[OSM-talk] Policy in mapping military installations

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 14:20:50 BST 2012

2012/8/28 Gregory <nomoregrapes at googlemail.com>:
> On 26 August 2012 11:02, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
>> -1, you might map the sign as "toy factory" (maybe I am
>> misinterpreting what you said? I never met a building that "said"
>> something ;-) ) but if _on the ground_ it is a military installation
>> and you ("everyone") know about this, mapping it as a toy factory
>> would be plain wrong and also a violation of the on the ground rule.
> I mean if the military are keeping the site a secret and the building has a
> sign on it "Welcome To Mr Smith's Toy Factory", then that is what it should
> be mapped as because on the ground it says it is a toy factory. Local
> knowledge may say they never see toys coming out of it, only military
> personnel, but that is it.

IMHO the "on the ground rule" should not encourage to add wrong
information. local knowledge should beat (wrong) information on signs.
E.g. if there is a typo on a road sign (and you can verify that it is
a typo) then you'd better insert the correct name (and maybe give a
hint in a note tag that the road sign is wrong, and possibly also a
source:name-tag to explain where you got the correct information

That said I agree that the given example case is difficult to judge,
because if there is a well made up cover for a secret government
installation it might be desirable to have this cover also in OSM.

You can find some documented real world examples for (uncovered)
offices/installations of one of the German secret services (BND) on
wikipedia: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundesnachrichtendienst#Getarnte_Dienststellen_.28Deutschland.29

E.g. this one:
"Bundesstelle für Fernmeldestatistik" which translates roughly to
"Federal Agency for Communication Statistics" ;-)


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