[Tagging] My proposal for disputed country borders

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 27 23:52:01 UTC 2018

On 27/11/2018 23:01, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
> This proposal has several problems:
> 1) Too many new relations, up to 180 per border or whatever the number 
> of independent states has reached.

It's a concern (I've made similar points about languages in the past) 
but in this case I don't think that there will be _that_ many new border 
relations.  To take Ukraine as an example, there will only I suspect be 
one extra relation, with a very large number of "according_to:XX" tags 
as almost everyone supports Ukraine's border claim, but it doesn't match 
the current line of control.  You might get up to a dozen in some areas 
(perhaps around the South China Sea, also UK with or without Chagos 
Archipelago, Falklands, Gibraltar etc.), but I suspect not many more 
than that.

> 2) OSM is for “real, current” data
> - Claimed borders are not real.
> - Many old claims have never been officially surrendered

It's true that verifiability is an issue here (the problems with some 
historic claims were mentioned in a previous thread) but in many cases 
there really isn't an argument about _where_ the border is, only _what_ 
the status of the thing within it has, and (taking Ukraine as an example 
again) I'd suggest that the statement "Ukraine claims that Crimea is 
part of Ukraine" is very verifiable.

> 3) “Don’t map your local legislation”
> - legislation in country X has no jurisdiction in country Y
Where the wiki says "Don't map your local legislation" it's again just 
making a point about verifiability.  "legislation in country X has no 
jurisdiction in country Y" doesn't seem to exist in the OSM wiki at all; 
so I guess that you're just saying that _only_ de facto boundaries 
should be in OSM?  That's nearly where we are now, except that we do 
have a border for e.g. Western Sahara, and attempts have been made to 
map the claims between India, China and Pakistan (but not currently the 
resulting claimed country borders).

> On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 6:43 AM Rory McCann <rory at technomancy.org 
> <mailto:rory at technomancy.org>> wrote:
>     This is my suggestion for how to map disputed/claimed borders.
>     https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/ClaimedBorders
>     (but I appear to have broken the wiki).
>     (text snipped)
>     == Examples ==

Just a thought - how about uploading some examples as a test to the dev 
server (or elsewhere) to allow people to experiment with the data?  It's 
often easier to see potential problems once you're actually trying to 
process the data rather than in the abstract.

Best Regards,

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