who fixes the potholes in the roads, who manages school admissions, etc.

The "historic" boundaries, though, whatever particular snapshot of them you choose as the most important one, don't have any relevance to everyday life. They do matter to a small number of people with specialist uses, but - like now-obliterated routes of former railways - they are better suited to a spin-off project rather than being in the core OSM.

Who is the arbiter of relevance? I think for any given "mapper" or "consumer" 99% of the contents of OSM is not relevant. People are mapping the nuts and bolts of the insulators on electricity pylons.. I can't see that being relevant to most people.
 
The basic principle of OSM is that it is free, in all possible senses. There is no up-front right and wrong, nor good and bad; anything goes unless and until it is noticed and challenged for crossing some poorly-defined boundary. Often it is the well-intentioned mapper who opens a discussion prior to adding their favourite information who is the victim; I expect most mappers just "get on with it" and are never challenged, however esoteric their mapping. I wish we could be more consistent in this, but it will probably never happen because of our collective allergy to limiting mappers' creative freedoms.
 

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Dave F
In reply to this post by Mark Goodge
On 10/08/2018 12:37, Mark Goodge wrote:

> but - like now-obliterated routes of former railways - they are better
> suited to a spin-off project rather than being in the core OSM.

+1


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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Andrew Hain
In reply to this post by Martin Wynne
Postal counties (mainly a outer London and Manchester thing in this context) are essentially defunct.

--
Andrew
From: Martin Wynne <[hidden email]>
Sent: 10 August 2018 13:00:40
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Talk-GB] 'historic' county boundaries added to the database
 
> The "historic" boundaries, though, whatever particular snapshot of them
> you choose as the most important one, don't have any relevance to
> everyday life.

Are not some of them still relevant to post-code areas and postal counties?

Lots of useful stuff appears on OSM for which there is nothing physical
on the ground. Bus stops in rural areas are frequently timetabled as
"Rose & Crown" or the name of a side road. There is nothing on the ground.

In this area I was taken to task for adjusting an unexplained boundary,
which turned out to be the local "PlusBus" area boundary for inclusive
fares from the nearest railway station:

  http://plusbus.info/

Martin.

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Mark Goodge
In reply to this post by Colin Smale


On 10/08/2018 13:14, Colin Smale wrote:

> Who is the arbiter of relevance? I think for any given "mapper" or
> "consumer" 99% of the contents of OSM is not relevant. People are
> mapping the nuts and bolts of the insulators on electricity pylons.. I
> can't see that being relevant to most people.

Can you see the nuts and bolts?

I don't think there's any real argument about whether or not we map
things we can see. There may be disagreements about *how* we map them,
but the basic principle that we map what is visible is, I think, pretty
firmly established.

The basic question here is how we go about mapping things which you
can't see - intangibles, such as administrative boundaries, postcodes,
road numbers, etc. And that's where questions of relevance come into it.

> The basic principle of OSM is that it is free, in all possible senses.

It's free, but it isn't unrestrained. You can't just make up entries.
You can't put Ambridge and Hogwarts on the map (although you can, now,
include Platform 9 3/4). You can't label a road as a river and a wood as
a skyscraper. To be useful, we have to agree to a common set of
principles and then stick to them.

Mark

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Colin Smale

On 2018-08-10 15:35, Mark Goodge wrote:

On 10/08/2018 13:14, Colin Smale wrote:

Who is the arbiter of relevance? I think for any given "mapper" or "consumer" 99% of the contents of OSM is not relevant. People are mapping the nuts and bolts of the insulators on electricity pylons.. I can't see that being relevant to most people.

Can you see the nuts and bolts?

I don't think there's any real argument about whether or not we map things we can see. There may be disagreements about *how* we map them, but the basic principle that we map what is visible is, I think, pretty firmly established.

The basic question here is how we go about mapping things which you can't see - intangibles, such as administrative boundaries, postcodes, road numbers, etc. And that's where questions of relevance come into it.
 
And by extension the dilemma where what is visible is demonstrably wrong, e.g. a typo on a street name sign. If we stick to exactly what we see, we propagate the error. If we apply a bit of QC and make the street name consistent, we have a better map.
 
The basic principle of OSM is that it is free, in all possible senses. 
It's free, but it isn't unrestrained. You can't just make up entries. You can't put Ambridge and Hogwarts on the map (although you can, now, include Platform 9 3/4). You can't label a road as a river and a wood as a skyscraper. To be useful, we have to agree to a common set of principles and then stick to them.
 
Yes you can, until and unless it gets noticed. There are no barriers to creative, erroneous or downright mischievous tagging - except "social control" by others, which is very hit-and-miss. In some areas mappers may have "adopted" their town and monitor every change in a defined area, and in other cases people might monitor the whole world for a specific object type. But my suspicion is that most objects in most places are scarcely "policed" in any way. It would be nice (IMHO) if this ex-post moderation itself were to be monitored, to help ensure that every little corner of OSM has somebody/something keeping an eye on it to detect anomalous mapping, and all the "moderators" (human or otherwise) worked to consistent standards. But then we get back to the nub of the problem: who defines these standards, and thereby codifies what is right and wrong? Nobody wants to burn their fingers on this proactively, so we are stuck with a patchy, reactive system and the most incredible inertia which kills many attempts to improve data consistency. Sacrificing the good on the altar of the perfect...
 
 

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

David Woolley
In reply to this post by Martin Wynne
On 10/08/18 13:00, Martin Wynne wrote:
> In this area I was taken to task for adjusting an unexplained boundary,
> which turned out to be the local "PlusBus" area boundary for inclusive
> fares from the nearest railway station

That's likely to be subject to database rights, as I don't think that it
is normal to sign stops with whether or not they are in the area.

In any case an actual boundary can only be obtained from another map,
not from the ground.  The best you could do on the ground is identify
the finite set of existing stops that are in the area.

> postal counties

These no longer exist.  All you need to fully address mail is the
postcode plus the two character delivery point suffix, within that post
code (which is usually, but not necessarily, a simple encoding of the
house number, although not in base 10).  In practice, though, the postie
actually wants the street name as well, as I used just post code and
house number on the return to sender address, and got a note that it
takes an extra day to find the street.

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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Colin Smale

It has gone all quiet here, and in the mean time smb001 has been making steady progress across England. I take it that means acquiescence to these historic county boundaries being in OSM.

I guess we should get smb001 to write up the tagging in the wiki.

Or is there a discussion going on elsewhere that I am not aware of?


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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Dave F
No, it's hasn't been acquiesced. It's still historic data, irrelevant to OSM. They are neither "current or real". That they will "never change" is irrelevant. They add no quality to the database.They should be removed.

DaveF

On 26/08/2018 11:46, Colin Smale wrote:

It has gone all quiet here, and in the mean time smb001 has been making steady progress across England. I take it that means acquiescence to these historic county boundaries being in OSM.

I guess we should get smb001 to write up the tagging in the wiki.

Or is there a discussion going on elsewhere that I am not aware of?



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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Colin Smale

I agree, but where do we actually go from here? We have some options...

1) remove them all

2) leave them in the database and quietly ignore them

3) leave them in the database and document them, even though they are controversial, to say the least

Option 2 is least desirable IMHO, as we prefer things that are in OSM to be documented in some way, e.g. in the wiki

Given the "live and let live" philosophy that OSM otherwise espouses, maybe we can go for option 3?

 

Or we get some kind of consensus that they are to be removed, but then I think it should be the responsibility of the DWG to make that determination, communicate the decision, and do the reverts.

On 2018-08-26 13:27, Dave F wrote:

No, it's hasn't been acquiesced. It's still historic data, irrelevant to OSM. They are neither "current or real". That they will "never change" is irrelevant. They add no quality to the database.They should be removed.

DaveF

On 26/08/2018 11:46, Colin Smale wrote:

It has gone all quiet here, and in the mean time smb001 has been making steady progress across England. I take it that means acquiescence to these historic county boundaries being in OSM.

I guess we should get smb001 to write up the tagging in the wiki.

Or is there a discussion going on elsewhere that I am not aware of?



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Re: 'historic' county boundaries added to the database

Martin Wynne
In reply to this post by Dave F

> They add no quality to the database.

They do for someone wanting to know where the historic boundaries lie.

For example in cross-referencing the old OS County Series maps, see for
example:

  https://maps.nls.uk/view/121856992#zoom=3&lat=8515&lon=14122&layers=BT

Martin.

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