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There is an ongoing problem with most maps in on the internet, including this one, with regard to the name of the county in Scotland where I live.

The county is correctly called "Argyll".

However, there is also a major island in the region which is called "Bute", and it is not a part of the traditional county of Argyll. So the local County Council is called "Argyll & Bute County Council". That means it is the County Council for the island of Bute and the county of Argyll.

Unfortunately, most people take it the other way, and assume the county itself is called "Argyll & Bute", which is incorrect. It is only the County Council that has this in its name. So for example, I live on the wee island of Gigha in the county of Argyll, but OpenStreetMap says that the isle of Gigha is in the county of "Argyll & Bute", which is incorrect, as there is no such county name. So how can one correct this mistake? By the way, Google Maps make the same mistake.

asked 06 Apr '12, 18:50

Don_on_Gigha's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

The consensus in OpenStreetMap is to map current administrative areas. Which in the case of Scotland, is the council areas which have been in use for administrative purposes since 1996. There have not been any "County Councils" in Scotland since 1975. See the list on Wikipedia: Council areas of Scotland.

So Gigha is within the "Argyll and Bute" council area (which is not, and has never been a county). Traditional or historic counties are not usually mapped in OpenStreetMap, in Scotland anyway. OpenStreetMap is supposed to be current, and shows what exists and is in use now.

As for what shows on the map, it is true that the standard map on does have a label for "Argyll and Bute" in the middle of Gigha, and does show council area boundaries. But you can download the OpenStreetMap data and use it to produce a map without council areas and labels for them if you want. Or try using a different map style - eg if you switch to the "MapQuest Open" map style, it does not appear to label council areas.

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answered 06 Apr '12, 23:49

Vclaw's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%

OK, it is the "administrative area" that is referred to as Argyll & Bute. But on lists for Counties of Scotland, Argyll & Bute always is shown, and this is NOT a county name. And you are correct that the body I was referring to is called properly "Argyll & Bute Council". So here is the problem. If the term "Argyll" by itself has no meaning, then what the heck is it doing in the Council name? If Argyll has no legal reference anymore (as you imply) then it surely cannot be used in this way. And yet the council is ARGYLL & Bute Council, so logically that means that ARGYLL is a place name with meaning. And all of the people in Argyll know that it refers to the County area. We live in Argyll. We do not live in "Argyll & Bute". If there happened to be an administrative area called London and Cambridge Council, you would not wish to refer to the people living in Clapham as being in "London and Cambridge", but that is pretty much precisely what you do by insisting that our county area be referred to by the title of the administrative area council. It works well in all other regions as far as I am aware, but as nomenclature goes for Argyll, it really does not work well at all.

(07 Apr '12, 03:17) Don_on_Gigha

Not enough room to put my answer here, so put a general Answer to my own question, but it is meant to be for you, Vclaw.

(07 Apr '12, 03:18) Don_on_Gigha

... converted your answer to a comment, so it should be alright now.

(09 Apr '12, 15:01) stephan75

Ordnance Survey publish a variety of data as Open Data. Part of this Boundary Line which includes the boundaries of counties, parishes, electoral wards, districts and regions across Scotland, England and Wales. It includes an area in the west of Scotland, both mainland and islands, called Argyll and Bute. That is probably where OSM gets its boundary data from.

I understand pedantry about county names, I live in the East Riding of Yorkshire which had a spell under the sobriquet of Humberside. These political wrangles have no place in OSM. I would have tagged the county Humberside even though I wanted the old name restored. If, in the future, an area is called Argyll, it will get tagged as that.

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answered 07 Apr '12, 21:17

ChrisH's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

  • Click the edit tab. (Assuming you have an account set up)
  • Find the county boundary and select it.
  • Click the "Advanced"-button at the left lower corner.
  • Double-click the row located in the lower table called "Relation"

A new window should appear and you can edit the name of the county.

(If the first step is difficult enough you can watch these video-tutorials to get started)

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answered 06 Apr '12, 20:25

TheOddOne2's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

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question asked: 06 Apr '12, 18:50

question was seen: 6,371 times

last updated: 09 Apr '12, 15:01

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum