Proposed features/Place NUTS

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Place NUTS
Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: *
Tagging: place_nuts=[[Tag:place_nuts=<1-5>|<1-5>]]
Applies to: node
Definition: A way of country independent place and territory descrpition and classification.
Drafted on:
Proposed on: 2007-12-15

NUTS is an international system for unifying description of administrative divisions systems. I propose adding place_nuts key with values from 1 through 5 to describe administration and territory units clearly.


Today, the classification of places seems to be biased towards UK and/or US systems because that is where OSM has been developed. As the project crosses borders there is a need for generalization to make it possible to use OSM in different countries without a risk of misunderstanding.

For example. There are three territorial units: state, region and county. In Poland there are also three such units: województwo (voivodship), powiat (county) and gmina (commune), which in no way can match OSM ones.

However, the system might be considered a bit euro-centric it seems to be flexible enough to use it outsied of Europe too.

Unlike state/region/county place_nuts does not apply to areas. Boundary key should be used to mark boundaries between territories.

Applies to



Nodes -- labels of different sizes in the below zoom ranges, possibly translucent.

  • place_nuts=1 - zoom levels 5 through 7
  • place_nuts=2 - 6-9
  • place_nuts=3 - 7-10
  • place_nuts=4 - 8-11
  • place_nuts=5 - 9-12

Zoom levels might need to be adjusted for each country separately depending on visual results.


I don't think this is very useful, as NUTS simply tries to divide countries up for statistical purposes into areas that are statistically similar, e.g. by population size. Many of the NUTS divisions don't reflect any sort of political division actually in use anywhere within the country. e.g. for Poland, the NUTS-1 "Groups of Voivodeships" are not used within poland itself, only for applications that use NUTS.

For Poland, it would be better to simply map the Voivodeships, powiats, and gminas themselves. Whether the terms that are used are in the native language (voivodeship, powiat, and gmina) or translated (province, county, municipality) can be determined separately, though I think OSM has standardized on English for most the base tag set.. IMO it would be better to simply use the translated terms, and add where necessary, e.g. border_type=province, border_type=county, border_type=municipality.

I guess if someone wants to map the NUTS divisions for some reason, they could add an additional boundary around the NUTS-1 groups of voivodeships and tag them border_type=NUTS1

Hawke 17:51, 28 February 2008 (UTC)