[OSM-talk] Fwd: DWG policy on Crimea

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Sun Oct 21 13:12:03 UTC 2018

Dear all,

we all know how sensible the topic of disputed boundaries can be (they are not necessarily a big problem, many boundary disputes like between Italy and France about the summit of Mont Blanc / Monte Bianco, have little bearing on the actual life of people).

Therefore we can all be satisfied there is clear guidance from the board how to deal with this: the local situation determines how we map, and the OSMF is explicit here: “National borders are particularly sensitive. Currently, we record one set that, in OpenStreetMap contributor opinion, is most widely internationally recognised and best meets realities on the ground, generally meaning physical control.”


When I recently looked at Crimea I noticed it is still part of the Ucraine in OSM: https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/60199

As many might know, the current boundary situation for Crimea was frozen 4 years ago “for a short time” by the DWG and so I asked them about their current position 2 months ago, and after I got no reply, tried to remind them 5 weeks ago, but have not yet gotten any reply, so I am now opening this thread here.

IMHO, for consistency and credibility, we should either recognize that Russia is actually controlling Crimea, or we should update the disputed borders information. As I believe the general concept of ground truth for admin boundaries was a good idea, I would tend to the former.

I also believe the actual situation has already been ignored for too long. When the thing is still dynamic or/and we’re in the middle of a conflict it can be wise to step back and see for some time how things are evolving, but 4 years are a lot of time, something like one year would seem more reasonable.

What do you think?

Cheers, Martin 

sent from a phone

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>
> Date: 20. August 2018 at 10:42:33 CEST
> To: data at osmfoundation.org
> Subject: DWG policy on Crimea
> Dear members of the DWG,
> as of this question in the help forum:
> https://help.openstreetmap.org/questions/65436/what-is-the-current-position-of-the-dataworkinggroup-on-crimea 
> I kindly invite you to reconsider and eventually update your position on the situation in Crimea.
> As you have stated in 2014, this should not be the long term way to deal with the situation, and short term is probably coming to an end. There is clear guidance by the OSMF board how to deal with disputed boundaries (as the situation seems to be more stable than some would have liked).
> My motivation is not promoting the Russian point of view, but to act predictably and consistent wrt sensible topics.
> Thank you,
> cheers,
> Martin 
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