Found something strange... is it vandalization?


While mapping in Abu dhabi i found that there is a systematic creation of viewpoints along most of the cities intersections. It is done by at least 2 users:


The points are clearly not viewpoints or touristic atractions.

I already contacted the first user, but until now i got no response.

Is it considered vandalization? Should i remove the points? just remove the tourism_viewpoint tag?

They’ve been created using, which seems to have a poor reputation here for being too dumbed down, and producing low quality contributions.

I’m not sure, but I suspect it bypasses the normal communication channels that would allow you to contact the users.

In the first instance I’d suggest commenting on some of the changeset discussions explaining that updates made to OSM are public, that they should only map things that really exist, and also explain how to create a personal bookmark with MAPS.ME. I’d also add a machine translation to your best guess of their native language.

If they don’t reply but keep adding more “bookmarks”, contact the Data Working Group via and we can send the message that they have t oread before continuing to edit (which helps if they used a throw-away email address to sign up with).

I wouldn’t expect an immediate reply, as in one case the last edit was a month ago.

After a while if there’s no reply we (the OSM community as a whole) will have to take a view as to whether it’s better to leave these data points in, or remove them. It may be that some (e.g. shops) are more plausible than others (e.g. viewpoints).

yes, the fact that the users also added usefull information is what made me wonder.
I will go to one of these intersections to see if the codes IP… relate to something on site, maybe some code on the signals or signage.

I just found another user

That is adding shop=bookmaker in a lot of places in abu dhabi. the thing is that gambling is illegal in this country, and there is no such thing as a bookmaker here… at least a legal one. and again it is

I will contact all of them. and then escalate the issue if I get no answer.

Thanks Starrkdave - that’s absolutely the best thing that people can do with strange additions like this - actually go and have a look!

With the case of the “bookmakers” I’d be a little more concerned that it’s exposing the residents of those locations to some risk (given that it’s illegal there), whether or not the tag’s valid. It might just be that they’re using bookmaker as a type of marker that they know there are none of in Abu Dhabi, and aren’t aware that these locations are public.

So, I went to the site, and it seems that every intersection has a number, it is written on the signals, but you need to be looking for it to see it.

So the information is real, but wrongly tagged. How should it be tagged? is there a tag for intersection name… or code? I am sure it is not a common way to refer to intersections around here.

Should i just remove the viewpoint tags but leave the point with just a name?

I’m not sure what the “best practice” for this sort of thing is worldwide.

There are a couple of places you could ask (in addition to here of course) - the main “help” site , and there’s also a tagging mailing list . The help site gets more eyes on it than this forum, so you may get an answer quicker. The “tagging” mailing list (which you need to subscribe to to post to) handles lots of this sort of question, although sometimes you might need to take some of the answers with a large pinch of salt.

If you want to see how popular a tag is worldwide you can use , and click through from there to see the results on a map in “Overpass Turbo”.