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When zooming out from Milton Keynes, the primary name [Milton Keynes] disappears but its sub-districts (Bletchley, Stony Stratford, Newport Pagnell) remain for another zoom level. Is this intended? Given the population of Milton Keynes [almost 230k at 2011 census), surely it should stay visible for as long as other cities of similar scale - eg Norwich. Compare for example with Peterborough (which is smaller): first, the primary name [Peterborough] is always shown with a larger font size than any of its districts: Milton Keynes is not. When zooming out, the sub-districts disappear as expected but the primary name remains until country scale is reached,

asked 01 Jul '14, 17:33

John%20Maynard%20Friedman's gravatar image

John Maynard...
accept rate: 0%

edited 01 Jul '14, 18:03

cartinus's gravatar image


One aspect is how it is tagged: Bletchley, Stony Stratford, Newport Pagnell and Milton Keynes are all mapped as place=town. Peterborough is mapped as place=city.

Another aspect is how much place there is on the map: Bletchley, Stony Stratford, Newport Pagnell and Milton Keynes are closer together than Peterborough and the towns around it. Labels are never drawn in place where there is already another label (or icon).

The first you can influence. But I don't know what rules the English mappers have agreed on for calling something a town or city. The second you can't influence as it is a combination of chance and the length of the name.

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answered 01 Jul '14, 18:01

cartinus's gravatar image

accept rate: 27%

Many English mappers will only accept a place as a city if it has a Royal charter, no matter how big (or indeed small - see Ely) it is. But it is perverse to prioritise the consituent parts over the whole. For background info, see Wikipedia.

(01 Jul '14, 18:56) John Maynard...

But it is perverse to prioritise the consituent parts over the whole.

Please read my answer again. It's simple chance, because they are mapped as of equal importance.

(01 Jul '14, 19:11) cartinus

Yes, I saw that. I suppose my sour-grapes comment was aimed at whoever did it like that in the first place. Maybe they didn't have a choice?

You say that I can 'influence' that. How? (a) within OSM functions available to ordinary users and/or (b) given they ''are'' all (legally) towns but Milton Keynes is a large 'new town' that legally incorporates the others. So unless OSM supports the concept of 'non-city large towns' that have have a higher precedence or 'score' over ordinary/small towns, it won't be possible. [I see it is not acceptable just to attach a 'city' attribute as a workaround.

(02 Jul '14, 14:42) John Maynard...
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question asked: 01 Jul '14, 17:33

question was seen: 5,470 times

last updated: 02 Jul '14, 14:42

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