DWG seeking information in Crimea

The Data Working Group is reviewing our previous resolution on Crimea, to make certain it still reflects the situation on the ground, and we are looking for input from the communities involved before we make an updated resolution.

The previous resolution had four parts:

  1. Edits to the administrative boundary for the region
  2. Edits adding tags indicating that objects are in one country or another, such as addr:country on objects which would not normally have any addr tags
  3. Edits changing place names between languages
  4. Other matters.

We believe parts 2 and 4 both apply, as they are best practices which are important when editors are working together in a disputed region.

For part 3 and place names, the “on the ground” rule remains the method of determining the appropriate value for the name tag. Has the situation on the ground for what names are in use by locals or with signage changed?

Part 1 on the administrative boundary for the region is what we have identified as needing review. Based on information available, it appears

  1. Ukraine claims the region as theirs
  2. Russia claims the region as theirs
  3. Russia has on the ground control of the region

Is this accurate?

We are not seeking information on who’s control would be legitimate, or other opinions. OSM operates with the on the ground rule, and the administrative boundaries in OSM do not indicate if control is legitimate or illegitimate.

Nothing has changed since 2014.
Crimea is still occupied by Russia.

It seems that the current tagging of administrative boundaries fits OSM rules as much as possible.
Administrative boundaries are tagged by boundary=administrative relations.
Disputed area and control are tagged by following multipolygon

There is nothing to discuss. We have more or less stable situation when Crimea is tagged as disputed territory.
Next discussion should be stopped as it may provoke an escalation of the war of edits.

I’m curious to see DWG minutes about raising this issue again. Posting this without such a decision looks quite controversial.

Nobody expected anything else from you. Is this also true on the ground?

Moderatorial: Kostik, please refrain from trolling other participants.
This is a note of warning.

Just like this and this and this and many other countries…

Agreed here. I don’t think the previous decision needs revising. While I can see why it can be questioned, I believe it was and still is the “lesser evil” compromise.

PS. The topic is highly explosive, especially if you consider that people disputing the status of Crimea in Russia risk facing criminal persecution. Including on forums like this one. Caution is advised.

Коментарі образливого характеру не припустимі.
KKS - попередження

The Data Working Group has reviewed its past statement on Crimea to make sure it reflects the OSMF policy for disputed territories. As with other conflicts around the world OSM only seeks to represent the on-the-ground situation. We understand the situation is sensitive, but have found the behavior of the community peaceful and mature, and we hope that the community retains the spirit of cooperation instead of conflict. The previous resolution had four parts. Parts two and four have been carried to the current resolution.

The new resolution is at https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Working_Group_Minutes/DWG_2018-11-14_Crimea

я знаю що маю попередження, але… нунахуй!
кацапи віджали у нас територію, тепер віджали її й в осм, але ніхто щось за 50 років не препарував Кіпр на половинки. Кіпр не заніс в ДВГ а кацапи занесли? дуже афігенно, молодці… як будете жерти той хайбар - обов’язково подавіться. 10000 загинувшим це сподобається.

Так, рішення безглузде. Для Кіпру, Молдови, Грузії з самого початку діє правило міжнародно визнаних кордонів, а для України вирішили застосувати правило контрольованих кордонів.

Вчора написали в OSMF скаргу на це рішення

dudka - Дякую!

OSMF Data Working Group have violated the requirements of the document “Information for officials and diplomats of countries and entities with disputed territories” [1] in part “Borders and boundaries” (p 2):
“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.”

The world has widely recognized that Crimea is the territory of Ukraine occupied by the Russian Federation [2].

OSMF Data Working Group was created in 2009 for another purpose, namely counteraction to vandalism [3]. The analysis of the group’s reports proves that until 06.2014 the group members were not at all interested in [4] conflicts over the names and borders of countries, such as Kosovo, Cyprus.

Only after 5 years, February 27, 2014, user ‘Aseerel4c26’ [6] added the right of this group to resolve Disputes [5].

Extension of the rights of this group took place in 7 days from 02.20.2014 the beginning of the military invasion of the Russian Federation into the territory of Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimea [7]. And already on June 5, 2014 (after 4 months), the first decision on the settlement of disputes in favor of the aggressor has already been circulated [8].

OSM covers theft, violation of property rights by covering the “on the ground” principle?

We hope that no. We expect that the statements of this group will be condemned and withdrawn, as insulting Ukrainians. The group will be re-elected, the right to resolve Disputes in it will be revoked.


  1. https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/w/images/d/d8/DisputedTerritoriesInformation.pdf
  2. https://www.ohchr.org/SP/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22140&LangID=E
  3. https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Data_working_group&oldid=326333
  4. https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Data_Working_Group
  5. https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Disputes&type=revision&diff=995252&oldid=995250
  6. https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:Aseerel4c26
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annexation_of_Crimea_by_the_Russian_Federation
  8. https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Working_Group_Minutes/DWG_2014-06-05_Special_Crimea&action=history

@dudka @Alexey Furashev - Thanks. Poke me if you need any assistance, my English is adequate for the task.

I wonder when will they start tagging ISIS as a contry.

Jokes aside, previous decision was a compromise, @OSMF Data Working Group. Both sides agreed to put aside some of their points to stop the war of edits. Seeing this as “peaceful and mature” is both erroenous and misleading. It wasn’t “peaceful” and it has nothing to do with “mature”. It was a sacrifice, supported at the time by the notion that this is for the good of the project.
I have no idea what made you revise that decision out of the blue, but there is still time to withdraw the changes. I hope I don’t need to remind you that a regulating body such as DWG can only make decisions as long as the parties involved recognize its authority.

Edit: My breakdown of the matter

У цьому є своя збочена логіка: disputed territories != partially recognized countries. Тобто, якщо це спір між визнаними республіками, то правило ground truth діє, а якщо це невизнана або маріонеточна республіка, то правило ground truth ігнорується. Тут скоріш більше підходять приклади Індія та Пакістан, Індія та Китай, Китай та Тайвань, Китай-Бутан, Північна та Південна Кореї, Росія-Японія, Сербія-Косово.

Can’t wait to see the minutes and know who we can blame for this DWG disgrace. Is there such thing as a quorum for DWG decisions? How many people could in theory decide this?

Update: there is not a word about this in https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Board/Minutes/2018-11-15

This decision is a disrespect to Ukrainian society. The solution is false and makes it impossible to use services built on the use of OSM data. It has already caused judgments in society.


Вы там промахнулись на сутки. Вот, тут все написано https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Working_Group_Minutes/DWG_2018-11-14_Crimea

Отже, згідно з цим рішенням DWG, громадяни України мають припинити свою діяльність у проекті OSM та припинити використовувати картографічні дані OSM, оскільки такі дії є порушенням статті 110 частини 1 Кримінального кодексу України “Посягання на територіальну цілісність і недоторканність України”.

I do not even put a question was it a bribe or not. Just curious - how much.