[Tagging] Related: Antarctic territories

Jonathan bigfatfrog67 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 23 10:56:27 UTC 2013

I am not qualified to answer any of these questions as I've never got 
involved in editing boundaries in OSM however it does raise an 
interesting wider question, which is, how do we map all territories that 
are claimed by one country or another but not internationally recognised?

Some territories are officially recognised by the UN as being under 
dispute but then there are others where the UN recognise one nations 
claim over another's but it has never been enforced. First example that 
springs to mind is the land that Israel has taken from the Palestinians 
and the UN demand that Israel roles back it's current borders.  Do we 
map what is on the ground, which seems to be the common argument, or do 
we map what is widely recognised as the official situation?

Sorry for not proffering any answers but more questions ;-)



On 23/12/2013 04:33, Fernando Trebien wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I'm not sure if I should post this question here. If not, please point
> me in a better direction.
> I was optimizing some boundaries in Antarctica and then realized some
> countries had included as part of their country borders their claimed
> territories in Antarctica, namely: Australia, Norway and Argentina.
> Now, the Antarctic Treaty
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Treaty) does not state that
> these countries have actual jurisdiction nor sovereignty over these
> areas (it does not deny it also). Additionally, the wiki says that,
> for clarity, a country in OSM should be equivalent to an ISO-3166
> entity (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Admin_level#National).
> None of Antartica's claimed territories are ISO-3166 entities (so
> they're not countries and are probably part of other countries - so
> far so good), but Antartica is, so Antarctica is a country in OSM - a
> strange one whose subdivisions do not belong to itself (but that's ok
> in theory). Oddity aside, I wouldn't worry about adding Chile's and
> NZ's territories to their countries, but if I added UK's, then it
> naturally follows that we also would have to add all other British
> overseas territories to UK - but we can't, because most of them are
> ISO-3166 entities, therefore, countries.
> So how do we solve this conundrum fairly? Should we...
> - add the claimed territories to the respective countries, except UK?
> - add all claimed territories, but no UK overseas territories besides
> the Antarctic one?
> - override the ISO-3166 rule and add overseas territories to UK?
> - remove claimed territories from the borders of Australia, Norway and
> Argentina, and perhaps create relations for overseas territories of
> each of these countries, like they apparently do in France
> (http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/2186658)?
> I think the last solution may be superior because:
> - AFAIK no treaty gives sovereignty/jurisdiction/special rights to any
> of the claiming countries over any of these claimed territories
> - less confusing (it always seems weird to create exceptions on
> established patterns), particularly because:
> --- I believe almost nobody thinks of those territories when thinking
> of the claiming countries; and
> --- I think a letter sent to any of these territories wouldn't
> normally be addressed to Norway, Argentina or Australia
> - consequently, it may help to avoid future edit wars
> It may, however, create problems to applications that assume that
> these areas are states/provinces/etc. of their respective countries.
> On the other hand, I believe that the impact would be minimal and that
> many other common things in OSM force programmers to create exceptions
> in their code more often.
> What do you think? Am I missing something fundamental?
> I know I'm meddling in other nations business, but I'm curious since I
> stumbled upon the problem.

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