[Tagging] [OSM-talk] Tagging disputed boundaries

Jan S grimpeur78 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 12 23:17:32 UTC 2019

Am Di., 12. März 2019 um 19:22 Uhr schrieb Johnparis <okosm at johnfreed.com>:

> Thanks. I never did post the final vote, which was 17 yes, 14 no, and 2
> abstain. (There was an additional yes vote after the time period elapsed,
> which has no effect on the outcome.)
> The proposal was therefore defeated, not having achieved anywhere near 74%
> approval. I suspect that it is not possible to get anything higher that
> what the proposal achieved (about 55%). I have not gone through the
> comments to see if further changes and another vote would make a difference.
> What surprised me, however, was the general lack of interest. I had
> thought this was a hot button issue, what with dozens of people registering
> with OSM, the big kerfuffle about Crimea, etc. If only 33 people are
> interested in this topic, it seems useless for me to continue to try to
> refine the proposal.
> Having comments during the voting seems useful, but I was taken aback by
> the fact that issues were raised during the voting that were not raised
> during the Request For Comments period. That strikes me as odd, since it
> raises issues that cannot be discussed during the voting. I refer, for
> example, to the idea of the "on the ground" principle.
> The proposal was written specifically to SUPPORT the "on the ground"
> principle, which I felt was undermined by the vote of the OSM Foundation
> board.
> The problem with the current system is that it conflates two things: the
> border claim by a country and the line of control for a country.
> Let's start with borders. ALL borders in OSM are based on claims. All of
> them. Even when you see a fence, a border crossing post, etc., those are
> REFLECTIONS of the border claim. They are not the border itself. And all
> borders (even maritime) are based on paper. Either there was a war and a
> treaty, or there is a traditional agreement, or in the case of maritime
> borders, there is (generally) a 12-mile boundary away from "baselines", all
> of which are claims. So to be clear, every single admin_level=2 boundary in
> OSM today is based on a claim.
> Lines of control are different, and are based on actual "on the ground"
> control. Those are fluid and difficult to ascertain in some cases, which is
> why the proposal spelled out a system that anyone could apply to know where
> and how to (literally) draw the line.
> Because it's basically impossible to eliminate the border claims (they are
> inherent to the OSM map), and because they are not observable "on the
> ground", the proposal was designed to eliminate the conflation between
> border claims and lines of control. The purpose of this is to support the
> on the ground principle. I am surprised that some people thought it might
> undermine it.
> Similarly with the list of claiming entities. There is ALREADY such a list
> ("political entities with ISO codes"), it is simply not consistently
> followed. The proposal offered specific criteria so everyone would know
> who's in and who's out, as well as a way to change the criteria.
> But enough of that. These things could have been discussed during the RFC.
> They weren't. I doubt with such a controversial topic, however, that a 74%
> vote would ever be possible. So I am content to mark it as "defeated".
> I do like Nathaniel's idea, and since we have "any tag you like" there is
> nothing to stop people from implementing the proposal as is. I do suspect
> that edit wars (as we have already seen) will follow, and I feel sorry for
> the Data Working Group and the OSM Foundation board -- I certainly wouldn't
> want to arbitrate those.
> John

Hi John,

I don't think that there's a lack of interest in the issue of disputed
territories, but rather that you've hit a fundamental issue in OSM (and
that might also appear in any other community-driven project).  Mapping
disputed territories is a complex, because it requires (hobby) mappers to
involve themselves into issues of international politics. Questions of
territorial control, the status of disputes and recognition of states and
other entities involve international politics and law. The question of how
to map the borders of Crimea, Western Sahara or Israel, which entities are
involved and how such conflicts are being resolved go beyond the scope of
everyday mapping. It simply is much more demanding to take a stand on such
a politically charged issue than e.g. on how to map police facilites, where
there is usually no dispute about their existence.

Taking into account the complexity of the issue at hand, I haven't been
surprised at all that there were few mappers commenting and voting on your
proposal. I haven't mapped international boundaries myself, simply because
I didn't have the time to familiarise myself with the current OSM mapping
policy and the technical details of mapping such long ways in JOSM. Still,
I have voted your proposal, because I have a professional background that
has allowed me to easily make up my mind on the issue at hand.

If my assumption about the complexity of the issue and the fact that many
mappers might feel overwhelmed by the consequences of your proposal is
correct, I am asking myself whether it would be wise to have a proposal
developed (or have your proposal assessed) by a group of voluntaries who
are particularly trustworthy, e.g. because they have specific knowledge in
the field of international disputes or are seasoned mappers, and then put
their proposal or assessment to a general vote.

In short, I wonder whether it might be useful to establish a working group
on disputed territories to write up a proposal...

Best, Jan
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/attachments/20190313/6e0a88c5/attachment.html>

More information about the Tagging mailing list