[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.3)

Johnparis okosm at johnfreed.com
Sun Dec 9 08:07:04 UTC 2018

Thank you for this thoughtful analysis, Fredrik.

I will be incorporating many of these ideas in version 1.4. For one of
them, the minimal boundary, I realized that it wasn't necessary, because it
duplicates a zone of control. I came to this conclusion after your wrote
your email but before I read it. Do you have strong telepathic powers?

I like your "test bed" idea.

I glad you started a discussion about the List of Claiming Entities. I will
reply in a separate thread.

Your comment about the lake, it seems to me, describes every disputed
territory in the world. Let's take the example of Lake Western Sahara. A
large lake, and very dry, but ... Morocco says "our border is on the other
side of the lake". And Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic says "our border is
on the other side of the lake". You could, I suppose, just provide the de
facto and master boundary for each, and let people "do the math" to
calculate the zones (which involve simple union or intersection of the
larger areas), but you run into the immediate problem of a NPOV mapper who
simply wants to generate maps showing Western Sahara with two different
zones. In a way it's a convenience, but I think it has practical uses.

Or another large, dry lakebed: Crimea. Russia says "our border is on the
other side of the lake", as does Ukraine. Crimea is Zone C, which I am
quite sure many people would want to see rendered separately from either
Ukraine or Russia.

They can't do that unless there's a separate zone, tagged independently. On
the other hand, having read your analysis, I now agree that zones should
not be added to the de facto relation. I'm revising that for 1.4.

As for very small zones, if they are part of a real dispute, and we become
aware of it, then yes they should be mapped and tagged. Parsley Island is
0.15 sq km. It was the subject of a skirmish between two countries, and has
important influence on anti-smuggling efforts (both people and drugs). With
respect to naming, the tag noname=yes is perfectly valid. (The "name" tag
is not part of my proposal anyway.)



On Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 5:34 PM Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> so I've read the proposals that are on the table for the first time now.
> I wasn't sure at first whether your proposal would break existing tools
> that only look at boundary=administrative but I see from the discussion
> page that you understand it is important to keep things working. It
> would be worth making this clearer to the skim-reader of your proposal.
> I haven't yet understood how the relationship between
> boundary=administrative relations and your new relations is supposed to
> be in the future though. Would boundary=administrative not be identical
> to your boundary=de factor (apart from the yet-to-be-addressed maritime
> areas)?
> I am not 100% sure whether you are advocating to duplicate any and all
> existing relations right away. If yes, I am against that; I would like
> to map disputed boundaries only where disputes exist. You say in your
> recent email that "For any countries with no active disputes, there's no
> change needed at all." so I assume you're not planning to create
> "boundary=master" or anything for non-disputed countries. This is good.
> I am uncomfortable about your "list of claiming entities" and the
> importance it has for this proposal. I think that the fact that your
> proposal requires a well-maintained list of who is and isn't a valid
> claiming entity is a big weakness of the proposal. I am wary of
> bueraucratic statements like "if Transnistria joins the list, the
> boundary between it and Moldova would become admin_level=2". It doesn't
> sound right to me to have such things governed by a list. I can see how
> the list might be the least worst solution but I'm not in love with it.
> I don't understand what boundary=minimal is for. It should be easily
> deducable from the other boundary relations and I don't see its added
> value.
> I am not really sure about the notion of "zones of control" which seems
> essential to your proposal. If there are two countries both bordering a
> lake, and both of them think the far shore of the lake is the boundary,
> does that then make the lake into a "zone"? It sounds like an arbitrary
> concept to me. In some cases the "lake" might actually be an area that
> has a name and can be called a zone, but in many cases it will just be a
> dispute over where the border actually is, and the bit in between that
> is claimed by both parties is just where the country relations overlap -
> I don't see why it should have its own "identity" and relation in OSM.
> What is the use of this? You say it should be added to the boundary
> relations with the role "zone", but adding whole relations to boundary
> relations is unusual (only done in places where "subarea" is common).
> Doesn't feel natural to me and I don't see the use since the delineation
> of the "zone" should already be visible from the overlapping boundaries.
> If I have two countries A and B and each claims that area C which sits
> in between them is theirs. Then if I understand you correctly, the
> "Master Boundary A" will contain all boundary ways around A and C, and
> the "Master Boundary B" will contain all boundary ways around B and C.
> Why would C then have to be its own "Zone" and why would it have to be
> added to the A and B relations?
> On the whole I'm a bit concerned about the complexity of your proposal -
> not only the proposal but also the somewhat legalese way in which it is
> presented, which I fear will keep many people from even reading it to
> the end, or contributing. This is an important issue and I'm
> uncomfortable with having 15 people vote yes on this and then saying
> "this is how we do it from now on". I wonder if maybe we should -
> provided the proposal gains enough traction - simply declare two
> "testbed areas" in OSM where we apply the new tagging and give users a
> chance to get a feel for it before we roll it out world-wide.
> And yes, we definitely need good comparisons between different
> proposals, or perhaps a few more different proposals to add to what's
> already on the table. Your proposal is complex enough already to make it
> near impossible for anyone to suggest improvements - most people's way
> of suggesting something would probably rather be "why not do it this
> way" and then writing up their own ideas ;)
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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