As you may be aware, the Data Working Group has been asked to look at the status of various borders around Morocco (both with Spain and that status of the territory both west and east of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moroccan_Wall (because names for a number of features here are disputed, I’m referring to them via en.wikipedia names).
A large number of people were consulted by changeset discussion comments (everyone who had edited country boundaries in the area at the time) , and in the International Boundaries forum http://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?pid=602864#p602864 . We’ve had lots of feedback, via changeset discussion comments, private OSM messages, emails and posts in this forum. Some replies have requested anonymity, and therefore we won’t go into detail (beyond what is already public) into exactly who has commented and what they said.
There were essentially two questions:
The status of the Morocco / Spain Border in the north
The state of the area covered by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Sahara in the south.
Taking (1) first, all those who replied on this part agreed that Ceuta and Melilla and the other Spanish claimed territories should be mostly considered part of Spain. The exception is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perejil_Island , which is currently occupied by neither side. Therefore the DWG recommendation is that the following which are already parts of Spain are added as “inners” to the Morocco relation:
http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/402174412 (Islas Chafarinas)
The constituent parts of http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/5921806 (Plazas de Soberanía) apart from http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/8692572 (Perejil_Island). The name of way 8692572 will be changed to include the Spanish name as well as the other three names it currently contains.
The situation with (2) is more complicated and there was more variety in the replies received. However, there was a clear majority in favour of recognising something either as “Western Sahara” or as “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic” as a country (admin_level=2). Whether that something was the whole of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Sahara as recognised by the UN (with the area east of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moroccan_Wall as a constituent, disputed, admin_level=3) or just the part to the east of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moroccan_Wall wasn’t agreed, but the majority (just) were probably in favour of keeping the part west of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moroccan_Wall as part of Morocco (which does control the territory) and the part east as a “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic” (which is what http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/5441968 in OSM was previously).
This means changing http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/5441968 to be admin_level=2, and changing the names so that name=name:ar, and also adding name:es and name:en at least (names from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahrawi_Arab_Democratic_Republic ).
It also means changing http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/3630439 so that the southern and eastern boundary does not include territory in http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/5441968 . This isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds - zoom in on http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/5441968 and you’ll see the problems - not least, disagreements with the current border of Mauritania.
A number of other relations are potentially affected by this change, but we don’t propose to change them (yet), in order to minimise the changes needed at this time. We also understand that we’ll need to communicate to all of the participants involved before the changes are made (those contacted via changeset discussions at the start of the process) what the DWG’s decision is. We will also state there that if necessary we will enforce the decision in order to prevent edits representing one “side” or another that goes against the results of the consultation.
With regards to how and when to actually make the changes, the DWG would be grateful for any volunteers from this forum (who edit boundaries on a regular basis) who can assist. Please send an email to email@example.com and we will co-ordinate the editing that needs doing.
Andy Townsend (SomeoneElse) on behalf of OSM’s Data Working Group.