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Hi all,

I'd like to point out a map rendering issue. Some municipalities (admin level 6-8) in Italy are a collection of scattered villages and hamlets (100-200 or even less inhabitants as per the definition on having their own distinct names. The name of the main municipality is, however, different from those of its villages and hamlets and while it is an admin unit with its boundary, HOWEVER the name label does not appear on the OSM map, whereas the label of the hamlet or village designated as a capital village/head village - that is where the town hall is located - appears on the map at any level of zooming, like for all the other villages and hamlets that are similar municipalities (admin level 6-8) made of one single village or with the head village having the same name of the admin unit.

As an example, the village of Fagnano Alto (admin level 8, is made of a number of hamlets and villages, but its name and label ( does not appear on the map. The head village is Vallelunga, which is pretty much unknown to anyone. Same for the nearby villages of Lucoli and Ocre - none of their names appear on the map, despite being admin level 8.

When the OSM map is used as a background map on other websites, for instance the Italy's National Earthquake Institute (INGV), this abovementioned information from the map is missing: while the website itself mentions the name of the village, the user cannot find it on the map at all. This is a fresh example ( of an earthquake recorded near the village of Lucoli: the INGV website shows the OSM map with a blue pin (epicentre of the earthquake) but when zooming in the name of ''Lucoli'', mentioned in the website as the closest municipality to where the epicentre is, is nowhere to be seen on the map.

The Italian Ordnance Survey (IGM), the Touring Club (a sort of Lonely Planet) and other national maps all shows these labels of villages, made of scattered hamlets and villages, with a label placed right above or nearby the head village which has its own name.

Can something similar be made in OSM, for instance making the label/node itself visible at the same level of other similar admin units, in order to improve the communication of this essential piece of information to users who search the map for this very information, without cluttering the map with other labels?

Many thanks

asked 02 Aug '19, 11:51

Fintocubano's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 02 Aug '19, 12:19

I sm new to all this and don't have the complete answer, but there seems to be a way to handle this. I live in the Town of Barnstable in Massachusetts. The town is made up of a number of villages. You can search for "Cotuit, MA" to find and example. Others are Marstons Mills and Osterville. At some zoom level you see an icon/object (not sure of the vocabulary here) near the center of the village. The Feature Type is "Borough/Suburb." It's not clear to me how it was designated. You can look at this link and see if you can figure out:

Good luck with it.

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answered 26 Sep '20, 11:01

Swamp%20Fox's gravatar image

Swamp Fox
accept rate: 0%

edited 26 Sep '20, 11:05

I'm also not able to give a technical answer, but I think the rendering decisions are ultimately decided by human beings (obviously), who will have their own outlooks.

It may be that in Italy a map is generally expected to show the (administrative?) name of the collection of villages (because that is how people talk about the area), whereas in other parts of the world (perhaps the UK, which often seems to preponderate in map matters) it's the reverse: the collective name is just for administrative purposes, and people know and use the names of individual hamlets.

So this may be fixable by a rendering tweak, but it may also be a matter of 'theology'.

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answered 26 Sep '20, 13:55

eteb3's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

This is a very specific rendering requirement for Italian municipalities (i.e., Fagnano Alto) which would most likely be inappropriate in other parts of the world, and therefore is unlikely to be followed through by the Carto-CSS team. The normal way to handle this would be to create a renderer specific to Italian use-cases: these exist for other European countries (e.g., France, Switzerland, Germany), or have been created by individuals for their own specific preferences.

As municipalities merge in other countries some of the same issues may arise, but I suspect not as the village names which were also former municipalities are still well-known.

As it stands municipal boundaries are already shown and named, even if not highly visible at lower zoom levels.

In short, this requirement is too specific to one country to be appropriate for a worldwide map.

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answered 26 Sep '20, 15:14

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

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question asked: 02 Aug '19, 11:51

question was seen: 1,968 times

last updated: 26 Sep '20, 15:14

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