City label positioning

Hi all,

Lately I’ve been going down a rabbit hole of trying to find out why city labels are positioned where they are. For instance, why is the label for New York City positioned in the financial district? I think you could make a compelling case that it should be positioned instead on Times Square for instance, as a better reflection of the true “heart of the city.” I wonder if it might be linked to some database that gives the exact coordinates of cities? Every source I find for NYC coordinates gives the same spot on top of city hall. I know labels for shapes are calculated using Polylabel but the New York label doesn’t seem to be placed with it. Does anyone have any insight? This is definitely not a pressing issue I am just very curious. Thanks!

You can on more active USA communities, eg Slack.

There are several factors for label place= location:

  1. Sociocultural center (“town center”)
  2. Political center (town hall)
  3. Economic center (CBD)
  4. Natural geographic center on land (for logical and nice rendering near the core in complicated shapes)

In this case, was changed to the location now at ver 71 in 2019 with open discussion. At the very least, it looks better than a random spot near the middle of NYC in Manhattan.

is a socio-cultural parameter. OSM is about geographical data. Don’t expect the never intended.