South Australian Suburb Boundaries

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Import Plan Outline


Transform, simplify and import suburb boundaries from


Starting in October 2013, ideally this will allow approximately 10-20 boundaries to be loaded per day.

There are 1867 boundaries in total, so this implies a 3-6 month effort.

Import Data


Provide links to your sources.

Data source site:
Data license:
Type of license (if applicable): CC-BY-A
Link to permission (if required):
OSM attribution (if required):
ODbL Compliance verified: yes

OSM Data Files

Import Type

Using JOSM and manually simplifying areas; plus verification of the area beforehand.

Data Preparation

Data Reduction & Simplification

Simplification via JOSM's simplify way plugin will take place where the area is > 100 nodes.

Tagging Plans

The primary tag will be boundary=administrative, admin_level=10 and include the name attribute.

Changeset Tags

JOSM will handle the majority of this.

Changeset messages will be similar to

Data Transformation

Describe the transformations you'll need to conduct, the tools you're using, and any specific configurations or code that will be used in the transformation.

Data Transformation Results

Data Merge Workflow

Team Approach



List all factors that will be evaluated in the import.


  • Download original shapefiles (done)
  • Tranform to geojson via QGIS (done)
  • Split geojson into individual features (done)
  • Render an OSM version of the geojson (done)
  • Commit/push geojson to github (done)
  • For each .osm, load in JSOM
    • Simplify (Shift + Y) if > 1000 nodes
    • Validate
    • Upload with commit message describing way
    • Resave the .osm file, which now contains the ways/ids/etc
    • Commit / push to git
    • Every few suburb boundaries, check the imported data.
      • Use JOSM's validations to fix "duplicated boundary nodes"

Reverting simply requires deletion of the individual boundaries. Given the import process is heavily manual; it's likely errors are caught quickly.


There are extremely few existing administrative boundaries within South Australia - only Adelaide and North Adelaide have any kind of data.

Similar tags for place=suburb exist, but as individual nodes. It should present no problem to leave these in place; as they should be largely contained within the polygon.


There are some suburb boundaries that are *only* lakes - Lake Gardnier, for example. In most cases, the existing polygon is preferred. This implies clean up work to connect the boundaries to the surrounding suburbs, to be done by hand.

Coastlines, Rivers, roads, etc

In most cases, a suburb will be defined as ending half way through a river or major road. Where this is evident, the boundary is treated as a distinct object for simplicity.


Periodically, using keepright to detect doubled nodes/doubled ways will be done over the South Australian area.

Open problems