OSM Inspector/Views/Boundaries

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The Boundaries view in OSM Inspector shows administrative boundaries (i.e. between countries, districts, etc.).


This view should help tagging boundaries between countries, states, districts, etc.

There are currently two options when tagging boundaries. One uses just ways, another uses relations. This view shows both, but favours the relations one, as it seems to be the way to go.

Data sources

All data in this view is derived from OSM data.


The Coastline is shown as a brown line. It is an open question whether coastlines should also act as boundaries or whether boundaries should go out into the water. In any case they are important in this context, so they are shown.

In the Boundary ways layers ways tagged as boundary=administrative are shown as lines. If they have admin_level=1 to admin_level=4 they are shown as black lines (level 2 to 4 with additional colored outline). If they are level 5 or higher they are shown as gray lines.

In the Boundary relations layers relations tagged as boundary=administrative are shown as striped areas with a single colored line for the boundary. If they have admin_level=1 to admin_level=4 they are shown with horizontal stripes, with layer 5 and above as vertical stripes. Boundary relations are only shown if the ways they have as members form a complete polygon! If the relations are named, the names are shown in the area. The number in parentheses after the name is the admin level.

Boundary ways with unknown admin levels (ie. with unknown admin_level=*) are shown as red lines. Known are the levels between 1 and 10, see boundary=* for details. Note that the OSM Inspector doesn't understand admin levels with several numbers in it (like admin_level=2;6 and flags them as errors. Those are only needed when mapping boundaries as ways only. If you use relations you simply have several relations for the different admin levels.

Boundary ways which cross or touch themselves are shown in pink in the Non-simple boundary ways layer. Sometimes you can use the Geometry View to help in debugging those.


  • Boundary relations do not get the OSM Browser button lit up, add a check for rel_id? --Thomas Wood 19:43, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

See also