Edit warring over Nagorno Karabakh region/republic

Why? wiki says “boundary=administrative + admin_level=2 marks country borders”. There is no even phrase “boundary=administrative + admin_level=2 marks state borders”. And there is no any phrases about UN (and, please, note, that UN has no priveleges to recognize countries (“The United Nations is neither a State nor a Government, and therefore does not possess any authority to recognize either a State or a Government”)).

So we have boundary=administrative + admin_level=2.

Of course, Nagorno-Karabakh is not an actual Republic, because it is a geographical region. There is sense to talk about Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

We should remember that there are two priciples of considering question:
juridical: there is a dispute: Azerbaijan claimes, that there is its territory, and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic claimes, that there is its territory;
factual: Azerbaijan tryes to control territory, but Nagorno-Karabakh Republic does it.

The answer is - to show factual sitation.

What are you talking about?

Where did you get information about “legit and recognized” borders?

It says only, that boundary=administrative is used for administrative borders. No doubt, that there is goverment, that recognise this borders - this is the Goverment of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

We should use


I want to add: I think, that there is sense to mark firstly old name, which was used before conflict, and alternative name secondly. You can find old maps, for example, here.

Hi guys :slight_smile:
What should we do now? :slight_smile:

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The boundaries won’t change in a hurry, and any eventual changes will likely be limited in scope in OSM terms — the enclave seems destined to eventually become part of Azerbaijan due to the current geopolitical state of affairs, but it will likely remain disputed for years to come.

For now, just report vandalism as usual. There seem to be a bunch of trolls out there now (I’ve reported two), usually with Turkish locales on their changesets.

Cf.: Disputed territories - OpenStreetMap Wiki

I’d echo what @JeroenHoek said and say that there is no hurry to dive in and change things in OSM until things have settled down a bit.

For the avoidance of doubt - Nagorno Karabakh / Artsakh was always in OSM as a “disputed area” rather than a country and was always part of Azerbaijan as part of OSM was concerned. We (the DWG) have had at least one report that someone’s enthusiasm to reflect changes has resulted in broken relations (which have been restored by other users). Better to discuss what should be there now and have someone familiar with editing admin relations do that rather than have a period of breakage and repair without discussing the actual reality on the ground.

– Andy (from the DWG)

Or, more accurately now, the borders will likely need to change on January 1 2024. The shape will remain the same, but they will probably represent normal Azerbaijani districts instead of a disputed enclave.

In the mean time the ethnic cleansing continues on OpenStreetMap as well.

A reminder on how names work: names do not disappear overnight, and generations of people who lived in Nagorno-Karabakh will refer to the places there in a their Armenian names. What users like @AzerAkhundov are doing by removing names is deliberate vandalism aimed at the eradication of a people’s history. The official names of those places won’t change until January at the soonest; surely the signs haven’t all been changed already?

That seems to be a statement by one side; events on the ground may happen more quickly than that.

Indeed - even if the Armenian-speaking population of the area is removed (at gunpoint or otherwise), natural features such as this will still have names in multiple languages, and the name:language tags should reflect that.

I’ve asked a number of the editors in the area to join this discussion.

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Hello! I didn’t know such topic exists and saw the link from SomeoneElse’s message.

The reason I changed village names back to their official ones is that the situation on the ground has changed. As I told to SomebodyElse, when I changed some names back in 2020 year before the war, I was warned and told that the names should be on the language who controls it and lives there.

After the war, situation on the gorund has been changed, so I changed names to the official ones. I didn’t remove armenian names from villages and towns, just changed the appearing name to official one. For example, on the map it is shown as Cəmiyyət, but all names are kept (including Armenian): Node History: ‪Cəmiyyət‬ (‪1347062797‬) | OpenStreetMap

Still I don’t understand why it was not considered as ethnic cleansing when city, town and village names were changed to Armenian and Azerbaijani names were removed. Even Aghdam city was renamed to Akna (even Armenian people still call it Aghdam, as Akna name appeared in 90-s after occupation and it was changed in purpose to remove all names in Azerbaijani from occupied area).

I kindly ask moderators to change the administrative borders to real ones, as official administrative division of Azerbaijan Republic. There are many minorities in Azerbaijan and Armenian people are among them. But if removing Azerbaijani names during occupation could be understood, it is absolutely illogical to keep Armenian names after deoccupation. I mean they should be kept but on the main page names should be shown in Azerbaijani as it works in all other countries.

Rules should work for everyone. Double standards are the main reason of this conflict lasting for such a long time.

Best regards.
Azer Akhundov

In many of your changesets you are actually removing the Armenian names. That region has been inhabited by a majority of Armenians for ages (including during the existence of the Soviet Union), so logically, all places and localities do have Armenian names. Now that the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh is being forced out by a combination of factors (caused in part by Russia’s current weakened state, and the geopolitical balance of power between Armenia and Azerbaijan now favouring the latter), that region is for the first time in a very long time, likely to end up with a minority of Armenians (if any) and on January 1 will likely get incorporated into Azerbaijan completely, definitively.

On OpenStreetMap, most of those places appear to have had name:az, name:hy, and name:ru for years, with name carrying the Armenian name, as one would expect in that region where the majority of people spoke Armenian before being forced out by means of violence and starvation. There is no double standard here. Personally, I would report any user trying to remove name:az as well.

Erasing centuries of names without keeping them in name:hy is a form of ethnic cleansing. Don’t do that. The Azerbaijani government seems to be managing fine on their own without your help.

There will be generations of Armenians who will refer to their beloved former home using Armenian names, including mountain tops, for decades to come. Those names will not go away in our lifetimes, so stop erasing them.

What will likely happen though, is that on January 1, the name of most places will become the Azerbaijani name, with name:hy retaining the Armenian name. You could formulate a plan to rename them area by area in bulk if you want.

What you are doing now however is premature and offensive. The Karabakh Armenians are being forced to abandon homes they have had for decades, centuries even. There is no need to add insult to the injury by trying to make it look as if they were never there.

As for the boundaries; with no displaced governing body left to dispute this region’s state. It will likely become just another part of Azerbaijan. However, that is not now according to both the Azerbaijani government and the NKR. Just wait until next year to see what is actually going to happen before changing boundaries.

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First of all, nobody is being forced to leave Karabakh. Azerbaijan stated many times that, they are also our citizens. Anyone who wants to stay, can stay. You say it will become part of Azerbaijan, but it always was considered as Azerbaijan. Even Armenia did not recognize it as a Republic officially.

I just want to give one example: Khojaly town which historically was called Khojaly, even in Soviet era it was called Khojaly. But after occupation it was renamed to Ivanyan in year 2000 (!). Ivanyan was Armenian army general who lived between 1920-1999 years. Now, the question: How in the world the historical name Khojaly was removed and renamed as Ivanyan, who was alive 25 years ago? Wasn’t that ethnic cleansing? Openstreetmap team accepted that change and nobody said anything regarding that (historical names, ethnic cleansing and etc.). And now, when government takes control of its areas, you are calling that ethnic cleansing. For me these are double standards.

Not only names in Karabakh region, but names of other occupied 7 regions around it were changed to Armenian ones, not historical ones. I repeat again, I have no problem with armenian names, they can call any city how they want, but when it appears on the main page of the map, that is not correct.

I edited Kovsakan name to Zangilan and was warned for that in 2020 :slight_smile: Zangilan was never called Kovsakan, it was a city where majority was Azerbaijani people. So, why it was changed to Kovsakan and remained until 2020 war? Even in Soviet time it was called Zangilan.

There wre also many villages with Azerbaijani majority in Karabakh in Soviet times. For example, Malıbəyli, Kərkicahan villages were Azerbaijani majority. But all of their names were changed and there was no problem according to OSM. And now, when government really took control of those areas, somebody was uncomfortable and is trying to accuse me in ethnic cleansing. That is funny :slight_smile:

Anyway, if as you said, after 1 January 2024, the main names will be changed to Azerbaijani ones, I see no problem. Of course, multilingual names must be kept. But in our case, English names were also changed to Armenian ones. For example, Armenians call city Xankəndi (Khankendy) as Stepanakert (after the name of Stepan Shaumyan who also lived in 1900-s, historical name is Khankendy). When we look to multilingual names, in English it appears as Stepanakert, not Khankendy. That will also be a problem, so the best way is to show official names on main page and alternative names in description. Officially, the city is called Khankendy, you cannot send any item or any delivery by showing Stepanakert as address. It will not pass the border. That is why names should be official ones in deoccupied areas.

When you write “English name”, do you mean what is tagged in name? This is the main / official name.

To preserve the (old) Armenian names, sometimes one needs to add the name:hy tag. E.g. if you find

name=Armenian name
name:az=Azerbaijan name

and change the name to the Azerbaijani one, you also need to add name:hy=Armenian name. From the previous comments, I understand that this may have been omitted by some people doing such edits.

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That is actually what I did, I changed “name” to official ones in Azerbaijani. Armenian names remain as “name:hy”. But here I am “charged” with ethnic cleansing :)) Thankfully, it is not OSM users who decide whether there is ethnic cleansing or not :wink:

What I mean by saying English name is the one in “name:en”. Those names are generally written according to Armenian names but Azerbaijani versions are different in English.
For example: official name of a city is Xankəndi. It is also same in Azerbaijani. Armenians call it Stepanakert. Now the question: what it is called in English? As official name is Xankəndi in Azerbaijani, then English one should be Khankendy. But in OSM it is Stepanakert. You cannot add two English names for every nation. That is why I prefer just changing “name” - official name that is visible in default map.

A relatively new user has been replacing Armenian names with Turkish and Azerbaijani names tonight. This road for example.

This is reminiscent to what happened with the map of Ukraine recently.

is the name:en actually used to transliterate to latin alphabet? For this, there exists another more precise tag: name:hy-Latn or name:az-Latn, respectively.

Though, as long as an official system of transliteration to latin exists, the information value of adding transliterated names is quite low, as data consumers can theoretically just transliterate it themselves using this system.

You cannot add two English names for every nation.

you can add 2 names in English, e.g. alt_name:en or old_name:en

it is even done, 50.000 old_name:en https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/old_name:en#overview and 163.000 alt_name:en


I’m reverting those undiscussed mass changes and have blocked the user while that revert takes place. I’ve asked the user to discuss their proposed edits here. News reports suggest that there absolutely will need to be changes, but wholesale deletion of objects because they had only Armenian names is not the way to go about it.

This is another user editing here with a “tr” locale; I can’t comment on their personal intent but clearly it has unfortunate historical echoes,

DWG ticket number for reference is " [Ticket#2023100110000042]".

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I can’t comment on all your other changes, but that is not what you did here.

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Yes, in the case of peak name you are right, my fault. Can you please revert it? I will try to find official names and add them by keeping Armenian names as “name:hy”.

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By the way, here is the website showing official street names and administrative boundaries according to State Service on Property Issues of Azerbaijan.

You can check street names and administrative boundaries by using this official information:



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I noticed that official names of some villages are changed again to Armenian. And it is done in the areas liberated in 2020. Can anyone please revert those changes? What is the reason of deletion of official names?