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What town is that cache in?


GOJim
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I'm surprised, after all these years, that geocaching.com does not require the name of the town or city when a new geocache is published.  After all, this is a location-based activity, and only listing the state leaves a lot to be desired.  I have been wondering how many of CT's 169 political units I have cached in and how many I haven't.  Since the map on geocaching.com doesn't show political boundaries, its sometimes difficult to say with any certainty exactly what town you are in.  The cache description may mention a town, but often does not.  Does anybody know of a way to show caches, found or not, on a map showing town boundaries?

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Not on the website but I keep a database of all Belgian and Dutch caches in GSAK and all caches have their town listed. This is supported for many countries but polygons need to be available. Creating statistics can be done the same way listing found/unfound towns.

 

town_stats.jpg

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47 minutes ago, GOJim said:

I'm surprised, after all these years, that geocaching.com does not require the name of the town or city when a new geocache is published.  

 

One town near me is practically surrounding another town.  How would the site know who's what ?  :)

I used to live on a highway contract route, and my address listed as one town traveled through five before it got to me. 

Only one of those five has a post office.   They're "towns" by that little sign you pass along the way...

A large number of people think they live on Rte 209 here.  It's been Rte12 for over thirty years, and just changed again.

My "town" doesn't actually have a border.   Most consider "downtown" as the post office.  :D     

If anything,  maybe it could be by townships,  that's where our property taxes go to.

 - But we know a lot of people who admitted they probably didn't get township challenges accurately... 

A  large game lands near me is in four townships, and  there's no real way to discern which township you're walking, inside it. 

County challenges are sometimes tough enough... 

This is just my own little area.  Not even the full county in my state.    ;)

 

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1 hour ago, GOJim said:

Since the map on geocaching.com...

If you're browsing caches, there's  a considerable number of maps available on the right side of the module.

Esri World topo may offer the political units you want, or one of the other 15 maps versions offered.

 

Re "town", few (maybe none) of the caches I own are in any town boundary. 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, on4bam said:

There must be some kind of register where boundaries are kept?

Type any city name in Google maps and you'll see the town borders (not saying they are always correct) but I'm sure every inch of a country has been measured up by a surveyor..

That is not true. If you type the name of my town (the "place" the post office recognizes) into Google you will see a place on the map so labeled. But there are no boundaries on that map because there are none. It has no government or any other hallmark of a "town" With the exception of incorporated towns (Woodbury, NJ would be a nearby example) "townships" are the bounded units of location with associated governments in my state (and at least one other that I am aware of) and those townships may contain several towns.

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It gets more complicated here.  We have actual incorporated cities with very well defined boundaries, but we also have a lot of identified areas that have never incorporated, and although the area is named (and is often in fact a real, little town) is actually just part of the county, and hence, has no official boundaries.  Some even have their own post offices, but again, are still just amorphous blobs on a county map.

 

As an example, look up a place I lived not that long ago called Niwot, Colorado.

 

The only fully contiguous boundaries for all geographic areas are counties.

 

Edited by ecanderson
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OpenStreetMap (OSM), which is really just a huge database, has boundary data, and the quality seems good - good to the point that they've discouraged further use of the "is_in" tag for individual nodes, and even provided validation tools that suggest removing existing ones.

 

Do a search on OSM, for example this one, and you'll see it's looked up the surrounding boundaries.

 

Since the data is freely available, smart developers can rig up ways to query it.  (I am not one of those developers.)

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State and County boundaries are fairly static, but municipal boundaries change more often as the municipality grows. Sometimes they are even dissolved. 

 

Also, State and County boundaries are usually fairly simple. Many are rectangles. Municipal boundaries can zigzag a lot. Sometimes they even contain unincorporated enclaves - neighborhoods that have long declined to be incorporated.

 

Also, many municipalities are unincorporated so have no official boundaries. The county immediately north of me contains 4 official municipalities, but at least 4 other named municipalities (depending how you count). One even has "city" in their name despite not being one for nearly a century.

 

Another case: there is an island called Jupiter Island and a Town of Jupiter Island. The town is on the island, but only a portion of the island is within the town limits.

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Wow, I now have a better understanding of why this wouldn't work on a large scale; the definition of a "town" with distinct boundaries is not universal, so would be impossible to implement on the Geocaching.com website.  Thanks to all who responded; I found it very interesting how each region in the country delineates where we live.  I checked out openstreetmap.org site and they have a great variety of maps available but only show "administrative boundaries" at the state level.  I did make one valuable discovery though.  on4bam mentioned that typing in a town in the search box on Google Maps would show the boundaries, which it does, and I wasn't aware of that.  Also, you can type in coordinates (geocaches!) and, besides putting a marker on the map, will list the street address, including the town, below the search box.

Another option is to use Google Earth by checking the City Boundaries layer under US Government.  Google Earth also accepts coordinate searches and you can even import gpx files.

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I live in New Jersey.  We have 566 municipalities.  Every bit of land is in one of those municipalities.  We have cities, towns, townships, boroughs and villages.  Post offices do not affect municipal lines.  Town of Dover PO includes all of Victory Gardens, and parts of Randolph Township and Rockaway Township.  Names on the map do not change the municipality.  Hibernia has its own PO, but is part of Rockaway Township.

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8 hours ago, ecanderson said:

@JL_HSTRE

They could rename Jupiter Island to PGA Island!  Seems half the tour lives there!

 

Yes, you've identified why it would be impossible to sort it all out here in the U.S.  The best we could possibly hope for is by County.

 

Now imagine trying to do it for every country in the world.

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i used to live in a  "town" in the rural part of the state. The town is unincorporated ant therefore doesn't have formal poitical boundaries. How would the frog ever hope to navigate something like that? Heck, in some parts of the world there is no agreement on the boundaries of COUNTRIES. What would the frog do 20 years ago with Grenada? claimed both by GB and Argentina.

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20 hours ago, ras_oscar said:

i used to live in a  "town" in the rural part of the state. The town is unincorporated ant therefore doesn't have formal poitical boundaries. How would the frog ever hope to navigate something like that? Heck, in some parts of the world there is no agreement on the boundaries of COUNTRIES. What would the frog do 20 years ago with Grenada? claimed both by GB and Argentina.

Unless I'm mistaken, you're thinking almost 40 years ago, and the disputed territory was the Falkland Islands/Las Malvinas (depending on side).  Grenada is north of South America and to the best of my knowledge, has never been claimed by Argentina.

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Not everywhere is a town in Australia, but many places have place names, which could substitute for a town, such as the randomly selected area of Currawang, NSW. No towns there that I can see, and there are several geocaches there.

However I tried picking names in the Northern Territory, and only small areas showed up, showing very tiny (possible) settlements. There appeared a lot a area between these  tiny hamlets, so if towns were shown, I wonder what town would show for these places. I guess for places, like that, no town; only the state or territory name.

Where towns exist, I think giving the town name would be a good idea. Only, it can't be made compulsory to enter a town, as some places might not have them.

Currawang.jpg

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https://nominatim.openstreetmap.org/reverse?format=xml&lat=-35.044767&lon=149.543017&zoom=18&addressdetails=1

Change the lat/lon values to your needs.
Result (part of) for GC8B7CX:

<addressparts>
<road>Collector Road</road>
<hamlet>Currawang</hamlet>
<county>Goulburn Mulwaree Council</county>
<postcode>2580</postcode>
<country>Australien</country>
<country_code>au</country_code>
</addressparts>

 

Hans

 

NB: There is a CustomUrl for the use with GSAK

Edited by HHL
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6 hours ago, HHL said:

 

Interesting. I put in the coordinates of my remote cache I mentioned in another thread (GC8JGWN) and it came back with this:

 

<addressparts>
<road>Mount Olive Trail</road>
<suburb>Glenworth Valley</suburb>
<city>Gosford</city>
<county>Central Coast Council</county>
<postcode>2250</postcode>
<country>Australia</country>
<country_code>au</country_code>
</addressparts>
 

Okay, yes, it's on the Mount Olive Trail but that's not a road you can drive down. And yes, technically it's within the bounds (just) of Glenworth Valley to the south but it's not accessible from there. The only access is along Ironbark Road from Mangrove Mountain to the north. So putting this information on the cache page would be anything but helpful.

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14 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Not everywhere is a town in Australia, but many places have place names, which could substitute for a town, such as the randomly selected area of Currawang, NSW. No towns there that I can see, and there are several geocaches there.

However I tried picking names in the Northern Territory, and only small areas showed up, showing very tiny (possible) settlements. There appeared a lot a area between these  tiny hamlets, so if towns were shown, I wonder what town would show for these places. I guess for places, like that, no town; only the state or territory name.

Where towns exist, I think giving the town name would be a good idea. Only, it can't be made compulsory to enter a town, as some places might not have them.

 

Heck, I live in a suburb of the city of Lake Macquarie except there is no town, place, (except for a lake) or postcode,  named Lake Macquarie.

Edited by colleda
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1 hour ago, colleda said:

Heck, I live in a suburb of the city of Lake Macquarie except there is no town, place, (except for a lake) or postcode,  named Lake Macquarie.

I don't know where precisely you live there, but picking a random place in the Lake Macquarie area on Google Maps shows the extent of one locality in your area.

It's similar if I put the suburb name of where I live in Canberra and the outline of the area it covers is shown on the map.

 

Or is your suburb so new that the map hasn't had a chance to catch up yet?

Dora Creek.jpg

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15 hours ago, HHL said:

https://nominatim.openstreetmap.org/reverse?format=xml&lat=-35.044767&lon=149.543017&zoom=18&addressdetails=1

Change the lat/lon values to your needs.
Result (part of) for GC8B7CX:

<addressparts>
<road>Collector Road</road>
<hamlet>Currawang</hamlet>
<county>Goulburn Mulwaree Council</county>
<postcode>2580</postcode>
<country>Australien</country>
<country_code>au</country_code>
</addressparts>

 

Hans

 

NB: There is a CustomUrl for the use with GSAK

It needs the mention of the State. People know that, but few would know individual councils.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

It needs the mention of the State.

It does if there is a state name available (Australia doesn't have states, the US do):

<addressparts>
<house_number>855</house_number>
<road>West 1st Avenue</road>
<hamlet>Baney Trailer Park</hamlet>
<city>Benkelman</city>
<county>Dundy County</county>
<state>Nebraska</state>
<postcode>69021</postcode>
<country>Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika</country>
<country_code>us</country_code>
</addressparts>

 

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18 minutes ago, HHL said:

It does if there is a state name available (Australia doesn't have states, the US do):


<addressparts>
<house_number>855</house_number>
<road>West 1st Avenue</road>
<hamlet>Baney Trailer Park</hamlet>
<city>Benkelman</city>
<county>Dundy County</county>
<state>Nebraska</state>
<postcode>69021</postcode>
<country>Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika</country>
<country_code>us</country_code>
</addressparts>

 

What do you mean we don't have states:o? We have six states, each with a parliament. Plus two Territories. For instance, this cache GC7AWYW says, "In New South Wales, Australia." You can see the states on the map below. Most of our states are bigger than many countries.

https://www.google.com/search?q=europe+superimposed+over+australia&client=firefox-b&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=pgTS0OM9U63FRM%3A%2CmJZfgy_zMd3YOM%2C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kTgUuWR-9wiCgunLmBs8WnNl6vKHg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIwe7Ly4DpAhWp6nMBHXkrAEUQ9QEwB3oECAoQKw&biw=1753&bih=957

Australia.jpg

Edited by Goldenwattle
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2 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

What do you mean we don't have states:o? We have six states, each with a parliament. Plus two Territories. For instance, this cache GC7AWYW says, "In New South Wales, Australia." You can see the states on the map below. Our states are bigger than many countries.

 

Indeed. I live on the New South Wales Central Coast, as indicated in the example I gave earlier from one of my caches:

 

<county>Central Coast Council</county>

 

But Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania also have areas called the Central Coast. It would be a tad confusing if we didn't have states.

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5 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I don't know where precisely you live there, but picking a random place in the Lake Macquarie area on Google Maps shows the extent of one locality in your area.

It's similar if I put the suburb name of where I live in Canberra and the outline of the area it covers is shown on the map.

 

Or is your suburb so new that the map hasn't had a chance to catch up yet?

Dora Creek.jpg

My suburb is one of the oldest.

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8 hours ago, HHL said:

It does if there is a state name available (Australia doesn't have states, the US do):


<addressparts>
<house_number>855</house_number>
<road>West 1st Avenue</road>
<hamlet>Baney Trailer Park</hamlet>
<city>Benkelman</city>
<county>Dundy County</county>
<state>Nebraska</state>
<postcode>69021</postcode>
<country>Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika</country>
<country_code>us</country_code>
</addressparts>

 

 

This is somewhat similar to the Geonames data, which also provides a reverse geocoding services but it doesn't use "state" or "province" as regions.  Instead it uses administration regions, (admin1 to admin5).  For example, int the U.S,:

 

admin1 : Country
admin2: State
admin3: County
admin4: City
admin5; Postal Code

 

In Canada, admin2 would be provinces and territories.   According to Geonames (and Wikipedia) the second level administrative division of Australia are states and territories.

 

https://www.geonames.org/AU/administrative-division-australia.html

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