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I'd like to get the proper administrative and/or place boundaries in place, as the various tools seem to completely ignore the is_in=Telford for streets near the various place=suburb nodes, and instead pick a nearby village seemingly at random...

The question is how one finds out the proper boundary as opposed to making one up. Where is there a source of details of administrative boundaries that we can use?

The nearest I found to a good source so far is at Borough ward boundary maps page on Telford and Wrekin Council's website, however I assume these are not usable because the site says "Telford & Wrekin Council © 2011", and each individual downloadable file also asserts Crown Copyright...

Are we in fact free to use these details despite the copyright warning (i.e. is this same data available to OSM courtesy of OS OpenData)? If not, what is the proper source for entering these?

asked 20 Jul '11, 22:15

banoffee's gravatar image

accept rate: 23%

edited 20 Jul '11, 22:57


Looking around further, I found this page which, when turning on the "Unitary Authority Ward" boundary layer, shows essentially the same data (although perhaps with subtle differences to the copyright source!).

Given that this is within the OS OpenData, I assume this is allowable with appropriate attribution if nobody is aware of a better source.

Is there a standard way to import such boundaries from the raw data, or should I just draw lines so that it looks the same?

(20 Jul '11, 23:25) banoffee

The Ordnance Survey Boundary-Line data contains most GB administrative boundaries, including council areas, districts, wards and parishes. This is available under the OS OpenData licence, so can be used in OpenStreetMap. This data is provided in Shapefile vector format, and you can download it from OS OpenData Downloads.

In terms of actually adding it to OSM, there is some very useful advice here: Using OS Shapefiles. Basically, you can extract a particular polygon and save it as an .osm file. This can then be opened in JOSM, and uploaded to OpenStreetMap as usual.

Note that after loading the data it in JOSM, there is still a bit of work to do before uploading. ie make sure it is connected to any neighbouring boundaries, and not duplicating or overlapping ways. And add all of the correct parts to a boundary relation, with appropriate admin_level tags etc. Also make sure the boundary has source tags, to attribute the OS.

Its probably best to start off with your local area, where you have some knowledge of where the boundaries should be. If planning on adding boundaries for a wider area, you should probably follow the Import guidelines and discuss it first.

Though note the official administrative or ward boundaries do not necessarily match the names of places. eg a ward may split a suburb or town into several pieces. So making up a suburb boundary (with local knowledge, and checking signs on the ground) may actually be more useful.

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answered 21 Jul '11, 02:46

Vclaw's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%


An excellent answer, that covers exactly the information I was looking for, and quite a lot more besides!

At this time I anticipate that not only will I start off with my local area, but finish there too... the main motivation is that showing local addresses as being "in Jackfield" is simply wrong, when any fool can see they're "in Telford". To fix this it seems necessary to draw the complete administrative boundary for Telford, and tempted as I am to just draw two straight lines to close it at the north, I thought it better to put the boundary in the right place.

(21 Jul '11, 12:51) banoffee

The approach I've taken so far was to install QGIS, edit a copy of parish_region.shp and delete everything outside my area of interest (easier said than done!). This smaller shapefile is manageable in Merkaartor as a layer, which can export it in .osm format to be loaded into JOSM. (I'm sure a command-line tool would do the job too, but this way worked)

I'll have a big editing session to do soon..... main aim to get an admin_level=8 for the town of Telford in place, as a superset of the several civil parishes within it, so that local addresses at least include the correct town.

(21 Jul '11, 16:49) banoffee

When importing parish boundaries for my local area I have found with qgis is is easiest to select the stuff I want then right click on the layer name in the sidebar and choose "Save Selection as Shapefile".

(21 Jul '11, 20:31) quantumstate

No you are not free to ignore copyright warnings.

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answered 20 Jul '11, 22:17

petschge's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%


I'm aware of that... however I wondered if the equivalent data was included in some form in the data that Ordnance Survey have in fact given us permission to use.... or if not, what data exists that we can use.

If you prefer, ignore the "copyright of this specific data" part of the question, and consider it to be "I want to draw the administrative boundaries. How do I find out where to draw them?"

(20 Jul '11, 22:19) banoffee

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question asked: 20 Jul '11, 22:15

question was seen: 7,354 times

last updated: 21 Jul '11, 20:31

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