Country based authorizations

So what do you mean by a “quite poor idea”?
Do you mean mapping should only be allowed to a white list of nationalities, immigration status, team membership? Do you mean it’s a good idea to refrain from mapping war thorn areas? Do you mean only deletion of military objects should be allowed? Would it be OK to delete a bombed bridge, maybe depending on who bombed it? In the worst case: do you mean it’s a “quite poor idea” because a mapper could be exposed to some retaliation, other than reverts?
I’m really confused by your extremely concise answer.

Data Working Group mentioned an “OSM community in Ukraine” which complained about my edits. No member of this community contacted me, nor commented my changesets. I just received a block based on issues I could not access.
Then I contacted DWG, which simply replied asking me “NOT to map in Ukraine until the end of this war”.

Taking into account the guidelines you mentioned, I posted the first message in this forum for an open, public and archieved discussion.

In the meantime, several saigon2k1 changesets had been reverted by incomunicative users with no explanation other than “mapping is prohibited”.



Such conflicts could be easily handled using the standard guidelines. As strange as it may seem, there were and there are several other war-torn areas globally. OSM Board should have already faced such matter, but I wasn’t able to find any documentation.
Instead, I think DWG should not be overloaded by issues like this. DWG should stick to factual ones.

Given that mapping right now including things like bombed out bridges is more likely to be helpful to invading Russians rather than civilians or defenders…

Yes, I think that pausing mapping may be a good idea and I would consult mapping there with a local community.

DWG is primarily handling social/communication/behavior issues, not factual ones (unless you mean facts related to social issues).

Let’s say you are an ukranian citized trying to escape a warfare area: isn’t an information about bridges status important? Do you really think that russian army routing is performed with OSM?

So far “local community” at least users Zcor, ququruzka and Anton Melnichuk are not paused and are actively removing military objects; I reported their “work”, but DWG doesn’t mind.

Anyway I give you and hint: such acts of removing military objects are quite more interesting for an invading army than my undeleted military landuses. OSM tools allows everyone to easily spot deletions and retagging (i.e: I’ve found several military to grass by Zcor). Only poor analysts think absence of information is not useful.


Please respect local OSM community as well as local laws.

1 Like

are you suggesting we remove China from the map?

What I meant: we should not internationally (from the outside) enforce local law, but of course everybody must follow the law that is valid for them (i.e. naturally you must abide to the law of the place where you are, but we should not enforce the law of all countries, but only those that we must follow (i.e. British law).

Local law is also incompatible, for example in disputed areas, because every country that claims a certain territory will also claim that their law is relevant, also specific border versions are often prescribed, and naturally can not be fullfilled at the same time.


Thanks Christian for reporting this wiki.

Anyway I’d like that OSM Board itself adopts this directive. It would set a legal precedent for any other war-affected areas.

Edit: if this page will be endorsed by DWG and/or OSM board, OSM will be officially dead.
You can start preparing new stickers about StreetMap and set redirections to

See also

1 Like

Hi. Ukraine is struggling and we’re fighting with russian occupants. Frankly, it’s not the best time to map anything in Ukraine, especially military bases and army-related infra (if you’re not russian occupant). The state on the ground is changing hourly. Please keep all the desire and efforts for better times. After the Ukrainian victory, we can set up some sort of mappathon to add more data to Ukrainian OSM DB.


It’s not a conflict and not an issue. It’s the biggest war since WW2!


SG keep in mind – my country in war, I think in this time mapping of any military, industrial objects or points of humanitarian aids is too dangerous even lethal for soldiers and civilians around this objects.

You can just start mapping somewere in Spain for ex. I saw there a lot of work.


4 posts were split to a new topic: My user is blocked

I get your point and I am sure you are right, but saigon2k2 was not referring to the “conflict” in your place but to the conflict between himself and DWG I assume. I do not want to take in his position but he should not be blamed for something he did not state I think.

Good luck to you and everyone else in your place, mate!

1 Like

Since you’ve asked this question here I think that it’s important for me to reply, since I was handling the issue at the DWG, and as requested I’ll not go too deeply into the reasons given by the people who reported you to the DWG in the first place, beyond what is already public (including by things you have linked to yourself).

First things first, OpenStreetMap is a community. It is “everyone’s local map”. The wiki page how we map is a good summary - amongst other things that says “OpenStreetMap values community cohesion over data perfection”.

You are aware that Ukraine has been invaded by Russia, and that some Ukrainian mappers have deleted or otherwise tried to conceal some things within Ukraine such as military landuse. You reverted some of those deletions and made it clear in various places (including here) that you did not agree with them, and continued to argue the point on e.g. this changeset.

We can argue about how effective those deletions will be at inconveniencing invaders**; but that is a discussion for elsewhere. What I suspect that we can’t argue about is that the local community was very opposed to your reverts e.g. around Lviv. Likewise (as I pointed out to you in emails) old aerial imagery is not going to be a good source for OSM in a country devastated by war.

It’s unusual, but not completely unknown, for the DWG to ask people to stop mapping in a certain place - sometimes we might ask two mappers who have personal issues with each other to avoid mapping in each others’ areas. Usually we are able to come to some sort of arrangement that allows contributions to OSM to continue from all parties. You flatly refused to compromise, so we were unable to come to such an arrangement here. It is clearly ridiculous to expect every such request to be voted on individually by the OSMF board.

The block is not a permanent ban from OpenStreetMap - as the message says, “if they can agree to avoid future issues of this type then we’ll revoke this block”. In addition, in emails we said (and on the DWG’s OSMF wiki page it also says) that if you were unhappy with the DWG’s decision you had the opportunity to appeal to the Board.

– Andy Townsend (from the Data Working Group)

** in another context this afternoon someone referred to OSM as an “append-only database”, and that’s pretty much true - anything that was there is still there, and can be brought back at some later stage.

Edit: removal of an “elsewhere” to fix a grammar issue.


as well as local laws

I would not go so far. In some cases even going against the law of the place where you are is the correct solution (but one should be aware of risks in case of doing this).

I would not treat local laws as very important in general or in this case (see China mapping law, see India censorship laws as applying to maps of Kashmir etc)


I totally agree with you.

1 Like

Hello, this is a temporary account, since it seems blocking Saigon2k1 OSM account does not allow me login even in this discussion forum.

I would like to present this case to clarify what I meant by stating that the absence of information is information. In object history you can see how the military area has been repeatedly modified in an attempt to make it not visible to casual users, until it was completely removed at the initiative of the DWG.

By comparing the layers of this map you will easily realize which objects have disappeared, hence resulting interesting for whatever enemy.

Considering that the area was recently hit by a russian missile attack, is the DWG still sure that arbitrarily altering OSM objects (and imposing its version with user blocks and edit wars) brings good results?

See here for a previous discussion of that. Whether users prevented from editing OSM should be prevented from posting here is a matter for the global moderators here.

Untrue. What happened here was that you attempted to evade a block and the revert was just to the previous state before your change (which you can see by looking at the diff, of course). This is an entirely usual response in such circumstances.

The DWG has no particular view how certain objects should be mapped here, merely that as discussed previously your actions appear to be entirely at odds with those of the local community. They asked you to stop, you did not, and we were asked to stop you, so we did.

If you have a problem with the actions of the Ukrainian OSM community or the DWG here I can only suggest that you escalate the issue to the OSM board.

– Andy (from the DWG)

Edited: to add link to github issue


I have deleted two new messages from this thread.

One authored by a further iteration of Saigon2k because they are clearly acting in violation of the terms of service for OSMF operated infrastructure by trying to evade blocks by creating new accounts.

The 2nd message was widely off-topic and out of place here.


I recommend bringing this to the OSMF directly.