[Tagging] Who has the last word over the access tag?

Matija Nalis mnalis-openstreetmaplist at voyager.hr
Mon May 3 23:11:31 UTC 2021

On Mon, 26 Apr 2021 00:00:35 +0200, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> On 4/25/21 23:01, Clifford Snow wrote:
>> I think something must be missing from your fable since all the answers 
>> come back to the logical conclusion that the access=private isn't valid.
> There's nothing missing from the fable. The crux is that it is 
> *possible* that the coup is ended at some time in the future and "order 
> restored", and everything the self-proclaimed government did is declared 

There is always a possiblity of future change of everything and anything on
the map.  EU might fall apart tommorow and all borders of member states
could become barrier=wall access=no.  Hey, it might even be likely.  

Still, it is not a situation TODAY (at least I hope it's not, I've been
trying to avoid following politics/news to improve mental health, and would
heartily recommend that more people try news abstination - but I digress),
and we should strive to map what is situation today, not what it probably
will be tommorow.

Though, by necessity of slowness of updating, the map will always also show
(to smaller or bigger extent) the situation as it was yesterday, and not as
it is today.

So, when one is unsure how situation changed from yesterday to today in some
area, I find it prudent to just wait a little bit longer from editing that
area, until it becomes clear.

> void (they never were "a government" they just were a bunch of 
> terrorists with guns), and then everyone who has walked on your private 
> property and uploaded that to YouTube might be liable to prosecution 
> (because it has always been private, just the owner was temporarily 
> unable to enforce it).

I was under impression that access=* marks legal permissions/restrictions,
as defined by the current government (which would probably be defined as
government that is accepted by majority of the world).

If so, and it is unknown which governments / terrorists are in control, that
should probably be marked with military=danger_area and description/link to
wikipedia to further explain this danger_of_loss_of_life area.

> So we have an access restriction which is currently not enforcable by 
> the person who has a legal claim; we don't know if it ever will be (the 
> self-proclaimed island government might successfully set up an 
> independent state and their jurisdiction holds, or they might crumble 
> and things would return to the status quo ante).

So, legal status is unknown (eg. cannot be independently verified)?

In such case, access=* tag should be replaced with one of more popular
values for that purpose, like access=unknown with note=* explaining the
situation (if more details are available), and only changed after the
situation has been resolved and there is no longer a dispute.

But most probably, unless one is involved in the conflict anyway (ie. 
regardless of OSM), they should probably refrain from editing disputed areas
and better use their time elsewhere.  There is a lot of work on OSM to be
done that will be greately appreciated by everyone - much better than
investing the time where it will likely only be deepening conflicts and
leading to edit wars (or worse, real ones).

> That's the whole point of this fable - how enforcable and how enforced 
> does an access restriction have to be to be mapped in OSM. The land 

I usually tend to map for usability. 

Eg.  even if government has intended some street to have sidewalk, if that
sidewalk is used 365 days in a year as a parking spaces for cars throughout
whole day, I would NOT be going around marking such highway=residental
streets with sidewalk=yes even if that is its legal (but completely and
utterly unenforced) status - as doing that would NOT be helping anyone, but
would harm pedestrians.

If I tough that it would have been an useful, I'd mark them with
sidewalk=useless and/or sue the goverment or something.  As it happens, I do
usually find better use of my time, so it remains in OSM a road with less

Opinions above are GNU-copylefted.

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