Opened 10 years ago

Closed 6 years ago

#3430 closed enhancement (invalid)

Reverse lookup in Belgium

Reported by: kurt@… Owned by: geocoding@…
Priority: major Milestone:
Component: nominatim Version:
Keywords: Belgium, Belgian communities Cc: gerdami


Currently the url gives as result:

<result place_id="125122431" osm_type="way" osm_id="87751721"> Peter De Brabandere, 1, Lipseweg, Tildonk, Haacht, Flemish Brabant, Flemish Community, Flanders, Belgium </result> <addressparts> <house_number>1</house_number> <pharmacy>Peter De Brabandere</pharmacy> <road>Lipseweg</road> <village>Tildonk</village> <city>Haacht</city> <county>Flemish Brabant</county> <state_district>Flemish Community</state_district> <state>Flanders</state> <country>Belgium</country> <country_code>be</country_code> </addressparts>

I have various issues with that, but I currently don't have good solutions for all of it.

  • "Haacht" is not an official city. The node is mapped as a town, the relation has admin level 8. An admin level of 8 for Belgium should be called "municipality" in English. A municipality might contain a city in admin level 9, or it might not.
  • Admin level 9 which isn't mapped would be a sub-municipality.
  • "Flemish Brabant" is a province, not a county. (admin level 6.)
  • "Flemish Community" is a community, not a state district. (level 5)
  • "Flanders" is a region, not a state. (level 4)

An official address in Belgium contains:

  • Street and house number
  • municipality
  • zip code (which doesn't seem to be reported here, but does in other places, need to look at it)
  • Country

People might also write the sub-municipality on an address, but it's not the official one. We currently don't (always) map admin level 9 because it's not always clear where the borders are, because officially there are no borders, but most of should have a node indicating the centre of it. If there is an admin level of 9 you could use it, but you can also stop at level 8. When looking up names of places it is useful to look at the nodes within the admin level 8, but not for a reverse lookup. For the reverse lookup I would stop using the nodes.

Now it's reporting all kinds of the middle admin levels that most people won't care about (4-6). Some people might want to see what province this is in, but then things gets interesting for the Brussel Capital Region where the higher government for the municipality is not a province, since it doesn't have any, but the region.

Looking at Brussel centre I now get: <result place_id="13274409" osm_type="way" osm_id="3517898"> Grand Place, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode - Sint-Joost-ten-Node, Ville de Bruxelles - Stad Brussel, 1000, Flemish Community, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium </result> <addressparts> <pedestrian>Grand Place</pedestrian> <town>Saint-Josse-ten-Noode - Sint-Joost-ten-Node</town> <city>Ville de Bruxelles - Stad Brussel</city> <postcode>1000</postcode> <state_district>Flemish Community</state_district> <state>Brussels-Capital Region</state> <country>Belgium</country> <country_code>be</country_code> </addressparts>

In this case the town is completely wrong, I'd guess because there is no node for Brussel itself.

But as you see there is no province (county).

The "Flemish Community" part is also wrong since it's part of both the Flemish and French community.

In short, I would only use admin level 8.

When writing an address we also use "street number", not "number, street".

Change History (4)

comment:1 Changed 10 years ago by kurt@…

Thinking about this some more, maybe we should just skip admin level 5 (community, state_district). It's a real administrative level, but it's at the same "level" as level 4. Where level 4 is more about "land", level 5 is more about "people".

comment:2 Changed 9 years ago by Tom Hughes

Owner: changed from openstreetmap@… to geocoding@…

comment:3 Changed 8 years ago by gerdami

Cc: gerdami added
Keywords: Belgium Belgian communities added

A search for Bruxelles gives Brussels, Flemish Community, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium, Europe (City) (details)

While this is not wrong, this not totally true since Brussels belongs also to the French Community of Belgium.

Indeed there is a legal overlap of both communities over the Brussels-Capital Region, with NO hierarchy in any direction between communities and regions.

I you examine you will see that French Community is dimmed in paragraph


Brussels (Type: place:city, node 1635651356, 15, , Polygon, 0 GOTO)

Flemish Community (Type: boundary:administrative, relation 53136, 5, , Polygon, 0.219284367884933 GOTO)

French Community (Type: boundary:administrative, relation 78967, 5, , Polygon, 0.836828863064937 GOTO)

Brussels-Capital Region (Type: boundary:administrative, relation 54094, 4, , Polygon, 0.0216817423783759 GOTO)

Belgium (Type: boundary:administrative, relation 52411, 2, , Polygon, 0.286100598523024 GOTO)

I agree with the post above, communities should NOT be displayed as part of the address.

However, one could consider the linguistic regions which do NOT overlap, based on Article 4 of the Belgian Constitution:

Article 4

     Belgium comprises four linguistic regions : the Dutch-speaking region, the French-speaking region, the bilingual region of Brussels-Capital and the German-speaking region.
     Each municipality of the Kingdom forms a part of one of these linguistic regions.


comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by Sarah Hoffmann

Resolution: invalid
Status: newclosed

The issue has been solved in the meantime by retagging the language boundaries as boundary=political.

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