Thanks for reaching out to the U.S. community on Slack. For the benefit of those who aren’t there, Silicon Valley is already mapped as a
place=region node following this talk-us-sfbay discussion. You can find it by searching Nominatim, but not by looking at most rendered maps, because
place=region carries too little information about geographic scope to be labeled reliably.
It’s very difficult to decide where to place the Silicon Valley node, because it isn’t a strictly geographic term. Locals primarily use “Silicon Valley” to refer to the technology industry and only use it as a place name for marketing reasons, like how the City of San José bills itself as the “Capital of Silicon Valley” (
admin_centre, anyone?). We use other names like “South Bay”, “San Francisco Peninsula”, and “Santa Clara Valley” to refer to a more specific geography. The
place=region node ended up at a historical site, a garage where the West Coast electronics industry got its start, but most tech companies are further to the south these days, closer to San José.
The popular understanding of “Silicon Valley” differs outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. So our local POI import is named after Santa Clara County, but when I promote it to the broader OSM community as a case study in POI imports, I call it the “Silicon Valley POI import”, because people are more likely to know what that means, even though we’re importing far more than tech company headquarters.
Not every regional moniker is so fraught with ambiguity, but the problem of defining the region probably dissuades many people from mapping the regions they’re familiar with. Neighborhood names are similar, with some that are well-defined, others amorphous, and still others that are difficult to associate with any center coordinate.