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I understand that your are currently working on the maps section and geographical attribution of caches in general. Maybe it is not too late to consider the following:

Currently cache locations (and consequently filter possibilities in statistics, map compare etc.) are based on three administrative levels: "country" (as defined by geocaching.com), "region" and "state".

For smaller countries this works fine as "states" are sufficiently small to contain a limited number of geocaches, which can all be shown in lists / maps etc. However, for bigger countries with a high density of geocaches even the lowest, "state" level often contains too many caches to be shown on a map. This holds true e.g. for Germany (where the Kreise are used as "states") or France (départments).

If possible, it would be great to add a fourth layer of administrative divisions, which should always be the municipality. In very small countries where it does not make sense to have four layers one or too of these could be skipped as is already done now for some countries, where e.g. no "region" level is defined but only a "state" level.
in Feature requests by k+gw+a (11.8k points)

1 Answer

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Currently, PGC uses the following levels:

  1. Country - as defined by GC HQ, not necessarily a current political status, but very closely following ISO-3166-1, equivalent to OSM Level 2
  2. Region - (example: US states, DE Bundesländer, FR régions), defined via OSM boundaries, where applicable, equivalent to OSM Level 4
  3. County (example: US counties, DE Landkreise, FR départements), defined via OSM boundaries, where applicable, equivalent to OSM Level 6

Problem is, for integration into PGC this definition has to be available on the OSM. This is often not even the case for many countries below Level 1 (see "wooden country badges"). Additionally, countries all over the world use different administrative styles, some more, some less comparable. All this has to be done manually for PGC integration.

So I guess the main focus is a proper level 1-3 integration for as many contries as possible rather than introducing a new level. Although I get the idea and why it might be helpful. 

Have a look on: https://osm-boundaries.com/Map

Here you can see, which countries can be supported on which level (theoretically).
For Germany and my home county, this would be (bold are currently supported levels, in parentheses are OSM Levels):
Germany (2) > Nordrhein-Westfalen (4) > Regierungsbezirk Köln (5) > Rhein-Sieg-Kreis (6) > Stadt/Gemeinde (8) > Stadt-/Ortsteil (9)

by clappy (14.5k points)
Thanks a lot for your comprehensive answer. I am fully aware of the inherent problems and that this is not a priority. I agree that it is more important to get the first three levels working correctly and ideally updating more quickly (or even automatically?) if data in OSM are amended.
I just wanted to flag the issue at this stage in case it would be easier to integrate it into the current overhaul of the geographical system. Besides, the problem of too big "counties" with too many caches occurs typically in countries where OSM is advanced enough to map municipal boundaries.
As I said, I completely get your point and personally I also would find it helpful sometimes. :)

I dove into it a more yesterday, and the whole thing is even more complex. There are countries that have areas equivalent to "Regions" or "Counties" but use different OSM Levels.
So all this has to be set up manually (or at least checked) for all 251 "Countries" GC HQ uses.

On the other hand, if the new system is fully up and working, it should be technically possible to use other OSM Levels as well, if the demand is high enough.
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