Admin Level for British Colonies

A country boundary is admin_level=2 but British Honduras for example was a subdivison of the UK so it would be admin_level=4, but since it’s technically the outer boundary of the British Empire then it would be admin_level=2? Is my thought process wrong?

Right now colonies are generally tagged with “admin_level=2” (even if they are not actually sovereign states) and their first administrative subdivisions tagged with “admin_level=4”.

I don’t know if it’s the right solution but I’ve seen the “colony_of=*” tag used to indicate which empire that territory was part of.

This is a great question and it’s one where I think using admin_level as a binding placement in a hierarchy can start to fall apart. It’s definitely one where admin_level and place can become decoupled on a global basis.

That said… any reason why we wouldn’t resort to admin_level=3 as a way to duck out of this problem?

At some point, the relation for the British Empire will be the defining taxonomy for the administrative hierarchy, more than a decoding of admin_level. e.g., the British Empire (relation) contains British Honduras (relation).

Eventually, ideally, our search results would indicate this hierarchy, but that will require more thinking and preparation.

This is true, and it might end up being a more definitive answer, but I’m not sure we should draw too much of a precedent or reasoned logic into this practice. As you are painfully aware, structures like empires can throw all of our old practices for a loop!

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