Dear Dutch Mappers,

I’ve a question about your metropol regions (especially) Amsterdam. It’s already discussed here and here.

We’ve using nominatim for a location based game to get an hierarchical structure of regions. Now, in the Netherlands, especially the Amsterdam region it becomes a bit confusing, cause a low level area belongs to multiple upper area regions. That’s unusual and unlogic for me and also not documented in the osm wiki. Also I’m not sure if the MRA is an administrative region (even it has an administrative bureau).
After checking the webpages it’s more looking like an economical region (which nominatim would ignore).

Also in the German discussion they told me, that putting subareas into relations is a bad behavior. From the logical point its strange for me to have lvl 4 and lvl 6 regions als “childs” of an lvl 7…

So lets see if you can make this construct a bit more clear for the orderly Germans ^^ (and also for algorithms)

The Metropoolregio Amsterdam (MRA) is a cooperative body (as in they work together). It’s members are:
2 provinces
33 municipalities
the VRA (Transport Authority Amsterdam)

The MRA is labeled on it’s website as an “office”, so it seems to have no administrative power.
It is a cooperative and coordinating body. Just a “round table” so it seems. It has threee platforms: [Space and zoning], mobility, economy.

But as a highly urbanized metropolitan area, it is sometimes used for marketing and statistical reasons.

A similar body exists in the southern part of the Randstad, the Zuidvleugel (southern wing) (The MRA was previously known as northern wing).

Those are not to be confused with bodies such as for Amsterdam the VRA (Vervoersregio Amsterdam, formerly known as SRA - Stadsregio Amsterdam), which has administrative powers, mainly on regional and public transport. The MRDH (Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag) is another such example.
But the VRA is just an administrative entity it’s member municipalities and provinces have delegated some of their powers to. It is not an administative region in the municipality-province-state hierarchy. It is also not a democratic entity.


Thanks for response. If I understand right, setting boundary to economic(al) makes much more sense than administrative? That would make things clearer and not confusing nominatim.

I think local_authority makes most sense.

Whatever tagging gets chosen, the documentation for the admin_levels in The Netherlands will need to be updated to reflect those changes.

I’m more and more of the opinion that we shouldn’t have any boundaries other than the kingdom, countries, provinces, municipalities & cities in OSM. All other boundaries should be removed and people interested in those should use their own system for them. Nature reserves/protected areas are probably fine to keep.

The Metropoolregio is not an administrative or local authority. It is just a “round table”.

The VRA is a local authority though.

As indicated on the level 6 have ceased to exist from 2015-01-01.

Background is a change in Dutch law, as explained on

I guess that makes the successors level 7 in the scheme on the Wiki , although -for what it’s worth-I personally don’t see real user value in rendering them in standard Carto…

So than choose whatever you like (except administrative - which is used by nominatim and give strange results cause of the admin_level) :wink:

EDIT: Changed VRA to local_authority too. Please also see this post.