Interesting cases of vandalism?

(Apologies for cross-posting)

Hi all,

I am an academic researcher and I am studying the issue of vandalism in OpenStreetMap
(see for a general discussion).

I am very interested in the motivations that lead users to vandalise OpenStreetMap.
Can you point me to specific instances of vandalism that have an identifiable reason?

Examples might include:

  • People changing borders of countries in conflict zones
  • People renaming famous places with their name/interests
  • Companies damaging data to prevent competition (such as the alleged vandalism by Google’s contractors)
  • People damaging symbolic places (e.g. deletion of the White House or the Eiffel Tower)
  • People damaging data to bully locals/other users
  • People creating imaginary places
  • People who are frustrated with the editing tools and start using them to damage data

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences!

The wiki, forum, diaries and user description pages attract the usual spammers - linking to and promoting gambling sites, “online pharmacies” and so on. The map itself not so much.

Among the most serious cases of edit wars in our database were various ethnical/political disputes over names. Two prominent examples have been documented by the Data Working Group here: Disputes

Other than that, I remember a few fictional places - e.g. an island named Lummerland based on a German children’s book (discussion thread in the German mailing list) - being added , and a very minor case in my town two weeks ago where somebody added their nickname as a building name (as their only edit to OSM).