I am trying to better understand locations in Australia. It seems that suburbs are very detailed boundaries that exist in and outside of cities all throughout Australia. I am just wondering if people actually use them/ talk about them in everyday life. If anyone could help, I would appreciate it! Let me know cities you are familiar with, and I will send some maps to see if they make sense, if the suburbs actually exist, and if they are used interchangeably with cities. The one example I am currently working with is in Bathurst. It seems to have several suburbs (Llanarth, Windradyne, Robin Hill, Mitchell, Bathurst, Kelso, and Gormans Hill).
As an example … for the UK to put an international perspective on it…
If asked where you lived … you could give several answers …
If overseas you could give the Answer “I live in London” and that should be understood
If in London you could give the Answer “I live in Kensal” and that should be understood
If in Kensal you could give the Answer “I live in Kensal Green” and that should be understood
If overseas you could give the Answer “I live in Sydney” and that should be understood
If in Sydney you could give the Answer “I live in Hornsby” and that should be understood
For Llanarth, Bathurst, Austraila …
If overseas you could give the Answer “I live outside of Sydney” and that should be understood
If in Sydney you could give the Answer “I live in Bathurst” and that should be understood
If in Bathurst you could give the Answer “I live in Llanarth” and that should be understood
Note the assumptions -
most people in the world know of Sydney, London, Moscow etc etc.
most people in a sate/country know the major cities of that state/country
most people in a city know of the suburbs in that city…
I would think there are similar example around the world… Moscow, New York etc etc.
“Suburb” might be confusing because laymen use the term in relation to sub-areas of cities.However, in this mapping context, it applies to the small official administrative areas in both city and rural areas.
In Australia, these “suburbs” provide the official addresses for properties. These suburbs are important if seeking emergency services such as police, fire brigade or ambulance to come to a particular location. They are also an integral part of a postal address, if wishing to send correspondence or parcels by post. Australia Post assigns a specific postcode to each area (but I am unlcear if OSM can include postcodes at this time due to copyright restrictions except where the postcode is signposted at the local post office). “Suburbs” are also important in real estate transactions and each property would have an official address including the designated “suburb” whether in city or rural areas.
So … they are important to the people who live in those areas or those seeking to locate residents. However, as Warin61 said, if specificity is not important, people might just say they live in the nearest well-known location rather than a particular suburb which may be unknown to the audience.
As for postcodes, A post code represents the local sorting and distribution centre/post office.
From that distribution centre/post office it is then delivered to the local suburbs with that same postcode.
The postcode for my suburb is the same for 8 other suburbs in the local area.