[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


Dear all,

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 
Gulf.

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 
or 3.

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 
mailing list.
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,


Bert Araali


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