[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries

Johnparis okosm at johnfreed.com
Tue Nov 27 12:20:05 UTC 2018

Thank you for that reference, Marc.

The blog post you cite deals with the policy and how it is enforced, not
with the question of physical control. The blog acknowledges that Russia
has physical control.

Let me be clear: this proposal makes NO CHANGES in the existing policy
regarding de facto borders, and makes NO CHANGES in how that policy is
implemented (other than to explicitly tag borders where OSMF has made a

Discussions of the existing policy and its enforcement are therefore not on
topic. I personally have issues with the policy (it has led to, shall we
say, rather "unique" maps in many parts of the world), but those are
properly directed at the OSMF and the DWG. They are not relevant to this

This proposal offers a mechanism, if you will, for the "losing side" in a
ruling by the OSMF to "have its say" on the map. It does not absolve OSMF
from its role in making a ruling.

The proposal works regardless of how OSMF decides to enforce (or change)
its policy. Hypothetically, OSMF could decide that henceforth, all de facto
borders will be taken from the 1923 Atlas of the World by Encyclopaedia
Britannica. (That would lift one burden from them!) This proposal would
remain the same.


On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 10:20 AM Marc Gemis <marc.gemis at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 10:06 AM Johnparis <okosm at johnfreed.com> wrote:\
> > The question of "physical control" is, I believe, not at issue. The fact
> that Russia exercises physical control is precisely what Ukraine objects
> to. So both sides agree that Russia has physical control of Ukraine. But if
> there were a dispute, again from the proposal: Disputes about which
> claiming entity, if any, exercises control over a particular territory can
> be resolved by the OSM Institutions (meaning the OSMF or the DWG). The
> criterion of "most widely internationally recognised", and how it might
> conflict with the criterion of "best meets realities on the ground", is at
> issue. So the de facto situation remains one that the OSM Institutions
> would have to resolve. When resolved, the de facto border would get the
> "boundary:status=osm_designated" tag, which essentially makes it "not
> subject to change" (by ordinary mappers, anyway).
> From https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Kilkenni/diary/47017#comment43421
> I understand that the notion using  "physical control" to define the
> border is the problem.
> m.
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