I live in a master planned city of Irvine, CA, where the land is owned by a single company, namely, The Irvine Company. The city has been split by the Company into 35 or so “planning areas”. These have ref numbers as in PA15, PA9B, etc., but also colorful names: Woodbridge, Stonegate, Portola Springs and so on and so forth. They are also referred to as “villages” in the Company’s marketing materials. At any given time, homes are being built and sold in three to six of these “villages”. Other “villages”, sometimes referred simply as “areas”, are well established - as much as as any area can be established in a city that’s 40 years young. Residents are well aware of the names of the areas they live in, they know which areas are more desirable, etc. Obviously, real estate agents are very well versed in these as well. Each area is supposed to have a look and feel as far as the architectural style, each one has a community park, at least one shopping center (“village center” as the marketing brochure will tell you), etc.
If I were to map these, I am not sure if they would qualify as administrative boundaries, but if they did, they would be admin_level=9 (the city being 8). I don’t think they have the same administrative status as the boroughs in NYC, but they show up on Google and other “official” maps:
Behold the brand new area of Orchard Hills, with a few years-old Woodbury to the south of it and Portola Springs, also just being built, to the east.
If I were to draw each one of these “planning areas”, they would fit together like a puzzle and cover the entire city and then some: a few planning areas extend into the neighboring cities or include unincorporated land in the city’s “sphere of influence”. Here’s the official map: http://library.municode.com/HTML/13239/images/9-0-4.jpg
My first question is how to tag these.
name=* is a given, landuse=residential is probably unnecessary, in part because it would be inaccurate (each planning area, aside from residential communities, contains retail areas, many contain agricultural land, preservation, light industrial, etc.) and in part because I am planning on mapping the neighborhoods within these areas and tagging them as landuse=residential. ref=* is probably a good idea unless it will interfere with some rendering scenarios.
boundary=admin, admin_level=9 is tempting, but not all who I showed these maps to think these are administrative divisions.
boundary=planning_area? This would be very explicit and very precise for my particular project, but it would not make sense almost anywhere else in the world (btw, there are no such values in the database as of now). By the way, some of the newer areas are surrounded by a wall or a natural barrier with only a few entry points. It would be nice to mark those.
Do I add is_in:city=Irvine? Wiki says “is_in” is controversial. Some claim it’s unnecessary because each node or way can be placed “in” the containing place by the algorithms.
Do I, instead (or an addition), add these planning areas to a relation, what would this relation look like?
In the final analysis, I want my tagging help answer a query: “What are all the planning areas of Irvine?” as well as “Which planing area is this point in?”
And that was just my first concern. My second has to do with mapping residential neighborhoods. I don’t think there is a specific schema for mapping these in the wiki.
A “neighborhood”, also called a “development”, “subdivision”, “tract” or “residential community” in various contexts, generally has a name, type of housing (detached vs condos vs apartments), probably an HOA, it can be gated or ungated, and whether it is gated, it is usually surrounded by barrier with one or two entry/exit points, which would be nice to mark. In my city, a neighborhood also belongs to a particular planning area, although that may not be the case elsewhere. I need a schema or best practices for all of these values, too.
Do I tag neighborhoods as is_in:area, is_in:planning_area, is_in:village? Or do I instead add them to a relation that represents the planning area? And if so, how does this relation relate (forgive the tautology) to the outline of the planning area I proposed creating earlier?
The idea is that someone with correct tools and UI can ask “What neighborhoods exist in Orchard Hills?” “Which area is Esperanza Apartments in?” Possibly someone would want to know “How many apartment neighborhoods are there in each planning area of Irvine?”
Just so you have a better picture of what it all looks like, here’s a map of all neighborhoods and planing areas in the city
Strictly speaking, it’s a map of HOAs, but there is pretty much as one-to-one relations between HOAs and neighborhood. Each planning area gets a master HOA or community association. So in reading the legend, 4.1 is a Northpark Community Association corresponding to the planning area of Northpark, and 4.11 is the neighborhood of San Simeon within Northpark. The map does not make a distinction between homes and apartments.
I don’t know if my project is too ambitious or useless, but at the very least I want to understand what everybody else is doing in terms of mapping the cities down to smaller components.