[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - (consulate)

Allan Mustard allan at mustard.net
Sat Oct 27 10:59:23 UTC 2018

Yes, it is silly and oxymoronic, but so are "non-papers" (a paper that
is not a paper), something we diplomats use pretty often. 

The problem with calling AIT and TECRO embassies has naught to do with
my status as a U.S. diplomat.  It is that they are not embassies in
terms of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and that's the
ultimate authority.  I raised this whole issue because a consulate is
not an embassy; having opened that can of worms it is illogical to
correct that error only to insert another.  If you prefer "other" to
Wikipedia's "non-diplomatic" I can probably live with that.  I cannot,
however, agree with calling AIT, TECRO, the Taliban office in Doha, or
for that matter the State of Virginia office in New Delhi "embassies". 
They would be "other" and not "embassy" simply because they are not
embassies.  They do not enjoy diplomatic immunities or diplomatic status
under the VCDR, any more than consulates do.  Now excuse me for a few
minutes, please, as I have a non-paper to read.

BTW even though the United States does not recognize Palestine, I mapped
the Palestinian Embassy in Ashgabat as soon as it opened because in the
OSM domain calling it an embassy falls under OSM rules, not U.S.
government rules.  Turkmenistan recognizes Palestine and grants its
"embassy" that status under the VCDR.  I mapped it as a private citizen,
not as an officer of the United States, and my mapping does not reflect
U.S. government policy in any way, shape, or form.

On 10/27/2018 2:57 PM, Eugene Alvin Villar wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 27, 2018 at 12:52 PM Allan Mustard <allan at mustard.net
> <mailto:allan at mustard.net>> wrote:
>     If my sense of growing consensus is correct, I suggest that
>     diplomatic=* would include only [embassy, consulate, non-diplomatic].
> Tagging something as office=diplomatic then diplomatic=non-diplomatic
> sounds silly and oxymoronic. Why not simply diplomatic=other? Also we
> should allow diplomatic=yes if the mapper doesn't know the exact type.
> Therefore diplomatic=[embassy, consulate, other, yes]. (So
> diplomatic=embassy applies to regular embassies, Commonwealth of
> Nations' high commissions, Vatican apostolic nunciatures, etc.)
>     It also offers a potentially neat solution for dealing with the
>     non-diplomatic representations of Taiwan and the United States in
>     each others' countries
> I think we should call a spade a spade. While the Taipei Economic and
> Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the U.S. and the American
> Institute in Taiwan (AIT) are not de jure embassies in order to adhere
> to the so-called "One China" policy, these offices are de facto
> embassies with their head officers having (I think) ambassadorial rank
> with largely the same rights and privileges. Since OSM mapping the
> mainland Chinese territory is already an illegal activity w.r.t. the
> PRC's laws, I don't think assigning the diplomatic=embassy tag to the
> ROC-related diplomatic representative offices would make things worse
> and would cause a diplomatic incident. (Well, you as a diplomat,
> probably cannot say so because you are bound by your Department of
> State's adherence to the One China policy, but almost every other
> mapper isn't a diplomat so we are free to map however we want. [I can
> already see the BuzzFeed headline: "U.S. envoy to Turkmenistan admits
> Americans have diplomatic relations with Taiwan".])
>     and other non-diplomatic representations, such as the Taliban
>     office in Doha.
> (This sounds interesting! /[Goes and browses the "Taliban in Qatar"
> Wikipedia article]/)
>     I think limiting the number of options for diplomatic=* to three
>     would simplify mapping (and avoid confusing mappers not steeped in
>     the lore of diplomacy); the particular type of diplomatic mission
>     is in any case reflected in the name=* tag and needs not be
>     duplicated in the diplomatic=* tag (e.g., "High Commission of
>     Malaysia", "Embassy of Poland", "U.S. Interests Section",
>     "Consulate General of Japan").  If the status of a mission changes
>     (e.g., the upgrade of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana to an
>     embassy), changing the name would suffice; no re-tagging would be
>     necessary.
> I generally agree with this idea, but with the Taiwanese caveat I
> mentioned above.
>     P.S.  Regarding the question posed overnight as to whether one may
>     simply drop in on an ambassador's residence, any of you who are
>     contributing substantively to this discussion are welcome to drop
>     by my residence in Ashgabat any time you are in town :-)  Just
>     please call ahead to make sure I'll be home.
> That's a great offer! Although I probably would not be visiting
> Central Asia in the foreseeable future; my passport is in the bottom
> half of the Henley Passport Index so I don't have as much
> opportunities to travel as citizens in other countries. :)
> BTW, for other people on this thread who are not aware: yes, Allan,
> the U.S. ambassador to Turkmenistan, is an active OSM mapper and has
> substantially contributed to mapping Turkmenistan in OSM outside of
> his official duties. https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Turkmenistan

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