Strange new "admin boundary" in Poland


some days ago a mapper added a new Administrative Boundary with admin_level=3 in your country.

it has been changed to admin_level=5 by another mapper:
which was commented by one member of your community. but he did not answer.

There is no other AL5-Boundary in Poland yet, exept this one. said “there is no admin_level=5 boundary in Poland”

May be this is a history boundary or something else - but it is never ever an AL5 (or AL3 as is was added)



Actually it is not historical but quite new. It the polish first and so far only metropolitan area created in mid 2017 as an association of communities/municipalities within the Silesian Voivodeship which came into effect on 1st January 2018.
As fas as the territory is concerned it is smaller than a Voivodeship but greater than a powiat that is why I suppose the mapper changed the level to AL5…

This is Metropolitan area. This is something new in Poland, started to operate beginning of this year and for now there are legal grounds only for this one instance. As far as I see, some other countries (Brazil, Bolivia, India) decided to mark Metro areas with admin_level, while some other not (Turkey, Austria, Sweden) - at least that’s what comes from quick cross check of our Wiki and Wikipedia.

I don’t have yet an opinion about it’s this particular relation in OSM.

ok, was new to me.

but there is a geometric problem: Usually admin boundaries are hirarchical organized.
E.g: All AL4 together build the AL2 (country), and all AL6 of a state (AL4) build that state.

Now you are creating boundaries, which overlap existing boundaries. e.g one AL5 contains parts of different AL4.
That is breaking the unwritten rule: “an area can’t be a partial member of two other areas”.

In my point of view the “association of communities/municipalities” is not an Admin-Boundary (boundary=administrative) but something else, e.g. boundary=region as we did in Germany.

osm-wiki says: “The admin_level key describes the administrative level of an object within a government hierarchy.”
and this AL5 is breaking the rule.


From quick look it seems that boundary=region would be preferable.

great :slight_smile:

walter (hoping this will be changed)

As I sympathize with you and your argumentation, how this is in other parts of the world? I’ve just checked Brazil, and there you have:
AL3 Central West Region
AL3 Southeast Region

And there it is:
AL6 Região Integrada de Desenvolvimento do Distrito Federal e Entorno

Which consists of area in both above mentioned AL3. I’m not sure if this unwritten rule holds in reality.

Every country is a little bit different, but i think, that this Region - as the name says - is not an admin boundary too.

I did a short uncomplete check: the usual layout of brazil is AL2 / AL3 / AL4 / AL5 / AL7 / AL8 - no AL5

may be i have to contact those mappers too.


btw: Boundaries Map is a good way to check that, i think

What I’m trying to point out, is that this problem might be related with having metropolitan areas tagged as administrative boundaries, which is not that common, and usually there would just a few such areas per country.

And they take some duties of local administration to a higher level that’s why I see the point in tagging it as a administrative boundary. OTOH your arguments are also valid.

What we need to get is tagging scheme for such objects, nice if it could be consistent across world.

I guess that you would need to contact all countries that do have admin_level defied for metropolitan areas.

I don’t think there is such a rule in reality, unfortunately.

One counterexample is the French community in Belgium, which is composed of Brussels and part of Wallonia (excluding the German community).

Another counterexample is the Canadian town of Lloydminster, which has a single municipal administration while half of it is part of Alberta and the other half of Saskatchewan. No, this is not a problem in our data, source.

If it’s an association of cities, why use new boundary at all? Wouldn’t a relation be better here?