Israel / PNA border


Someone on twitter asked me (not sure why me :slight_smile: about the location of the Western Wall, showing up in PNA in OSM.

I investigated

and does turn out PNA admin_level=2 border relation covers the area. It’s aligned to 1949 Armistice Line in Jerusalem.

while Israel admin_level=2 border relation also covers the same area, aligned to 1967 line around Jerusalem.

Nominatim pulls the first entry out of the db when climbing the admin hierarchy, and that happens to be PNA.

So we all know this is a delicate one. In some ways, this is accurate, since it is disputed territory. Problem comes in the nominatim results.
Perhaps the best solution would be for nominatim to display both … but I’m not sure the developers would take this on.
Another option would be to adjust the PNA and Israel relations, leaving a gap in the disputed areas. And add another admin_level=2 relation for that gap, with a name specifying the status as disputed.

Just suggestions. Please don’t shoot this messenger.



Mikel, please don’t create another problem like you did with the Jerusalem name tag. It may seem like an easy solution to you but it’s not. You may want to read some of the threads in this forum concerning the border issue, before you jump in with suggestions like that.

In the particular case you speak about, I suggest adding “is_in=Israel” to the Western Wall and finish with it.


is_in probably won’t do it. nominatim doesn’t pay attention to it, and many opinions consider it a redundant tag … is_in is implicitly defined by an object’s placement within other features.

I searched for other threads on borders and found this one, Looks like there’s no conclusive way to handle this, and much consideration of the political ramifications.

I’m definitely aware that there are no easy solutions. I’m not here to create problems, but to freely discuss mapping, and particularly at the request of someone.


As far as osm wiki tells us, nominatim DOES pay attention to “is_in”.

Plus in the future this should be handled by relations, such as

@mikel, what about the guy who asked you the original question, do you know how would he prefer to see the location of the Western Wall? Freely discuss mapping, hah? We know what this means.


this happens is if Openstreetmap is not showing the onground facts.
Of course the western wall is under Israeli control, so does most of the westbank.
This is not political correct but a on ground fact.

I would also like to hear your suggestion how to solve this issue.

Don’t get me wrong but it is somehow ironic if the person that caused the removement of Jerusalem from Israel is starting a discussion why the western wall is not shown in the search as a Israeli part.

Well guys, in this conversation I have never said that I want to do anything more than make good maps. Why else would I have raised this issue … if my intentions were otherwise, why wouldn’t I be satisfied with the status quo for the Western Wall? Having my intentions called into question, or into irony, really isn’t very productive, and is actually very disappointing, not in the spirit of OpenStreetMap. I don’t really want to talk about Jerusalem, and I don’t expect any kind of fair hearing, but involvement with that was different, I didn’t “cause” anything, but tried to mediate a very tricky issue. Now, I’m not here to mediate, there’s no opportunity left for me to do so, but I was simply investigating and raising an issue in response to someone.

Yes, the person who raised the issue certainly thinks that the Western Wall should be listed in Israel. Anyone visiting the Western Wall, as I have, would certainly get that impression … it certainly doesn’t seem correct to say it’s in the PNA. I’m not sure how to solve the issue. Nominatim looks at political borders, so we have to deal with political borders. I’ve checked the code, and it does not seem to pay attention to is_in … dimka, if you have seen otherwise, then need some more detail, the wiki on is_in says nothing about nominatim.

The borders are correct, so what’s in error here is nominatim. I don’t know if there is a possibility to ask the developers for nominatim to return all admin boundary results, but it could be tried.

Hey guys.
Im Jack, the guy who originally pointed the issue out to Mikel (sorry buddy, I didn’t know about other options at the time ;)).
I want to make one thing absolutely clear here to all members: The issue I have raised has nothing to do with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
As in, the reason why I alerted Mikel to this issue is simple: Certain elements of data that are being displayed on OSM are erroneous. Im not stating this from a political/national/patriotic point of view, rather I am simply trying to remain factual. Again, Im not talking about territories that are in dispute, such as Palestinian land in Judea and Samaria that is being occupied by settlers. In fact, I do not want to tread on that subject at all, but I believe you can tell by my previous comment that I stand on the side of fact rather than being one sided.

But what I am talking about, is a need to have the facts - not politics, ideology, spin or disputes - reflected in OSM’s data. And it is a definite fact that the Western Wall, for example, is currently (and has been for quite some time) under Israeli governance. Again, I want to reiterate this point, just in case I haven’t made it inherently clear: All I, and many others want, is simply an accurate reflection of data as it is. We are not talking about disputed territories, we are not talking politics here, we are simply asking that the data reflected be fair and accurate. and when I say “fair and accurate”, I mean that (for example) the disputed territories in Judea and Samaria should be shown as under Palestinian governance.

Thats the point Im trying to make here, my friends = Objectivity, neutrality, and sticking to the facts as we know them.
Nothing more, nothing less.

Thanks for all you do.