[OSM-talk] Policy in mapping military installations

Gregory nomoregrapes at googlemail.com
Fri Aug 24 13:33:23 BST 2012

I remember this topic being on the mailing lists in the past.

I agree with the rules:
* Don't get shot
* "On the ground" rule

If you walk past a building that says "Toy Factory" but everyone knows it
is a secret military base because of the armed guards. You map it as a toy

If it has signs around it saying "Military Property: do not enter". then
you can map it as landuse=military, even if you don't know what it is or
what's in it.

It may be wise not to map the roads and buildings inside, depending on the
country and security sensitivity of the site.
I have mapped a whole golf course within a military site(UK), but I know
that to be easy to see from the public road, so not a threat to national
security http://osm.org/go/erUlTzkI

If these areas are mapped it's helpful so you can avoid hiking through them.
If maps can't be used in certain countries, set up a map render for your
site that draws them as playgrounds or whatever.

There are some discussions here:

Fun antidotes/stories that can be told over a beer:
* A well known London mapper (not me) went on holiday to Egypt, did some
mapping, it wasn't till he got home that he learnt foreigners holding
having a GPS alone was illegal!
* At night I've covertly mapped some embassies in London using a camera &
notepad, along a police-guarded road. Earlier in the day another mapper had
been told not to map there, I took up the challenge.

Happy Mapping,

On 24 August 2012 09:06, ce-test, qualified testing bv - Gert Gremmen <
g.gremmen at cetest.nl> wrote:

> Then we should let it alone and bow for the
> international "common denominator" of forbidden
> subjects and stop mapping
> fugitive camps
> military installations
> war monuments
> coffee shops
> governmental buildings
> or whatever any country will put on the list
> of forbidden to map ???
> Isn't there a need for a official OSMF view
> on these matters ?
> On the topic of the Israeli airport:
> Is hiding the airport not an invitation
> to attack a civil airport instead?
> Or a bus stop? Or a shopping mall?
> And is that why military airports must be hidden?
> Or should we hide all potential terrorist attack targets?
> Where does this end ?
> And to Pieren:
> "create huge difficulties for the local community"
> is that to OSM as a "open"  community acceptable as a reason "to unmap"
> subjects ?
> Gert
> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van: Pieren [mailto:pieren3 at gmail.com]
> Verzonden: Friday, August 24, 2012 9:39 AM
> Aan: OSM
> Onderwerp: Re: [OSM-talk] Policy in mapping military installations
> On Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 8:46 AM, Michael Krämer <ohrosm at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I think local law might apply even if you're somewhere else.
> Ergh, that's an interresting new concept. My friends tell me the same when
> they smoke joints : it's legal in Netherland ;-)
> > I'm not a lawyer
> I confirm.
> Btw, I remember the same issue raised in Russia few months ago. I don't
> know what is the consensus there. The main issue with putting something
> locally forbiden in OSM is that you create huge difficulties for the local
> community: they cannot use anymore global services provided remotely like
> map tiles or planet extracts. Basically, you will enforce them to do
> everything locally (filtered) when they don't have necessarily the
> resources for that.
> Pieren
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