[OSM-talk] [Osmf-talk] Candidate's views? Re: Board decision on Crimea complaint

Vladimir Agafonkin agafonkin at gmail.com
Tue Dec 11 14:01:16 UTC 2018

> And here you are disqualifying yourself from the discussion because you
> essentially reject the possibility that OSM can function as a cross
> cultural, cross ideology project to document the verifiable geography of
> the world.  If you don't think that is possible and think that OSM when
> mapping the world has to take a political side maybe OSM is not the right
> project for you.  Because that is the most fundamental idea behind our
> project.

I pointed out such a possibility in the same message (which I hoped you'd
read fully before replying), assuming OSM wants to map "verifiable
geography" and not "the world according to Christoph Hormann". As soon as
you extend the physical ground truth principle to non-physical political
entities, doing so *selectively* to form a single view that aligns with
your personal feelings, the issue becomes political. It doesn't have to be.

On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 2:40 PM Vladimir Agafonkin <agafonkin at gmail.com>

> On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 12:52 PM Guillaume Rischard <
> openstreetmap at stereo.lu> wrote:
>> The on-the-ground rule has served us well on disputed borders: there is
>> no other reasonable and possible alternative. Creating an exception in
>> Crimea, without any justification, opens Pandora’s box.
> All of these statements are misleading. If Crimea is an exception, how is
> the ground-truth rule applied in South Osetia and Abkhazia, both of which
> are included in the Georgia boundary which has absolutely no control over
> those territories (de-facto controlled by Russia)? Why is Transnistria
> included in the boundaries of Moldova? Why does the Cyprus boundary include
> a large area fully controlled by Turkey? What police and tax authority is
> there in large areas of Iran and Iraq controlled by ISIS, and why are these
> areas still included in the respective countries?
> The only major difference in those cases compared to Crimea is that
> applying the ground-truth rule there would require mapping respective areas
> as independent countries. But — big surprise! — OSM community by convention
> limits the list of countries to those recognized by the UN, because, as it
> turns out, a country is a political entity after all. How ironic is that?
> In practice, OSM never fully adhered to the ground truth rule when it
> comes to country boundaries, but at least the policy was vague enough to
> make arbitrary decisions, with either "ground truth" or "widely
> internationally recognized" bit taking precedence depending on how the DWG
> members feel about the world on a particular day. Pretending OSM is out of
> politics when solving an inherently political issue does not help, because
> then you take a political side implicitly (becoming a welcome tool of
> Russian regime propaganda in this case).
> There are reasonable and possible alternatives, such as this in-progress
> disputed boundaries proposal
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Mapping_disputed_boundaries>,
> but due to the complexity and emotional charge of the issue, fleshing them
> out to a practical consensus will take a considerable time. Until such a
> common ground is found, the most practical thing you can do is to revert to
> a balance point that prevents never-ending edit wars and worked well in
> practice for the last 5 years. It's unfortunate that this issue wasn't
> taken seriously in that period, but hopefully this crisis, however
> damaging, will facilitate coming to a universal solution soon.
> --
> Vladimir Agafonkin
> https://agafonkin.com
> +380 (93) 745 44 61

Vladimir Agafonkin
+380 (93) 745 44 61
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