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Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Please, consider this.

asked 21 Jul '14, 12:29

crimean's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

closed 25 Jul '15, 14:55

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦

The question has been closed for the following reason "Too subjective and argumentative" by Richard 25 Jul '15, 14:55


The current mapping of Crimea is to be in accordance with the Data Working Group resolution on Crimea, which calls for the region to tagged as part of both Russia and Ukraine. As noted, this is not optimal and is a short-term solution.

If people have been changing it contrary to this, please let the Data Working Group know at

Paul Norman
For the Data Working Group

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answered 22 Jul '14, 20:32

pnorman's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%


The short explanation is:

If some information (name, boundary etc.) is in dispute, then OSM uses the "On the Ground Rule". This means that OSM does not record the legal or historical situation, but the situation as it presents itself in the mapped area ("on the ground").

Since currently the Russian Federation controls the Crimea, it is mapped as part of the RF. It's that simple.

This is also described in the document Information for officials and diplomats of countries with disputed territories mentioned by scai:

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.

If you disagree with this tagging, then please discuss this on the OSM mailing lists (the list "talk" is probably the most appropriate). Note that the topic was already discussed there in February: OSM-talk - Crimea/Russia/Ukraine Borders.

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answered 21 Jul '14, 14:37

sleske's gravatar image

accept rate: 24%

edited 21 Jul '14, 14:40


Well, then it's not clear why the parts of Ukrainian Luhans'k & Donetsk regions, which are also occupied by Russians are not marked as a part of Russian Federation? Also, what about the territories controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant? Is there any difference "on the ground"?

(24 Jul '15, 11:59) johndoe

@johndoe the "on-the-ground" rule clearly depends on the willingness of people to actually go there. Neither ISIS nor the people in control of Donetsk etc are formally recognised states, the situation is highly fluid and these are war zones. The situation in the Crimea (and elsewhere) is rather different as I'm sure you are aware.

(24 Jul '15, 12:23) SK53 ♦

@SK53 You see, I'm living in the city of Luhans'k, and I've visited Crimea less then a month ago. I couldn't see any difference there. Both regions are parts of Ukraine. Both regions are occupied and controlled by Russian troops and Russian paramilitary units. And AFAIR the "on-the-ground" rule is related just to local names, designations, and so on. But this rule is definitely not related to the borders between states, or territorial identities of regions, is it? OK, even if it is, "the government with effective and sustained control of the area" mentioned by Wiki is the same for both of these regions. It's Russian government located at Kremlin, Moscow. So I still can't get any reason for different judgments in these two cases.

(24 Jul '15, 23:20) johndoe

@johndoe I detect a NPOV (in the wiki sense here). At least from the perspective of news reports in Britain, the Russian Federation denies active administration of these area.

(25 Jul '15, 12:25) SK53 ♦

Cartographers from Luhansk have provided you false information. At the official level and level of diplomacy Russia calls these territories: - a part of Ukraine which has lifted a revolt against the Ukrainian government. The so-called Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk are nobody unrecognized. Upon those republics isn't the states. With them except Russia nobody officially has affairs. Local cartographers (for example uname) drew borders, but the Ukrainian community addressed to DWG and DWG has removed from the card. Then there was one more attempt of other cartographer and DWG has removed.

Donetsk and Luhansk aren't a part of Russia. The Russian parliament didn't make the decision on accession to Russia. Financial and military support of fighting groups of Zakharchenko by Russia - doesn't mean that the territory became a part of Russia. At the moment this territory is displayed correctly according to the legislation of Ukraine (there is a "Certain Areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk Region" line

(08 Mar '18, 08:07) Poliakoff My...

The OpenStreetMap community operates under the “on the ground” principle. If a name appears on the ground, for example a street sign, then that is the preferred name to use. This is recorded as a “name” in our database and is the one generally used on our main example map.

On larger scale it means that as Russia unfortunately succeeded in invading Crimea it is mapped as a part of the Russia.

see and

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answered 21 Jul '14, 14:26

Mateusz%20Konieczny's gravatar image

Mateusz Koni...
accept rate: 0%


Thank you for your answers. I hope you will never have the possibility to understand what we are feeling. And how it feels when you home has been occupied. And rest of the world don't care. But such principles sounds for me like some sort of "supporting" occupations of other countries. "On the ground" = ignoring. Sorry.

(21 Jul '14, 14:51) crimean

OSM is neutral. But we have to follow some world-wide applicable rules as otherwise there will be edit wars for every country border.

(21 Jul '14, 17:02) scai ♦

It is not neutral, it is more like "we don't care". IMHO, the decision of UN is the world-wide applicable rule.

(21 Jul '14, 17:31) crimean

You are welcome to create your own rendering from OpenStreetMap data that follows your own Humble Opinions. That's the great advantage of open data.

(21 Jul '14, 17:35) Richard ♦

A general remark, often in these discussions (and there are many many territories that are affected by this) people point to the UN. However the UN has no binding legeslative or other power in such matters, nor does the UN regulate what is a country and what not.

(22 Jul '14, 11:20) SimonPoole ♦

about the Crimea. The Ukrainian community considers that the Crimea is Ukraine. Therefore the Convention on the Crimea has made everything correctly and wisely: - as territory of 2 countries. The question of the status the Crimea is closed. The Ukrainian community will never refuse the territory. Therefore the Ukrainian community with humility waits for 2021 when the Crimea returns to Ukraine. And then it will be possible to remove the Crimea from the multirelation Russian Federation proceeding from the rule about reality.

(08 Mar '18, 08:08) Poliakoff My...
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

No matter what you think about the political situation there, Russia now controls Crimea. Ukraine no longer does. Even Google Maps now considers this. I feel sorry for you if you're unhappy with that situation, but ignoring the recent development and tagging Crimea as an uncontested part of Ukraine is just wrong because it does no longer reflect reality.

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answered 01 Oct '14, 16:54

Maturi0n's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I've heard that google maps might give you a different view depending on your country. So it's very well possible that in Ukraine they see a different border.

(01 Oct '14, 16:59) escada

-1: this answer doesn't add anything of substance

(01 Oct '14, 17:23) neuhausr

@escada I wonder where they got that idea from...

(01 Oct '14, 17:29) SomeoneElse ♦
(01 Oct '14, 17:39) escada

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question asked: 21 Jul '14, 12:29

question was seen: 8,529 times

last updated: 02 Dec '19, 21:00

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum