On Sunday 11 March 2018, Matthijs Melissen wrote:
> Just something I'd like to clarify: many of you seem to assume this
> introduces a new tagging paradigm. The opposite is true: the proposal
> uses a tagging scheme that is already used in about 90 percent of the
> countries, and the retagging request only concerns the exceptions.
> You might or might not agree with this tagging scheme, but it is the
> way things are currently done in most countries.

As several people have pointed out admin_level tagging on boundary ways 
is essentially a relict from past times were boundary relations were 
not yet established.

OSM-Carto continued rendering boundaries both from relations *and* ways 
until November 2015 
(https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/pull/1938 and 
https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/pull/1989).  Since 
then it uses relations only (except for the closed way case - see 

Although this decision was already overdue back then mappers obviously 
also continued to use the old form of tagging afterwards in some cases. 
But it is the task of the standard style to support mappers in their 
decision to use relations as the primary form of mapping boundaries - 
which has very wide support in the mapper community because it is 
immediately obvious to most that this is a much more efficient and less 
error prone way to map boundaries.  This is a completely normal process 
in OSM - just like with old style multipolygon tagging, wood=* vs. 
leaf_type/leaf_cycle or highway=ford vs. ford=yes.

For clarification in terms of mapping - current consensus seems to be 

* mapping a boundary with way tagging only without a boundary relation 
is wrong.
* mapping a boundary with relation tagging only with no tags on the way 
is correct.
* tagging the ways in addition to the relation is ok but not required.
* tagging on boundary relations superseedes any conflicting tagging on 
boundary ways.

Christoph Hormann

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