[Tagging] Add some tag to identify disputed borders

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 22:31:39 UTC 2018

Hi Noémie,

I personally wouldn't object to adding "disputed=yes" to borders that 
are displuted (though I suspect that the question that will soon follow 
is "what is the nature of the dispute?  Is it about where the border is 
(e.g. Hans Island) or who owns a particular piece of land one side of 
it?  It'd be good to get more feedback about the use of disputed=yes 
though. https://overpass-turbo.eu/s/DYd suggests there's not a lot of 
usage currently.

An example of the second sort is Kosovo - it thinks that it is an 
independent state, and Serbia still views it as being part of Serbia, 
but the actual boundaries around Kosovo aren't disputed - just whether 
what is inside those borders is an independent state or part of Serbia.

Another example of the that sort of problem is 
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/8692572 - it's not disputed where it 
is, and Spain and Morocco have "agreed to differ" on sovereignty for 
now, but it'd be good to be able to see that. Current renderings don't 
show "is an outer of one relation but not an inner of another".

Best Regards,


On 20/11/2018 13:26, Noémie Lehuby wrote:
> Hi,
> You are right Andy, it depends a lot about the use case problem you 
> are trying to fix.
> Let's say they are two use cases:
> The first one is about creating polygons from administrative 
> boundaries relations, to make some geographical inclusions or reverse 
> geocoding magic.
> I use Cosmogony <http://cosmogony.world/#/about> for that. Overlapping 
> and unclaimed territories do create inconsistencies, but from my point 
> of view, this is a minor issue.
> My second use case is rendering.
> And rendering the disputed borders of Croatia and Serbia 
> <https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=11/45.7714/18.9494> (for instance) 
> as they are right now in OSM does not look good in my opinion. The 
> resulting map is quite a mess and it looks like there is another 
> country in between, or some kind of enclave ... This is mainly about 
> create a map that is understandable
> And this issue is well solved by Paul Norman's approach in osmborder 
> <https://github.com/pnorman/osmborder>, which uses disputed=yes (and a 
> few other tags with the same meaning) to flag the parts of the borders 
> that are disputed and allow to render them differently, just like in 
> Graeme's drawing.
> My question is all about that: do we consider this as a good practice 
> ? Is it ok if I add disputed=yes all over the Croatia / Serbia way 
> borders ?
> I hope it helps clarify the purpose ;)
> Noémie Lehuby
> Qwant Research
> Le 13/11/2018 à 21:37, tagging-request at openstreetmap.org a écrit :
>> From: Andy Townsend<ajt1047 at gmail.com>
>> To:tagging at openstreetmap.org
>> Subject: Re: [Tagging] Add some tag to identify disputed borders
>> Message-ID:<15a1ece6-b10a-59d4-528b-d5b47ed44cdb at gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"; Format="flowed"
>> On 12/11/2018 13:21, Noémie Lehuby wrote:
>>> Should we consider the disputed=yes tag on boundary ways as a /de
>>> facto/ standard and uniformize a few borders ?
>> Can you give examples of where you'd use it?  There are many, many
>> examples of disputed borders in OSM and they have been mapped in
>> different ways.  Each dispute is different - sometimes theren't no
>> dispute about where the border is, just about the status.  Sometimes
>> there are oddities (like Bir Tawil) where there are both different
>> overlapping claims and completely unclaimed territory.
>> You gave a couple of examples of "different ways of mapping" in OSM in
>> an earlier post, saying that some examples in OSM don't match
>> https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/w/images/d/d8/DisputedTerritoriesInformation.pdf  
>> .  You also gave a couple of examples where there are overlapping
>> borders in OSM.  I can think of a couple of places (Somalia / Somaliland
>> is one example, various maritime disputes are others) where this may
>> actually be the best way of mapping reality.  I'm not convinced a simple
>> "disputed=yes" tag would help much.
>>> Should we create a proposal about this tag ?
>> Without a bit more discussion about what the problem that you're trying
>> to solve here actually is I'm not convinced that that will help
>>> The borders data do not fit the doc...
>> Just to be clear, which documentation are you actually talking about?
>> There are lots of bits and pieces in the OSM wiki, and lots of them
>> contradict one another.
>>> ...and the statement from the Foundation and are not really usable
>>> right now...
>> Can you give an example of a border that you can't apply the examples in
>> DisputedTerritoriesInformation.pdf to?  What problem are you actually
>> trying to solve?  are you:
>>    * Trying to find a graphical representation showing that "there is a
>>      dispute here"?
>>    * Trying to parcel up the world into best-fit single territories (to
>>      avoid double counting) for non-graphical processing?
>>    * Trying to display actual territorial control?
>>    * Trying to show what type of dispute exists somewhere?
>> All of these are somewhat different problems...  I'm not saying that
>> there isn't a problem to be solved here (in fact there are many
>> different ones).
>> Best Regards,
>> Andy
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