The breakdown of addresses is based on the traditional British mail
address of street, city or town and postcode. Street names are geographically
correct when listed, as are postcodes which come from the Royal
Mail database. Listing the towns or cities like this also makes
it easier as a separate field would have to decide whether somewhere
was a town or a city, we would have to specify this information
for every single entry by having a list of all British towns, and
cities. A little more confusing though is where exactly the building
is in relation to a specific city or town.
About Cities -
British city and town boundaries do not actually correspond with
the geographical and urban realities of our cities today not least
thanks to the loves of government gerrymandering cities into boroughs
to increase political power.
Many cities have swollen outside their borders, in some cases like
Manchester the city has a mere population of around 440,000. The
border between Salford and Manchester is slightly over 1 mile from
the city centre causing problems. We rectify this by the discretion
of our editors.
Part of the importance of editors is their knowledge and the fact
that they live where they edit and keep in touch with what is happening
around them. With their local knowledge they decide whether an area
is in a particular city or not so for example Salford clearly is
in Manchester whilst Rochdale is not. We do however specify Salford
as a separate identity as we list the councils below to help you
decide for yourself if you don’t like our definition.
To explain further we don’t specifically look at metro areas
either, using definitions of metro areas it would be easy to argue
that Milton Keynes or Peterborough are part of London creating areas
that are too broad.
We also take into account continuous urban areas as they are often
applicable but only to an extent, Liverpool and Manchester are of
the same north-west England conurbation so obviously this only works
so far again raising the problem of broad areas.
Deciding where a city ends isn’t rocket science unfortunately,
its highly confusing and contradictory and a single set of rules
will always fail to apply properly to everywhere creating exceptions.
Ultimately its most important to use editorial discretion and look
at the actual identity of a place. Whilst Rochdale is arguably
of the Manchester metro area it’s separate identity makes
it a separate entity in a way that Salford is not.
Council – The council stated is either the official council
which will be one of the following - district council, borough
or city council. County councils cover too large an area, and parish
councils a ridiculously small one. By looking at this layer of
local government it allows us to separate Manchester from Salford
County – These are the official ceremonial counties. We are
not looking at the traditional counties from pre 1972, hence Yorkshire
is split into pieces, this is not anti anywhere prejudice - if you
don’t like this blame the government.
Region – The regions we use are the official EU definitions,
plus lumping in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is not
to degrade the position of Scotland or Wales but to simply geographical
areas, there are not enough high-rise buildings in Scotland and
Wales to split them up further and Northern Ireland is simply too
Country – For the building files there’s the U.K and
also Eire. We don’t recognise Scotland or Wales as separate
countries as they are not actually independent. Again if you don’t
like this blame the government.