OpenStreetMap

Improving the OSM Map - why don't we? [11]

Posted by marczoutendijk on 24 September 2015 in English (English)

Do we all speak the same language? Should we?

What is a hamlet?
The wiki is clear:
"an isolated settlement, typically with less than 100-200 inhabitants, although this may vary by country"
What then, could have been the intention of the mapper who did this: It's a city full of hamlet's!
I think that this is a clear sign of the limitations of the use of just one language (English) as the "Lingua Franca" for OSM. Too many people don't understand or speak it, and come up with solutions in their language that they think appropriate. Leaving others guessing about their meaning - how serious is that?

From what I could research (with the help of our great universal translator), it looks like people who are relatives (or are native to that spot) are living together in the houses marked as hamlet, but I'm not really sure of that.
If it is true, is that something that needs to be on the map? E.g. should we use the OSM database as a simple (or complicated) address book? Of course we can, but should we?

One thing is clear: from the definition in the wiki, the above use of hamlet is not correct. Do you have a better idea?

To be continued...

Comment from robbieonsea on 24 September 2015 at 23:48

Indeed, normally within a city: place=suburb or place=neighbourhood could be more appropriate, which themselves may be governed by some kind of administrative body.

The key point here is that a hamlet is isolated; whereas suburbs and neighbourhoods form continuums within a larger administrative area (i.e. a city).

If they are trying to indicate even more precise areas, there is place=locality; which is probably more nebulous and less likely to have a formal administrative distinction, but more akin to how people would name the area they live in.

Comment from David Hermanson on 25 September 2015 at 10:05

There are juridical issues involved that vary by locale. In most States in the USA, the the term hamlet or suburb have little legal meaning and often lack fixed boundaries. Specific suburbs are usually defined village, towns or townships separate near a larger incorporated city, for example both the Township of Old Bridge, NJ and the City of Perth Amboy, NJ are suburbs of New York City, NY. Occasionally, the term hamlet will refer to an area with fixed boundaries, even though in almost all USA jurisdictions hamlets are unincorporated. The hamlet of Shawnee, NY refers to both a crossroads are of 30 or 40 homes, but also to the entire portion of the Town of Wheatfield served by the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company. Fire or water service areas often define hamlets in NYS. In New York State this usage is without regard to population, but a rather an unincorporated community of any size within a township. Some communities that the state refers to as hamlets have populations in the thousands.

In New Jersey all land is now in incorporated communities: The fundamental division is the County, and within a county one may live in a town, township, burrough or city, but no such incorporated area may have another incorporated area within it, i.e., there are no towns or cities within a township.

The point of this overly long note is to suggest that terms like hamlet, village, and city can have specific juridical meaning which vary from place to place, and unless one is seeking to map to those discrete meanings and bounds, it's a better idea to use terms like neighbourhood that do not have formal administrative meanings.

Comment from David Hermanson on 25 September 2015 at 10:21

There are juridical issues involved that vary by locale. In most States in the USA, the the term hamlet or suburb have little legal meaning and often lack fixed boundaries. Specific suburbs are usually defined village, towns or townships separate near a larger incorporated city, for example both the Township of Old Bridge, NJ and the City of Perth Amboy, NJ are suburbs of New York City, NY. Occasionally, the term hamlet will refer to an area with fixed boundaries, even though in almost all USA jurisdictions hamlets are unincorporated. The hamlet of Shawnee, NY refers to both a crossroads are of 30 or 40 homes, but also to the entire portion of the Town of Wheatfield served by the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company. Fire or water service areas often define hamlets in NYS. In New York State this usage is without regard to population, but a rather an unincorporated community of any size within a township. Some communities that the State refers to as hamlets have populations in the thousands.

In New Jersey all land is now in incorporated communities: The fundamental division is the County, and within a county one may live in a town, township, burrough or city, but no such incorporated area may have another incorporated area within it, i.e., there are no towns or cities within a township.

The point of this overly long note is to suggest that terms like hamlet, village, and city can have specific juridical meaning which vary from place to place, and unless one is seeking to map to those discrete meanings and bounds, it's a better idea to use terms like neighbourhood that do not have formal administrative meanings.

Comment from pnorman on 26 September 2015 at 08:59

Neighborhood has a formal administrative meaning.

The place tags are for geographic places, not administrative divisions. Sometimes these are the same, sometimes not. For example, a town nearby, Langley, is composed of part of the City of Langley and Township of Langley, which are both administratively cities. A mistake that sometimes happens in the US is to call any incorporated area a place=city.

If we wanted to avoid using British English in tags, we could encode all tags as arbitrary numbers or strings. Except, to someone not working in English, that's already what we do, because they should see a translation for the presets.

Comment from Wynndale on 26 September 2015 at 17:07

One point: although the wiki page is available in eight languages, Chinese isn’t one of them. Any volunteers to fix that?

Comment from Littlebtc on 1 October 2015 at 09:27

The place you pointed out is in the Tainan City, Taiwan. As a mapper in Taiwan, I have some comment about the issue.

The place=hamlet usage on the map is quiet reasonable to me. It is in the Jiangjun District of Tainan City. Tainan City is now a very large administrative area, containing urban area, suburbs, separated villages. Take a look at the satellite imagery of this region can show you that usage of place=hamlet may be not that worse:

Imgur

We are importing GNS data in Taiwan, and the names included are just as much as this region in most of the western plain in Taiwan.


But when it comes to the Chinese tag, I am also opposed to it. I don't think it is a good idea to take the "ancestral home" on the map either. I will report the issue to our local community :)

Comment from Littlebtc on 1 October 2015 at 09:30

@Wynndale: Some are translated but not the most part. :(

Comment from marczoutendijk on 1 October 2015 at 09:43

@Littlebtc: Thank you for clarifying!

Comment from Minh Nguyen on 3 October 2015 at 05:16

The two nodes detailed in the above screenshots were added by users of JOSM and iD, respectively. Although it sounds like this is a case of correct tagging, you could imagine that imprecisely translated presets in these editors could lead well-meaning mappers to mistag features en masse. In translating the Rails Port and iD into Vietnamese, I found it fairly tricky to come up with simple translations for the various highway and place preset names that capture all the nuance OSM has assigned these English words. Hopefully the people translating the editors at translatewiki.net, Launchpad, and Transifex are all experienced mappers.

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