[OSM-talk] Tagging of maritime borders

Gustav Foseid gustavf at gmail.com
Tue Dec 30 21:32:45 GMT 2008

In Europe a number of maritime borders have been tagged recently as national
borders, with boundary=administrative and admin_level=2.

Exactly what is tagged varies:
North of Norway: A part of the exclusive economic zone
Finland: 24 mile contiguous zone
South of Sweden: Looks like an approximation of the 24 mile contiguous zone
Denmark: 24 mile contiguous zone
Germany in the Baltic Sea: Seems to be territorial waters, but I have not
checked the ED50 coordinates given in the source with the actual points
Germany in the North Sea: Old 3 mile territorial waters?
The Netherlands: Source is AND? Line approx 1 mile of the coast, unsure what
this is.
Belgium: 24 mile contiguous zone
Italy: The coastline, but some places into the sea and other places on land.
Greece/Turkey: Only tagged where islands from both countries are close to
each other.

This is, at best, confusing and, at worst, wrong. The territorial waters and
contiguous zones have very different legal status from a national border,
you can for instance pass through the territorial waters of a nation without
any border controls. Some details are in the Wikipedia article for United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

I would suggest that maritime borders are not tagged the same way as land
borders. Should we have a new tag for maritime borders? Stop tagging them?
Ignore the problem?

 - Gustav
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