[OSM-talk] Review of name and boundary tagging - revised and amended guidelines to address and resolve disputes
Bert -Araali- Van Opstal
bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com
Sun Jul 11 15:14:45 UTC 2021
It has become painfully clear, repeatedly, that name and boundary
tagging can lead to editing wars, vandalism and harm to the OSM map and
it's community. These kind of issues cannot be resolved with the current
definitions, procedures and guidelines in OSM.
When I refer to issues I mean:
1. disputes, editing wars including related mailing list, forum and
other channels like social media;
2. similar disputes and different interpretations in the use of any of
the name tags and/or boundaries in OSM, not specifically Persian/Arabian
We need to resolve this, improve our guidelines and procedures, so we
can proceed with a diverse and inclusive community, a space where all
political, cultural and religious views are respected and expressed in
an open and neutral way.
To achieve this we need to improve our wiki, our guidelines and
consensus procedures, so when they appear the working groups and
committees like the DWG and the LCCWG Moderation Subcommittee can take
arbitrary actions which comply and are supported by our community.
Both names and boundaries have had my interest since I joined OSM. I was
faced with numerous local disputes and recently got involved in the
search for authoritative and reliable resources to offer the community.
For the application of the boundaries as defined by the International
Law of the Sea this has been found and we have reached a state where a
waiver and cooperation agreement can soon be finalised. It is a resource
which accurately reflects all bilateral treaties, international law and
official UN positions. It is often used by the UN and other renowned and
neutral organisations for geo related data and visualisations.
I believe as a community we should support and accept these resources.
Resolve, find consensus based on the same primary reference, the UN, and
when it comes to marine areas the IHO.
I will prepare a proposal trying to address this and present it on the
tagging talk list for comments, improvement and voting. The initial
proposal will include:
1. the basic use and guidelines for the name and boundary tags will not
be changed in case there are no disputes;
2. in case of any disputes, in the first place, official and public
treaties, regulations from the UN and/or the IHO and international court
decisions will be decisive, in the second place bilateral treaties
between the involved parties, to determine the position of us, the OSM
community. No matter how old they are.
3. If, still, after 1. and 2. no consensus can be determined, the issue
will be formulated in a public document or mail on which the whole
community will be requested to vote. The voting procedure for this will
be anonimous, non-biased and give equal voting rights to countries and
indegionious people or international minorities. This will be tricky but
I have gathered some guidance about it on which the community can
comment and make adjustments in the proposal process.
4. Any corrective actions or sanctions will only be taken by the DWG or
the LCCWG Moderation Subcommittee, based on a non-biased outcome of 1, 2
The timeline I propose is as follows:
1. If you support the approach as expressed feel free to express it.
Strictly abstain from any biased comments, conclusions or discussions to
any issues that this new approach will try to address.
2. We give it a week to express your support for this approach on this
3. If there are no significant and founded objections, a proposal will
be launched for RFC in the second week. The RFC and adjustments will
take max. 1 month.
4. After voting, when it is approved, the wiki will be updated. In case
of a negative vote outcome the proposal will go again to the RFC state,
we don't abandon it until we reach a status which gets support.
5. After a positive outcome of 4. the new guidelines will be implemented.
With kind regards and respect to the whole OSM community,
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