Talk:WikiProject Belgium/Boundaries

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Missing info

There is an important information missing on this page: is it automatically generated or is the mapper supposed to update it? Whichever is true, guessing it wrong is a disaster. --A Pirard 08:18, 26 September 2012 (BST)

It was all manually put into the page, hence it's probably very out of date right now... --Eimai 10:41, 11 October 2012 (BST)


There is a problem with the communities: one city can belong to both the French community and the Flemish community. However, with Nominatim, only the Flemish community is quoted as folows: "Brussels, Flemish Community, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium, Europe". I suggest to drop the communities from the hierachical order --Cordialement, gerdami 14:31, 31 March 2012 (BST)

Done. They are now in a different type of boundary relation. — Verdy_p (talk) 00:23, 26 May 2012 (BST)
And re-added them to admin_level 5. There's nothing that prohibits a certain area to belong to two administrative regions of the same level. Fix nominatim instead. --Eimai 10:40, 11 October 2012 (BST)
This is an unilateral change by you and without notice. These communities have *NEVER* been at level 5, in fact they have been created separately from administrative levels. You even made errors when changing these relations, even though they were patiently and correctly defined, and documented as such since the beginning. You even unilaterally removed the information and warning about these facts in the article page for the project. — Verdy_p (talk) 22:23, 14 October 2012 (BST)
The unilateral change was first made by you. The rule on admin_level=5 for communities has been in Belgium for years. And you don't just change conventions that are in place. --Eimai 16:03, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Btw, you might also want to respond to some other complaints some boundary mappers in Belgium have with you. You've basically managed to let them throw in the towel and stop mapping them further. --Eimai 16:05, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Arrondissement names

For reference:

Note the relevant examples: "Manchester", but "New York City".

In favour of including "Arrondissement" in the name

  • --Sanderd17 12:47, 29 August 2012 (BST)
  • --Ivodeb 14:04 29 August 2012 (BST)

Not in favour of including "Arrondissement" in the name

  • --Eimai 13:27, 29 August 2012 (BST)
  • --Ptityeti 14:37, 29 August 2012 (BST)
  • Cordialement -- gerdami 09:29, 26 September 2012 (BST)
  • not needed, this is infered from the admin_level 7, and they may be cited without this precision (for example in lists of arrondissements). Such precision may be added automatically in applications if needed but this will be complicated if they are specified depending on the language. This is the same reason for which we do not use the formal long names as the default names, such as "Belgium" and not "Kingdom of Belgium". Short names are enough for most usages (if you really want to include them in the database, specify them in "official_name=*" tags, but not in "name=*" tags, or add the "prefix" and/or "suffix" tags which have been experimented in some countries like Germany). — Verdy_p (talk) 00:30, 15 October 2012 (BST)

Boundaries of deelgemeenten

Hello everyone, Does anyone know where it is possible to obtain the boundaries of deelgemeenten or villages in Belgium? --Kattengrind 18:32, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Have a look at the Web site of the State Archives of Belgium: --Foxandpotatoes (talk) 10:05, 6 May 2020 (UTC)

And also on: --Foxandpotatoes (talk) 19:34, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Unification of place nodes

I think we're in need of some unification of the place=* nodes (We don't use place=* on areas, only on center nodes).

For the record, currently, we have the following numbers of place=* nodes in Belgium.

Total: 5065

The current rules are as following:

  • When it's a municipality that has more than 100 000 inhabitants -> city
  • When it's a municipality or a part-municipality that has more than 10 000 inhabitants -> town
  • When other municipalities and part-municipalities -> village

Apart from that, there are no rules. There are certain problems though.

  • Some suburbs/neighbourhoods in Gent are called "hamlets", other as "neighbourhood", while there is no difference in size.
  • Some municipalities the contain some part-municipalities but don't have a dense population are considered towns (while the village doesn't look like a town and is hardly bigger than any surrounding village), F.e. Zonnebeke and Staden.
  • There are a number of municipalities having the title of Stad/Ville that don't get a town tag in OSM. While usually, places with a Stad/Ville title are more interesting to visit (even if they're smaller), and more referenced in history, so should be shown prominently on the map.
  • The renderers don't get a good idea on what to render. Like on z10, looking at West-Flanders, the map shows Staden and Rumbeke, but not the more important town Roeselare. While Rumbeke is a part of Roeselare, and Staden can only be considered a village. It's not our job to fix the renderer, but it is our job to provide good hints about what to render. By classifying Roeselare, Rumbeke and Staden as "town", they're all considered equally important.

So I'm proposing the following, more complete, less ambiguous rules:

  • If the place is a municipality, and has at least 100 000 inhabitants -> place=city
  • .. a municipality, and it has the Stad/Ville title -> place=town
  • .. a municipality, and the biggest centre has at least 10 000 inhabitants -> place=town
  • .. a municipality -> place=municipality
  • .. an independent city-district with a district council (currently only Antwerp has that) -> place=borough
  • .. a part-municipality, and is indistinguishably connected to the neighbouring main town or city -> place=suburb
  • .. a part-municipality -> place=village
  • .. a residential area, visibly separated from existing town or village centres (this doesn't mean it can't be connected through ribbon development) -> place=hamlet
  • .. part of an bigger residential area (city/town/village/...) -> place=neighbourhood
  • .. hardly a residential area, but just a few houses -> place=isolated_dwelling
  • Else if there are no houses at all -> place=locality

With this proposal, I think renderers would get a better sight on how important a place is, and how it has to be rendered. The only possible problems are deciding between the four last cases (is it separated or not, big enough to be called a hamelet, ...) but I consider those to be more or less equivalent in worth (they're not used in address information, and are normally rendered the same). So it's only a minor problem.

This schema will also not be supported by mapnik (although it only consists out of standard tags). F.e. Borough and Municipality are currently not rendered. This can give problems with newbies wanting to get their name rendered, but since it uses worldwide supported tags, it's up to the mapnik devs to fix it (see --Sanderd17 (talk) 14:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Fine for me, does this mean that we need to retag a lot of place nodes ? Do you have an Overpass Query to find them ? --Escada (talk) 13:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)



Or (for certain types only)


To be used in

Though automatic retagging won't be possible. It can only be used to get all the nodes. --Sanderd17 (talk) 14:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

EDIT: sorry, missed your actual question. Most of the cities, towns and villages are OK. And they aren't very hard to check either. The biggest work will be the smaller ones, like distinguishing between the current hamlets, localities and neighbourhoods. As most of those names don't appear in any official dataset. --Sanderd17 (talk) 14:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree that the rules should be updated a little bit. We didn't have many tags that exist nowadays when the rules were written. But I would remove some of the tags you propose and stay closer to the current situation, partly because you're proposing changes that will lose some of the size information:
Don't use borough, the districts of Antwerp aren't really different from the part-municipalities of other cities in reality (special tags just because it has a district council shouldn't be done IMHO).
Also suburb was never on the list because it was historically for suburbs like the size of Manhattan or Queens in New York, basically city sized entities. I would just keep them town/village depending on their size. Don't introduce discussion about whether it is separate from the main city, and take a town like Mortsel which is basically part of the Antwerp agglomeration but a separate municipality, which should suddenly become something else than for example Deurne which is a part-municipality of Antwerp.
If a part-municipality has over 10000 inhabitants it should still be a town.
Neighbourhoods in cities and towns as neighbourhood and hamlets as hamlet: this is what I'm doing in practice now (we unfortunately didn't have a neighbourhood tag years ago, so there the rule for a neighbourhood as a hamlet as best possible option originated)
place=municipality is also one of those strange new tags, prone to introduce new confusion. I'd still use the rules for town/village for now, with the node placed somewhere depending on the exact situation as we do now.
Eimai (talk) 21:50, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

For Cities and Towns in Flanderns you should take account of the legal classification that is in Ruimtelijk Structuurplan Vlaanderen. An overview and classification of the Flemisch towns are on the map (Kaart 2) on page 214 of . What is not on the map are municipalities. That classification is based on importance of a place and doesn't take account if a place got somewhere in history the title of town and results in a map that is closer to reality then to history. EeBie 20 Oktober 2014