[Tagging] My proposal for disputed country borders

Johnparis okosm at johnfreed.com
Wed Nov 28 05:39:17 UTC 2018

Thanks for this, Rory. I'll add it as a comment to the active proposal (

I don't think the notion of "according_to" is viable unless it is
restricted to the two disputing parties. (Three-way disputes can be
simplified into three two-way disputes.)

I'll also look at your proposed tag (boundary=claimed_administrative) vs.
my proposed tag (boundary_claim=administrative). Not sure whether there's
any significant difference in implementation, but would like your thoughts
on that.

I plan to rethink my proposal along these lines. One problem I now see with
my examples, for instance, is that it provides relations for SADR (de facto
and claimed) and MA (de facto and claimed), but not MA as seen by SADR. So
you can't draw a global map from these relations from the viewpoint of SADR
and its supporters. (You can do one from the viewpoint of MA, because SADR
doesn't exist in that world, but that's a special case.)

Finally, is there some reason you want to create a competing proposal? I
don't have any knowledge of two competing proposals being discussed at the
same time; would they be followed by two votes? I thought the idea was to
reach consensus.


On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 10:43 PM Rory McCann <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).
> This proposal is simple. Map the claimed border of a country according
> to another country as another regular {{Tag|type|boundary}} relation,
> but add {{Tag|boundary|claimed_administrative}} +
> {{Tag|claimed:admin_level||2}} (since we're nearly always dealing with
> countries) Add the regular tags for a boundary relation (e.g.
> {{Tag|ISO3166-1}}, {{Tag|name}}).
> Then add {{Tag|according_to:XX||yes/no}} for each country that does or
> doesn't claims this is the border of the subject country. If
> {{Tag|according_to:XX}} is missing for an object, the value should be
> assumed to be "yes" if this is {{Tag|boundary|administrative}}, and "no"
> if it's {{Tag|boundary|claimed_administrative}}.
> == Examples ==
> === Kosovo ===
> {{Wikipedia|en|Kosovo|text=no}} has been
> {{Wikipedia|en|
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_recognition_of_Kosovo
>   }} recognised by about half the members of the UN, since it is de
> facto  acting as a country, it's mapped in OSM {{relation|2088990}}, as
> {{Tag|boundary|administative}}+{{Tag|admin_level||2}}. Kosovo was part
> of Serbia, which is {{relation|1741311}}, and also
> {{Tag|boundary|administative}}+{{Tag|admin_level||2}}. Serbia & Spain
> don't recognise Kosovo, so I presume they view the border of "Serbia" to
> be the land covered by {{relation|2088990}}+{{relation|1741311}}. We can
> map this by copying the Serbia relation ({{relation|1741311}}), and
> changing the members to include the larger area, then add
> {{Tag|type|boundary}}+{{Tag|boundary|claimed_administrative}}+{{Tag|claimed:admin_level||2}}+{{Tag|ISO3166-1||RS}}+{{Tag|according_to:RS||yes}}+{{Tag|according_to:ES||yes}}.
> We can add {{Tag|according_to:XK||yes}} to the Kosovo relation, since
> (IIRC) the de facto border is what the government there claims as the
> border. We can add {{Tag|according_to:RS||no}} to the Serbia relation,
> which means "This is the de facto border of Serbia, and they claim it's
> not the border, and the UK claims it is, and Mexico claims it isn't".
> === Crimea ===
> Left as an exercise for the reader.
> === Kashmir ===
> (Correct me if I'm wrong) {{Wikipedia|en|Kashmir conflict}} is mostly a
> dispute between India and Pakistan, but China has claims on some parts.
> Neither India or Pakistan control all of what they claim. (i) The de
> facto border of India, (ii) The de facto border of Pakistan (current OSM
> countries), (iii) The borders of India according to India, (iv) The
> borders of Pakistan accroding to India, (v) The borders of Pakistan
> according to Pakistan, (vi) The borders of India according to Pakistan.
> Each of these 6 options would be mapped with a separate relation.
> == Advantages ==
> * Copies the same logic from multipolygons, being supported by
> * 100% backwards compatible with existing scheme to map countries
> * Easily readable tags that data consumers can probably deduce.
> == Disadvantages ==
> * Creates more relations, several extra per disputed area. This could be
> unwieldy an could lead to data consistancies
> == Using the data ==
> === Rendering a Map ===
> To render a map of the world with the Serbian view of borders, you
> import the data with `osm2pgsql`, then run a SQL query like:
> DELETE FROM planet_osm_polygon WHERE boundary = 'administrative' AND
> 'admin_level'='2' AND tags->'claimed:by:RS' = 'no',
> UPDATE planet_osm_polygon SET admin_level = '2', boundary =
> 'administrative' WHERE boundary = 'claimed_administrative' AND
> 'claimed_admin_level'='2' AND tags->'claimed:by:RS' = 'yes',
> or an SQL VIEW could be used.
> (Or adjust your map style appropriately to look at the
> {{Tag|according_to:XX}} tag, with a reasonable default).
> === Data analysis ===
> With an osm2pgsql database, you can see what areas are claimed by
> country X, but not de facto controlled by it.
> == See also ==
> * [[Proposed features/Mapping disputed boundaries]]
> * [[Proposed_features/DisputedTerritories|Previous (abandoned)
> proposal]] on mapping disputed territories.
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