Leicestershire, UK (and others)

From Repeated Road Names - suggested solutions

This is way off topic from your original post, but I still want to continue the conversation so I’ve pulled this bit over here.

There are a number of places in England like this where I’ve imported the ‘city’ at admin level 6 or 8, but it seems much too large & admin level 10 seems more appropriate. I’ve swapped some of the areas out, but not all.
I’m wondering if I should put more effort into reimporting these cities at smaller levels…
It’s a bit tedious, but you can view Sign In - CityStrides and filter by United Kingdom & England (if you open the menu, you can jump around by typing "united’ in the first menu and “england” in the second), then zoom/pan in. The difference in the levels is pretty obvious in the 3-5 much more denser sections. You can also click the borders which will display a popup that links to the city page.

A couple random places that seem incorrect (too large):

Some random examples of the smaller places that seem more correct to me:

Leeds is a good example of when this goes wrong, though. If you visit overpass turbo & click the top left Run button and then the magnifying button on the map, you’ll see how a big chunk of the city doesn’t exist at admin level 10 - it’s only mapped in OSM at that admin level 8.

Wildshire is a good example of when things seem to go right. If you visit overpass turbo & do the same Run/magnifying dance, you’ll see it’s completely covered at that admin level 10. 3 randomly selected places at that level:

I’m in the US, though, so I have no idea if people look at e.g. Wiltshire and think “yeah, city” or if people look at “West Lavington” and think “yeah, that’s a town in Wiltshire county”. It’s also tough because I use the word “city” very widely (in a way that would include small towns) in a way that can confuse things.
(Wiltshire - Wikipedia does describe it as a county)

// @drumaliens

As I said in the other thread, I don’t think there’s a simple answer to this. I think the way it works in Leicestershire is perfectly acceptable, and I am working my way through it. There are some oddities, but no solution could solve more problems than it causes. But Leicestershire is easily divided up into district authorities, and for various reasons not all counties work that way. Wiltshire specifically only has two districts (‘Swindon’ and ‘everything else’), and there is no more sensible way to break it down [note that on CityStrides, Swindon is separate, but it is within Wiltshire].

I’m not really sure what I am trying to say other than that (e.g.) Wiltshire is obviously not a city, but there is no sensible way to further divide it, and for people of reasonable fitness, Wiltshire itself is doable. It has fewer streets than Leicestershire, and I am 84% of the way to completing that.

@JamesChevalier I have tried to access the the https://citystrides.com/cities/beta link but I get a red pop up in the bottom right hand corner when I try and do that. Basically it says that I don’t have access and takes me back to my home page. Do I need to do anything special to get to this ?

Unfortunately, however you split areas terms of admin levels regions it will be an issue. When I went on holiday I managed to get 100% in one area in less than an hour and some of the other areas I am looking at will be more of a long term project.

Yeah, after spotting Leeds & the inability to reduce that down to smaller areas and still maintain full coverage, I can definitely see how there’s not a generic way to handle all of England. The more CityStrides expands, the more that becomes the norm. :smile:

It looks like the Wiltshire that was brought into CityStrides is the ‘city’ and not the county. The northeast section of Swindon is not included.
Further, OSM categorizes Swindon as: United Kingdom → England → Swindon (this is a bit more difficult to see, since you have to visit Nominatim, search for "swindon england’, click the “Swindon, England, United Kingdom” entry, click “details”, and then scroll down to the “Address” section)

I still feel like I don’t have closure around the question of “which of these is closer to ‘city’ than the others?” when looking at admin level 6 Wiltshire and comparing it to Salisbury, Tidworth, and Warminster.
With a similar question around admin level 6 Swindon vs Central Swindon South, Wroughton, and Highworth

I hear “Wiltshire is obviously not a city” and I think “are these?” because that is a full-coverage way to further divide Wiltshire:

@drumaliens oh, sorry, that beta page only allows subscribers to view it

Yeah, this is exactly what I’m working on trying to understand → whether the ‘one area in less than an hour’ place is the correct thing to have in CityStrides as a “city” or the “long term project” is the place that is correct.

This screenshot from the beta page might help highlight it:

The two large areas in the northwest are Mid Devon and North Devon … while the northeast area includes places like Brompton Ralph, Bridgwater, and Wiveliscombe

North Devon could be further divided up like this:

Mid Devon could be further divided up like this:

James I got you to edit Warwickshire and break it down to level 10 last year.

I think level 10 is broken down to civil parishes, so some rural areas are fairly small numbers of roads and can be finished quickly, but those areas are recognisable to locals as a “city” in reference for this website.

There are a few good sized towns that would be cities in America.
Kenilworth: 22,000
Warwick: 37,000
Leamington Spa: 50,000
Stratford Upon Avon 30,000

Before it was changed to level 10, it was at the county district level. Those were large areas that would take years to complete.

There are quite a few active runners in these towns that are going toe to toe to try to be the first to complete the “city”.

So for Warwickshire I think level 10 works.

That’s great to hear about Warwickshire! Do you have any input on the other counties discussed above (North Devon, Mid Devon, Wiltshire)?

Does that level 10 seem to make sense wherever I can switch them out (Leeds being an example where I cannot)?

For Devon at a district level 6, seems to high a level to split the county.

I go to south Devon a few times a year and run while I am down there, Torbay is one of the level 6 district area, within that are several different towns that have all grown together.

Torquay one of those towns, is a large town of 65,000 people. I’m not sure you can split from Torbay easily.

From Wikipedia

Torbay Council is the local authority for the borough. Since 1998 it has been a unitary authority, performing the functions of both a county council and district council combined. There borough contains one civil parish, Brixham, which forms a second tier of local government in that part of the borough; the rest of the borough is an unparished area.[10]

Torbay only has one relation Brixham in OSM

Maybe the other areas of Devon can be split down to level 10, it might split rural areas down into areas that to small. But locals might recognise as their version of cities.

That might lead to more enthusiasm and engagment in citystrides???

Some people might not like loads of small cities that can be completed easily???

I can see this is going to be an issue across the UK with the inability to split some places down satisfactorily, however for what its worth, I was going to ask a question that seems quite aligned with this topic, less on the multiple named roads in an area but more with the sheer size of some “cities”.

I have not been very active on this project for a while, but I revisited it a little while ago and when I saw that Warwickshire (definitely not a city in its own right), had been broken up into several smaller parishes (Thanks @willdineley ) encompassing towns and villages I was very pleased and was going to post and ask you if the same would be possible with other places for example Rugby. This has lead to me going out and actually striding a couple of the local villages and helping to getting back into it.

Looking at the North Devon areas I think they should be split down also, as Barnstaple is a large town and as such for the purpose of striding I think I should be considered a “city” therefore the rest of that area should be divided up also, I accept you can argue that the smaller sectors are too small, but personally I love to go to an area and actually have an opportunity to finish it,

Going back to your original post I actually thick Leicester while very large is about right as it is a city in its own right, same applies to Leeds but Wiltshire should be split down further, especially when you look on the map at the size of actual cities such as Bristol, bath and Swindon (large town).
I would argue that Bath and Swindon could do with being smaller than they appear in Citystrides but I am not sure of the underlying data and if that is possible without splitting the city up into a series of small areas within a city.

There is definitely no easy answer but I feel like “shires” and other counties (e.g. Wiltshire, North Devon, Mid Devon, Torridge, Charnwood, North West Leicestershire) should be split down, but those places that are officially “cities” in their own right would need more careful consideration. (e.g. Bristol, Birmingham, Derby are all ok as they are, but Stafford, Rugby and Daventry could maybe do with splitting down further.

I have had a look a Wiltshire in overpass and the data is the same as in my county Warwickshire. It seems to split it down to level 10 civil parish level. This splits out the larger towns and then breaks down the rural areas down to managable areas.

Can you update the England down to level 10, sounds like a big job? Scrolling around https://citystrides.com/cities/beta England there are counties that have been split up down to level 10, maybe there is an active runner that has asked you update their area. Then there are counties that are still at the district level 6 or 8.

Then Scotland and Northern Ireland must have a different data structure the main cities are there, but the rest of the country is in one block.

@JamesChevalier The link below is a UK Gov data set map for England showing parishes, OSM level 10 I think. The areas in white are unparished, I guess these are the areas like Leeds and Torbay, Rugby (@howling0_strava). That at the moment can’t be broken from a district level down to level 10.


If you look at the Admin Wiki page for Open Street Maps Information for the UK

It looks like only England has a difference between Council Level admin_level==8 and Parish Level admin_level==10. Which is probably why when I have been on holiday to Wales the areas I have run in City Strides are so much smaller.

What would happen if all of England was set to Level 10? Like the area of Leeds mentioned above, the surrounding areas of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees are all in the same situation where they have many areas at level 10 but the centre Council area doesnt have a level 10 parish area, would they just then not have a trackable City within CS?

Personally it would be far better to have the smaller Parish areas. Being from that area it makes more sense to have the smaller town like areas as a City in CS, rather than the massive Council areas having thousands of roads each.

Overall, the ‘fix’ here is to replace the larger areas with the smaller admin level 10 areas where possible.

There are some places that don’t have smaller areas. These would need to remain the larger areas until/unless someone maps out the admin level 10 places within them (if they exist).

The “easiest” way to go about it might be just one-by-one, replacing the existing large areas with admin level 10 where there’s full coverage.

Wiltshire is a “county”. Breaking down the UK (or at least England) by county is a bit like the same order of magnitude as states in the USA although, of course, somewhat smaller even if large for CS.

A friend of mine is top of Wiltshire and has a long term aim to finish it but that’s going to involve hundreds of trips out by car to get them all done.

I live in the county of Surrey which borders on Greater London. I have a sort of longer term to do all of Surrey. Currently it is broken into 8 (I think) “cities” and I am about to complete my 4th one. They are all quite large - up to 2000 streets and one end to the other is about a full marathon. Each “city” corresponds to how Surrey is broken down for local government and so are really “areas” than cities. Each of these tends have several significant towns and also a lot of country lanes to cover which often means a nice run but minimal street return for your “effort” but I tend to look more to filling out the map than just maximising strrets which are far easier to collect in “real” heavily built up cities.

I have seen some English counties (think Somerset is one) where CS has broken them into tiny “cities”. I think there is one with just 6 streets and all quite rural. “By chance” I had done 3 from one run several years ago and was thinking of driving down to see if can complete it in one run. But seems to go from one extreme to the other. Completing a “city” that has well over 1000 streets seems quite a personal achievement but if say I “collected” about 50 cities for completing part of one county then not sure that is much to tell your mates about :slight_smile:

This might be one of those things where it’ll be impossible to make everyone happy.

I’ve consistently heard the phrasing of “[place] is a county” / “[place] definitely isn’t a city” though, so even if the next level down is “too small” it seems less bad than the alternative.

Your situation in Surrey is another different situation :sweat_smile: where it’s not using the admin level 6 Relation: ‪Surrey‬ (‪57582‬) | OpenStreetMap as many other areas of England are - it’s using the admin level 8 Relation: ‪Surrey Heath‬ (‪109211‬) | OpenStreetMap
There’s admin level 10 available, but there are some odd gaps where the available replacements overlap. Gulidford, Mole Valley, and Surrey Heath being the main issues. It’s a bit of a pain but if you run the query in overpass turbo you can click the mentioned areas to see their shape highlighted & the overlaps are pretty obvious.
So for Surrey, that admin level 8 might be the smallest I can go … I’d hate to create gaps and then hope that someone can map out different (but still correct) borders.

I’ll try and have a look into this in the next few days (thanks for pointing me towards it James).
My gut tells me that going down to the level of a parish is possibly too small but - from a quick read of these threads - i recognise no one-size fits all.
My gut is clearly a rubbish way to assess this. Have you looked at the data to indentify an “average” sized city - whether that is in terms of count of streets, or total length of streets in the city? Would this help to inform when something is too small?
But this is a diverse world, so who is to say what is too small?! But it may help identify if we are creating too many small cities (by dropping to level 10)?
On the one hand, if the cities are too small, is there any challenge? Would you see a drop off in Striders as less people are motivated/interested? On the other hand, if the cities are too big - is it only the truly committed who stick at it, and you are limiting your audience of Striders?

Thinking of other possible UK sub-divisions (if the data exists in the right format): postcodes, or electoral wards? Not knowing if those would be better or worse options (they may coincide with datasets you already have).
Postcodes have two parts - the first part defining a geographic area while the addition of the 2nd part drills down to much fewer properties. For example, TW1 3DT is the postcode of the Richmond Borough Council offices. Using just the TW1 part would be attainable (and reasonably regularised) size for a “city”. Striders could then try and add all the TW’s.
Personally, I started (before i knew about CityStrides) with a desire to run all the roads in Teddington (which could be defined by TW11) and did it manually by looking at maps. Once i found out about CityStrides i found the local city was the Borough of Richmond - a much bigger beast - but i got there!

Electoral Wards are another option, and there has been some work done recently to reset the size of these - to have similar numbers of residents in each. Surely those datasets exist. Whether they would be better i do not know. Certainly people in the UK would recognise the achievement of running everything in (the first part of) a postcode rather than in an Electoral Ward.
If we were to standardise on English “parishes” from a Level 10 dataset - I’d suggest that wasn’t really in-keeping with the “City” part of the website name.

Just revisiting this as noticed just got a load of “new” level 10 cities (tiny parishes) from presume what was level 8. What’s the trigger in OSM for going one way or the other? Level 8 in the UK is typically of the order of 1000 streets and level 10 about 5 which could often cover in one run - hardly then “City” Strides is it ???

Tim Grose is running Cottisford, England - CityStrides example of a new level 10 “city” I have now done - only 4 rural streets

This seems from Relation: ‪Cottisford‬ (‪4179426‬) | OpenStreetMap part of Cherwell District at level 8 - why does that not still appear as a “city” here in CS ?

This is solidly a “can’t please everyone” situation. :slightly_frowning_face:

I get a lot of messages from people saying the admin level 6 places being too large, and agreeing that admin level 10 in those places is better.
I get a lot of messages from people saying the admin level 10 places are too small.

I am trying to run every street in Bicester, however, Bicester isn’t a standalone area on its own in this app, instead belonging to Cherwell district, which is a far wider area and including other very large cities such as Banbury

Outside of Cherwell District (due to the quote support email I received), my approach recently has been to leave admin level 8 as-is, and replace admin level 6 with admin level 10 where full coverage is attainable.
:person_shrugging: This seems like the least bad approach.

This is solidly a “can’t please everyone” situation.

True but I don’t understand the seeming lack of consistency? In my screenshot map above got big areas next to ones with now all the small ones.
Also in the Cottisford one above it seems it was part of a level 8 not 6 ? And Cherwell District is that level 8.

There’s more to fix than there is time in the day, and the fixes cause processing jobs to pile up (there’s a 17hr delay on that right now). It’s inconsistent because the whole of England is in a state of transition.

Correct. I often receive messages requesting data changes. I quoted the message I got that resulted in replacing Cherwell. It seemed like the right decision based on the fact that someone local was requesting it and had a good explanation of why they were requesting it.

It all basically boils down to this question, which I need local help to answer. I’ve received feedback in both directions, some level 6 places like Relation: ‪City of Leicester‬ (‪162353‬) | OpenStreetMap aren’t mapped any smaller, and some level 8 places like Relation: ‪Mid Devon‬ (‪2183131‬) | OpenStreetMap appear to me to be way too big to be a “city” and have full coverage at level 10.
It’s really not all about street count, either. Alford, MA has 27 streets while Boston, MA has almost 4500 - they are both validly labeled as “city”.

Another way to frame the question is via “Where do you live?”
Someone in Alford, MA isn’t going to respond with Berkshire County (allowing for nuance, they might respond with Massachusetts or New England or the US, but that’s not what I’m driving at here).
Does anyone who lives inside the border of Relation: ‪Cherwell‬ (‪394565‬) | OpenStreetMap respond to that question with Cherwell District, or is it Bicester / North Aston / Banbury / Broughton?