Administrative Polygon Boundaries for Palestinian Localities in the West Bank


Many people have talked in some way about this issue in other threads, but I am making a new thread because some years have passed since then, and I have some info that might be useful to this end. Currently there are no true polygon features in OSM that display Palestinian localities (cities, towns, villages) across the West Bank as a whole. The only polygons that are there are residential/built up areas, or point data for the localities. For example, regarding the city of Qalqilya, there only exists polygon data for the “built-up” part of the city along with the Area A boundary that surrounds the city.

However, there is no polygon for the municipality of Qalqilya, which exists and has a specific delineated area of governance, as do all localities across the State of Palestine. The shapefile for all localities in the State of Palestine/Palestinian territories is published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and it can be found at their “Spatial Data Download Hub”. Here is a link. The names of the localities are written in English and Arabic. More info about the localities, such as the Arabic names with vowel markings, can be found by looking at the 2017 census report published by the PCBS. The ARIJ Village Profile website also has lots of great supplementary info about these individual localities (most of which is probably not relevant for OSM), but some of the info is out of date because some of the localities have changed slightly since the profiles were written between 2006 and 2013.

I believe these boundaries would be similar to Level 8 boundaries seen in the 1948 area (cities, local councils, regional councils), and in fact it seems like someone has already added in this data for the Gaza Strip.

I am reaching out to you all because you understand the regulations, consensus, and traditions of updating information within Israel and Palestine (I don’t live there nor edit OSM very much), and together we could help get this important information into OSM. I think it would be great to add this information to OSM somehow because these are important boundaries used in actual municipal governance (each of these localities has a council appointed by the PA), and there are perhaps many people who could benefit from having this information integrated into OSM. Please let me know what you think about this information and if/how you think we should attempt to add it into OSM.

Sorry, but

Shows: “No License Provided. Request permission to use”

Also has “Copyright © 2009 [Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem”

I can’t see anything on the actual census report, but their webpage shows “Copyright © 2023 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics”

So before making use of any of them, you would need explicit, written permission to do so e.g.

Sure, but regarding the shapefiles, I’m sure we could get permission; I actually became aware of these files by contacting the PCBS and asking if they existed, and they replied and sent me this link. I’m sure if someone familiar with the licensing process on OSM were to contact the PCBS, they could grant us permission to use their data.