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What's happened to the UK counties map?

+3 votes
The UK Counties Map seems to have changed quite a lot. In 'Map Counties', some counties like South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire seem to have been split up into smaller sections (which are NOT counties), and West Midlands (which wasn't a county anyway) has been similarly cut up.

However, the counties map on the Profile Stats 'Maps' tab is the same as it always was, but with bits greyed out where I previously had loads of finds - such as South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

I realise the mapping info is taken from somewhere else, and isn't good for the UK anyway, but can it please please please be kept consistent?
asked Mar 15, 2016 in Bug reports by Paperballpark (11,490 points)
West Midlands is a county, and has been since 1974.

1 Answer

0 votes
Best answer
We updated the data to the latest OpenStreetMap data. This fixed a lot of issues in Scotland.

We are a bit confused over the OSM data for UK. We don't understand why this isn't reflecting reality.
answered Mar 16, 2016 by magma1447 (Admin) (207,380 points)
selected Mar 16, 2016 by Paperballpark
Thanks. Is there any reason that the Profile Stats 'Maps' tab hasn't updated yet, so that it's the same as the 'Map Counties' tool? Or will it update automatically over the next few days?
Sorry, missed commenting on that. It's due to data-caching. It may last for up to 30 days actually. Though it's very likely to change the next time your Profile Stats updates.

If you don't have Facebook or didn't read the thread. We will look into reverting what we did. We just need to analyze what actually changed first, and then make our decision. The big problem is that the "administrative borders" in OSM isn't what the users from UK really wants, and that is what our tool chain uses.
A big step forward thanks for this. I note a few minor errors though should I start a new thread to list them?
We are honestly not sure we will keep the changes due to high criticism.
Some of the negative feedback can be found here:

If there are errors, they probably exist in OpenStreetMap, and the solution is then to fix OpenStreetMap. We just imported whatever data they have, without manipulating it.
The bulk of the critisism comes from the map on the profile page. Because that map is still using the old counties there are large areas of white where people have cached. THAT gets people mad.

I think you'd find if you fix the profile stats UK map tab to use the new boundaries and shade green you'd fix most of the user complaints. There would still be calls to replace England counties with ceremonial ones but that would be the extent of the complaints.

Note I've raised a ticket at OSM to get someone with more experience of editing the maps to correct the 7 small islands in Western Isles and Orkney that are erroneously showing as counties.

For clarity under UK (use my settings to see) only shows green on map suggesting I've only cached in Higland on the stats below you see the numbers. There is a bug that isn't using the new boundaries for the drawing of the profile stats and its only counties names that haven't changed that are showing.
A tip, since you seem interested. We use this site ( to view polygon data at OSM. It's pretty neat for the purpose. It gives a very good overview how the different administrative borders are laid out.

It's also from there we usually export our data.

We have not yet looked into the maps of Profile Stats, if you have an image link to a map that seems broken, it could save us some time. But we will investigate this today.

We are currently taking a second look at our new borders, and from what we can see, they do match very well.

We know many want the ceremonial, but our tool chain doesn't allow it. It's also a bit of consistency to use the administrative borders, since that's what we are doing for all other countries that are based on OSM-data.
As a side-note. When Project-GC assigns counties for a geocache, it will use the closest county if it's not inside one, as long as it's within decent range. I don't remember the distance allowed, but maybe around 10 km.

This is to allow geocaches in the ocean to be assigned to the (probable) correct county when the borders are matched with the land line. It also fixes the cases with islands quite frequently.

Also remember that the data you see in "Map Counties" are extrapolated data to reduce the number of polygon points. The maps are much more exact in our database, and we do have tools to display them. In the end, they should look exactly as the data at which I linked in the previous post. The exact data is used when calculating.
A major issue regarding the Profile stats maps has been fixed now. They rendered improperly. If they still aren't correct, shift-refresh the cache page.
Yes, CTRL+F5 refreshed it and it now works as it should. Thanks!
Thank you for your patience and report. Took a while before we understood that there actually was a permanent issue behind it.