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Public-images-osm logo.svg boundary = political
Osm element tag.svg
Political boundary, such as an electoral ward or parliamentary constituency Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: Boundaries
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: in use


Political, rather than administrative, boundaries are created as boundary type relations tagged boundary=political. Examples include electoral wards, electoral districts and parliamentary constituencies.

Way Tags

Ways for political (rather than administrative) boundaries do not need any special tags. If the way has no other tags, then boundary=political can be added, but it isn't really needed if the relation is correctly tagged.

Relation Tags

Key Value Discussion
type boundary
boundary political
name a name
political_division See below

Relation Members

Element Role Recurrence? Discussion
node admin_centre zero or one Node representing the administrative centre, usually a town, city or village (depending of the boundary level, see place=*)
node label zero or one Node representing where to draw the label.
way (blank) or preferably outer one or more used for outer boundary=political member ways
way exclave or outer zero or more It's often difficult to discriminate exclaves to designate one as the main "outer" area: it could be the largest one, or the area that contains the official centre, but some boundaries have several centres, or this centre is not always in the largest area. In addition there may exist exclaves that are part of the outer boundary, but which are enclaved in another boundary enclaved in the outermost area. For this reason, only "outer" and "inner" are useful geometrically.
way enclave or preferably inner zero or more


This relation tag has been proposed for political boundaries when they are distinct from administrative boundaries so admin_level=* is not applicable.

If political boundary ways are also administrative boundary ways, they should be tagged as such. Elsewhere, they could be tagged with boundary=political; political_division=*.

Examples for use in different countries have been listed below. Feel free to document any other values used below.

Country/Region Value Denotes Description
BE CAT linguistic_community Linguistic Community The three Belgian linguistic communities do not obey the traditional hierarchic scheme of administrative subdivisions; the French and Dutch communities both include for now the Brussels-Capital Region; and the German community is a small eastern part of an arrondissement, within the Province of Liege, itself within the Region of Wallonia. Also used by the Catalan community to map the area where Catalan is spoken.
insular_council Insular council Intermediate administrative and geographic boundary (which is also electoral), between the province (admin_level=6) and the comarca (admin_level=7), dividing the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, created to fully cover one major island and minor islands and unpopulated islets plus their maritime domain within the same territorial waters. Question: Could this become political_division=subregion, to unify similar regional subdivisions created by autonomous communities (tagged as regions) ?
ES-CT àmbit_funcional_territorial Àmbit funcional territorial This is the official denomination in Catalan (in Spanish ámbito funcional territorial, roughly translatable as functional territorial domain).

It is the current transitory administrative status for the later evolution into veguerias, and it is part of Pla territorial de Catalunya (see the wikipedia article and its external references). It is an an administrative status still in construction, but referenced and used officially by the Catalan Institute of Statistics (IDESCAT), already effective and with their own councils, recognized by the governemnt of Catalunya. It is an alternative specific to Catalunya to the Spanish administrative subdivision in provinces (and may replace those in some unspecified future).

The value of this tag is provisional. Question: Could this become political_division=subregion, to unify similar regional subdivisions created by autonomous communities (tagged as regions) ?

EU euro_const European Constituency Currently, only defined in 6 countries (Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom), all other countries in the European Union are not split in multiple constituencies.
In Belgium, the 3 European constituencies also match the linguistic communities (see above).
See the wikipedia article about European Parliament constituencies.
FR canton Canton Election of the conseillers départementaux (Conseil départemental, anciennement Conseil général). See FR:Cantons in France, and map
FR circonscription_législative Circonscription législative Election of the députés (Assemblée nationale). See FR:Circonscriptions législatives in France, and map
Note that this map currently does not distinguish the different types which are overlaid (but still use the same colors). This should change with an additional filter.
GB IN parl_const Parliamentary Constituency  
IN assm_const Assembly Constituency  
GB county_division County Council Electoral Division Are often the same as the district wards, but not always.
GB ward Electoral Ward  
PH congressional_district Representative district See the section on representative districts in the Wikipedia article about Philippine legislative districts

See also

The wikipedia article about  List of electoral districts by nation.