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English counties do not make any sense. Will these be changed to accurately reflect the definition of a county?

0 votes
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The "counties" used by project GC in England bear no relationship to counties used by any group, including government. Torbay, for example is a unitary authority and part of the county of Devon.  The same is true for The City of Leicester - a part of the county of Leicestershire and not a county in its own right.    Other unitary authories, West Berkshire and The City of York, for example, are correctly shown as parts of their respective counties and not split out.  Can someone please explain the reason for chosing the list of counties as shown.  Also, is anyone aware of plans to either go with ceremonial counties (which most will prefer and which would match groundspeak, GSAK and most related challenge caches) or wholly with unitary authorities (which very few people use)
asked Nov 24, 2015 in Support and help by hofficoffi (160 points)
York is a separate unitary authority, and shown as such on the project-gc map. In this sense it is no different to Leicester.
I have contacted P-GC a couple of times over the past two years about their English County definitions. I'm not knowledgeable on Scotland but the definitions used by P-GC for England are political/unitary areas and NOT the "Counties" we know and love - I for one would like to see P-GC using 'proper' counties. Groundspeak owned "MyGeocahingProfile" stats site uses the 46 English county definition, not perfect but much much closer than P-GC's definition. Crazy that when, for example, you cache in Leicestershire you do not get a tick for the whole of Leicestershire, but have to travel into Leicester City centre for a find to complete the "county" map. Same with many many other "counties".

I hope Magnus and the excellent P-GC team can address this long standing issue - please get rid of the political/unitary definition asap. Thanks

3 Answers

–1 vote

This is caused by Groundspeak chose to divide the country in their own way instead of using any of the standards used by others.

answered Nov 24, 2015 by vogelbird (Expert) (48,130 points)
but Groundspeak do not use the same county boundaries as project-gc use.  Nobody else uses the boundaries or county definition that project-gc use.  Why did project-gc chose to use these and will they be changed to something correct and consistent?  Groundspeak are more consistent with their definition of a county although not totally correct, they are more representative than the mess the project-gc have.
It remains that Groundspeak do not use this list of counties and there is no clear answers as to why Project-GC decided to use it.  Also, no answer regarding whether Project-GC are planning to change to the same list as Groundspeak use, a list that is representative of actual counties or some other criteria that we just can't predict (like the ones currently in use!)
+2 votes

For all I know, Project-GC matches https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_and_non-metropolitan_counties_of_England, which were created by the government in the 70s (and adjusted over the years). Administrative borders matches how it's done in other countries better. Regardless of which version being used, we will get feedback like this.

Also, I do not see what you mean with matching Groundspeak, from my knowledge, Groundspeak doesn't handle counties at all.

answered Nov 25, 2015 by magma1447 (Admin) (210,140 points)
0 votes

Unfortunately those "counties" aren't actually counties but council areas. So for instance you have a large town or city that has its own city council area which often includes part of the surrounding countryside. 

To put this in USA county terms it's a bit like ignoring state boundaries and creating extra "states" for major cities it wouldn't really make any sense to people on the ground. The United STATES is broken down by STATE then county, in exactly the same manner the United KINGDOM is broken down by KINGDOMS then by county. Sadly Groundspeak screwed this up and it would take too much work for Project-GC to fix. 
 
However the treatment of counties is very odd and uneven. I suspect someone from outside the UK at project-GC initially searched online and found the above linked Wikipedia article and thought that will do for a definition of English counties. They then must have searched for something similar for Scotland but unfortunately they goofed here too and picked boundaries that were abolished 20 years ago. 
 
So so we have the doubly bad situation counties in England use very modern boundaries that are what the local council boundaries are ie: a confusing mix of former district and county council boundaries. Whereas in Scotland they use a set of boundaries that were only ever in use for about 15-20 years and were abolished 5 years before geocaching started. Ie: neither historic boundaries nor modern boundaries. 
 
I can understand the logic behind the keeping of the English boundaries as they do at least match the modern council areas even if they are a hotch potch of two different types of authority. I cannot understand the logic for keeping the current Scottish boundaries at project-GC which are based on a temporary fad boundary that was abolished before geocaching was born. 
 
Could we we at least have the Scottish boundaries match the modern council areas to bring them into parity with how English boundaries are defined?
answered Dec 16, 2015 by ShammyLevva (Expert) (8,230 points)
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