[OSM-talk] Administrative boundaries export

Eugene Alvin Villar seav80 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 3 01:57:57 UTC 2013

On Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 6:52 AM, Christian Quest <cquest at openstreetmap.fr>wrote:

> UK level 4 is on the maritime borders (island culture ?) where most other
> European countries stop on the coastline... tagging bio-diversity is not
> helpful !

This is actually another point to consider when extracting admin boundaries
from OSM data.

My personal view is that the admin boundary marks the boundary where the
administrative entity exercises jurisdiction. Under UNCLOS, nations are
allowed to exercise full sovereignty over internal waters (which includes
water seaward of the coastline but within the baselines) and almost full
sovereignty (foreign ships are allowed "innocent passage") for territorial
waters (up to 12 nautical miles from the baselines). So I think that using
the maritime boundaries as the admin_level=2 boundary is not incorrect and
this is reflected in OSM.

Use of maritime boundaries for admin_level=3 and higher (such as with UK)
depends on how the particular nation interprets its internal
maritime/fisheries laws. In my country, we have "municipal waters" which
can be up to 15 kilometers from the shoreline and that's where
municipalities can exercise jurisdiction.
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