[Tagging] Mapping of indigenous sacred / ceremonial sites

Clifford Snow clifford at snowandsnow.us
Wed Apr 3 00:06:39 UTC 2019

On Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 2:29 PM Graeme Fitzpatrick <graemefitz1 at gmail.com>

> There has been a recent discussion on the Australia list regarding mapping
> of sites that may be considered sacred by the indigenous peoples of that
> area
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-au/2019-April/012538.html ,
> & the question has been asked as to how it's done (or not!) in other parts
> of the World?
> Is there an OSM policy on mapping sacred / ceremonial sites?
> Are there any other places where the local original inhabitants may not
> want their sites mapped, & how did you work it out?

Great question. We have a number of tribal lands in Washington State in the
US. I'd really like to see the areas mapped better but I'm reluctant for
the very reason you are asking. I know a number of their GIS staff and have
asked for help getting in touch with someone in the tribe that may be
interested in mapping their community. So far I haven't gotten anywhere. My
goal in asking for a contact is to introduce OSM to them and let the tribe
decide what to map and what not to. Paul Norman and I have discussed
proposing that they use their native language on features to help preserve
their culture.

So my answer is, introduce OSM to the local indigenous peoples in your
area. Explain the benefits of mapping and offer to help setup training
sessions. But other than mapping roads, forests, water and other obvious
features, I'd let the locals map their own community. I think once we get
them involved we will see more interest in other tribes.


OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
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