Leisure military area

Hello List,

just to inform you that DWG is replacing a military area with leisure park.

Sadly, this is a poor attempt to restore the work of the “ukranian team” mappers that are mistagging/deleting many military features in ukranian controlled areas. This questionable activity includes even objects mapped prior to the russian invasion.

In an attempt to help maintain a false and misleading version of OSM content, DWG evidently took the side of ukranian government; such kind of changesets can be dangerous, so I suggest DWG to avoid at least automatic reverts.


For context, this user was previously blocked until they could come to terms with how the local community wanted to map things. They then created a new account to enforce their point of view using JOSM’s reverter plugin. Since this isn’t an acceptable way to behave I reverted to the status quo ante (as would be usual in a situation like this).

What I wrote previously here still applies. I would suggest that the “new” saigon2k1 account (that appears to have been created and renamed to avoid being associated with previous block history) read that again and try and appreciate the nuance of the situation.


can local communities agree on any kind of tagging, despite global tagging conventions? E.g. in a country inhabited mostly by radical cyclists, could the community agree to use highway=cycleway for all arterial highways, so that routing engines would only provide useful pedestrian and bicycle routing?

When I called for a guideline/license provision that military and intelligence use of our data should not be “allowed” the replies were all saying we are open data and must be open for every use.

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A good point! I would support your call for a guideline concerning military/intelligence use without exception. Not to expect that those bodies would restrain from making use of our data but just for the statement. 100% pro!

Nevertheless I understand it is a difference if you look at a country in the hand of radical cyclists (or the like) or at a country being subject to a military conflict, unwanted special military operation or open war, however you want to call it.

Generally I believe it is a matter of respect and politeness to consider the ideas and wishes of the local communities in any country as long as these do not conflict with international tagging conventions. In the extreme situation of an ongoing war also these tagging conventions become temporarily insignificant in my opinion which means everyone not being part of the national community should simply refrain from any mapping work there.


Oh come on - even by the low standards of some Twitter etc.posts that’s very low-value whataboutery (including linking to a 12-year old mailing list post!).

This is a serious situation, and deserves serious consideration, not a flippant reply about “radical cyclists”. Where’s that downvote button when we need it?


to me it seems the 12 year old mailing list post is still up to date, that’s why I quoted it.

I know it is not very popular because the military complex is well funded and some people are having multimillion contracts for facilitating access to OpenStreetMap data, but if we are going to do politics and not just mapping, it would be a statement for a better world to condemn military (ab)use of our data.

I am not supportive of any aggression against people or countries, but I also don’t believe vandalizing the current data will make any difference in this war, particularly removing military areas, any military in the world who is preparing for war with another country surely will first and foremost collect all details about the opponents military facilities and locations of troups and equipment (apart from the mere facility locations in peace times none of this can be found in OpenStreetMap anyway), and the Ukrainian army is of course steadily relocating their equipment according to continuous intelligence information about upcoming attacks, and other considerations.

For the sake of peace, despite it seeming completely useless and without effect, I am willing to accept that the Ukrainian community in a situation of war, can decide to make such helpless attempts by vandalizing their own data. Provided we can be reasonably sure that this is indeed the will of the vast majority of the locals, and not just of some vocal and very active minority.

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Ich haltr das Ändern oder militärischer Objekte, die bereits vor Kriegsbeginn gemappt waren, für einen zwar verständlichen aber auch völlig sinn- und nutzlosen Versuch, irgendetwas zu beeinflussen. Die vorherigen Daten sind jederzeit aus der Datenbank abrufbar. Und was ist das nächste was umgetaggt wird? Schulen? Krankenhäuser? Bahnhöfe?

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Creating additional accounts to circumvent blocks violates the OSMFs terms of service for openstreetmap.org (besides the behaviour being asocial and otherwise not acceptable). IMHO this doesn’t need any further discussion and the user and any associated accounts should be permanently banned and measures taken to prevent any further signups.


I share this :point_down: here if someone missed an appeal from Ukrainian OSM Community


So, here is (again) the nasty mapper.

First of all, I’d like to point out that the “context” SomeElse mentioned (my 5 blocks) has nothing to do with the issue: I could be totally biased on russian narrative (or supposed one), but what I wrote has not been disproved yet.

To keep track of the OSM fork “ukranian community” has been aiming since march 2022, here is a map for comparing features changes.

By clicking yellow features, you can retrieve history links and appreciate retagging (most popular military to grass) and final feature removal. while green pins are a live planet query of remaining military objects are “allowed” today.

It goes without saying that interesting military objects are likely to be the ones in yellow which do not have a green pin nearby.

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Why does it matter? I am tired of your arguments about whether you are technically correct. The Ukrainan community nicely asked everyone not to map in thier country while they are under attack from Russian forces. Why can’t you just respect the request. I’m sure there are other regions you can focus on where your efforts would be appreciated.


For info - https://www.openstreetmap.org/user_blocks/7098 was put in place after this “new account” started editing in Ukraine again.

See also https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/issues/4018 which if implemented would prevent a user from doing this sort of thing.


I’ve found interesting the history of a polygon yesterday hit by russian bombs. Since version 21 (February 28, 2022) a kind of edit war started, so the landuse switched from military to farmland, to grass, to military again, etc. In @version 29 even user chlenix, which I suppose (judging by his avatar) isn’t Russia-biased, restored the original tags, redefining the area as Kulbakyne Air Base military airport.

Despite OSM mappers efforts, yesterday inside the airport a missile hit a MIG-29 standing-by at its apron. Does make any sense generating such a mess? Is there a plan to revert things whenever this war settles down?