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I noticed that, for example with some disputes such as the Croatian Serbian border, both borders are shown. Sometimes the current military control map, such as in West Sahara is displayed. But in others such as the Aranchu Pradesh and Olivenza disputes, one country's border is favoured.

What's the reasoning for that?

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asked 14 Oct '18, 02:39

Laiji's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 14 Oct '18, 02:40

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answered 14 Oct '18, 08:14

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%


In addition to what Richard's already said (linking to the OSMF Policy, which is the "correct answer" with regard to how borders should be defined within OSM) it's perhaps worth outlining the process that took place for the territory of the former Western Sahara and other territories bordering Morocco:

In roughly mid 2016 the Data Working Group got a number of reports of political edits in the area. A quick investigation found that (a) the situation, both on the ground and politically, is complicated and (b) there were a large number of mappers involved.

We identified the major mappers in the area (included some that seemed to be sock-puppets of other mappers), and mailed each one (including the sockpuppets, just in case) this message, usually by changeset discussion comment. A large number of replies came back and the summary of the results and the decided actions is here.

The next step was to make (and enforce) those changes. A number of new accounts were created to make political edits and were prevented from doing so, typically with an explanation in a short user block such as this one (that was a three-hour block, although the account has not logged in again in 2 years). We also needed to explain on questions such as this one what had happened.

It's essentially an ongoing process - you've just mentioned this area in this question, and I'm not convinced that the maritime borders in the Mediterranean are as good a summary of reality as they can be - there's still ongoing discussion about that.

(14 Oct '18, 09:05) SomeoneElse ♦

One more thing - if you think a border in OSM is "wrong" there are a number of places you can ask about it:

  • The public mailing lists / forums of the countries concerned is a great start. People there will be able to refer you to previous discussion on a topic.

  • The "International Boundaries" forum has people posting in at least German and English. They're primarily interested in borders that are "valid" in the sense of being closed multipolygons, but there's also discussion there about what should be the correct border too.

  • OSM's Data Working Group at . We get lots of requests that "X in OSM does not match my countries preferred political view" and can try and help explain how to produce maps that do do that. We get fewer that say "X in OSM does not match the on-the-ground reality", but would genuinely like to hear about places where this is the case. There are a very large number of boundaries in OSM, and we need everyone's help to try and ensure that they are as correct as they can be.

Andy (from OSM's Data Working Group)

(14 Oct '18, 09:17) SomeoneElse ♦

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question asked: 14 Oct '18, 02:39

question was seen: 2,013 times

last updated: 14 Oct '18, 09:17

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