Want guidance on creating a Political boundary map in Arizona

Hi all, new to openstreetmaps, but saw that when done properly in Wikipedia the boundaries defined within will translate to google maps search query and wanted to try and make my own for Arizona’s LD29. I only have kml files and those will not import, so what move would be best to give it a shot?

There are import guidelines that generally have to be followed to bring in external data.

One of the major hurdles is normally licence compatibility. I think for most US government stuff you can generally get a copy of it published under the public domain, but lawyers normally seem to be able to cite exceptions to every rule and I’m not one of them. There is some guidance on the wiki.

Assuming you can get a ‘clean’ copy without any intermediaries imposing their own terms it then generally has to be conflated with what is already in the database.

It looks to me like Arizona LD 29 is a Legislative District which as far as I can see doesn’t have administrative functions so it reads to me like it would be marked as a boundary=political relation. Most boundary relations are done with shared borders between boundaries reusing the same way(s) to avoid duplicating geometry.

There don’t appears to be any political boundaries recorded within Arizona at present although many of the administrative boundaries are recorded, so if the admin and political boundaries share borders at any point there may be some existing geometry to reuse.


At least from what I know politically boundaries aren’t usually added to Openstreetmap. I’m sure there are reasons for that, but other people can probably do a better job explaining them then I can. Except to say that it’s probably due to them not being ground verifiable, which something usually has to needs to be for it to suit the purpose of the project.

Which is also why there aren’t things like boundaries for high crime or economic areas and similar datasets based on social or legal sciences BTW. That’s not to say don’t add them, although personally I wouldn’t, but you should at least be sure you know what your getting into before hand and prepare for the boundaries to potentially reverted. Figuring out if the license for the dataset your importing is combatable with OSM or not is really the least of that to. You shouldn’t import something just because it’s freely available. Otherwise your bound to run in multiple other issues down the road.

1 Like

I have seen many political boundaries in OpenStreetMap. Tag:boundary=political - OpenStreetMap Wiki as linked by @InsertUser documents how to map it. So there’s every reason to add it to OSM.

1 Like

I’m aware of the tag. That’s why I explicitly said I personally wouldn’t do it but that my comment shouldn’t stop anyone from doing so. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should and there’s still other things to consider when importing this type of information besides just looking to see if there a tag to do it with and then hitting the import button, which was the point in my comment. And no just because there’s a tag for something doesn’t mean there’s “every reason” to import this specific dataset. There can still plenty of issues with the information someone wants to add to OpenStreeetMap regardless of the exiting tagging :man_shrugging: