Mapping activities in active war zones in Ukraine

I didn’t doubt it. I just said it wasn’t clear to me from the changesets along that it was what they did, because it wasn’t. I dropped it after you provided the link to Achavi though. The absolutely nothing wrong with someone asking if there’s more evidence to back up what someone says and your literally the only who continued about it after I dropped it once the evidence was provided.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t call someone accusing another person of conspiracy theories “a collaborative effort to clarifying things and expand information.” It’s 100% just a back handed insult to undermine my credibility. Just like your comment that I was fine with people mapping military trenches. I don’t have a problem with you though. Which is I dropped the trench thing after you provided the link. Your the one who is continue commenting.

Honestly I’d love nothing more for both to happen. I flagged a couple of @dcapillae’s comments as off-topic and literally nothing happened. Which really doesn’t help. In the meantime him and other people who are continue to come after me and not say anything about the topic could just be the adults in the room by not commenting in the first place. Same goes for you. If the comment doesn’t have anything to do with mapping in Ukraine and/or mainly involves personal attacks, don’t write it. Period. This isn’t that hard.

Thank you. It really should have been done in the first place, but I appreciate that you did it regardless of it took a little back and forth to get you there. At least it least it looks like you’ve been doing a fine job dealing with the vandalism in the meantime though and if people local to the area want editors to warn people not to edit there, cool. Personally, I don’t care either way. I just thought they should be asked first like occurs in literally every other similar situation. Really, everyone else has made way hay out of this then I did. But I’m glad it’s at least being dealt with regardless :+1:

I am getting the message: “Sorry, this group is not accessible.” I am fairly new to Telegram, so idk how to bypass it. If anyone else is able to send messages there, please share the link to Russian–Ukrainian war.

Thank you for the link. That message is very specific to the case, and the main take-away that I can find is “follow the local community.” There’s not really a DWG view on mapping in war zones (in Ukraine).
Of course there is the OSMF view on the borders of Crimea, but that says nothing about mapping other features in war zones, like trenches. That reminds me of changeset 130464044, which should probably be reverted.

Then remove yourself from this discussion.


I have accused you of no such thing. Reread the comments on this thread and you will see for yourself. You are wrong.

I am not going to silence your comments, although I am going to stop replying to you. Neither your comments nor my attempts to redirect your attitude contribute anything to this thread. I apologize to the community for the “noise”.

For my part, it’s over.

I’m not saying you did. @Discostu36 made the comment I was referring to.

I appreciate that. I’m sure there’s a lot about this and other topics that we agree on. Unfortunately, it’s easy for the negative to get amplified over the good. I know there’s a lot of emotions about this topic on all sides. That’s why I was trying to stick to the topic of the discussion instead of veering off into personalized side tangents. For my part though I have zero issue with you and I’m sure we would get along fine if it were any other topic. The same for Friendly Ghost BTW. Hopefully both of you feel the same way :+1:

I apologize for my choice of words, it was not helpful for the discussion.

For the avoidance of doubt, “follow the local community” IS the DWG view on mapping in Ukraine at this time. The answer to “what is it OK to map and what is it not” will always be fairly nuanced; the war that Russia started is still ongoing, but normal life to an extent is also ongoing too. The balance of what is and is not OK is best judged by people actually there.

A wholesale revert may not be the best approach; looking at an example node, it looks like someone added something they probably shouldn’t have, deleted it themselves, and you reverted their delete. A more in-depth look at the data is surely needed.


My main issue with the wiki page is that this nuance/balance is not properly addressed.

The page even mentions three very different definitions of what we are not supposed to map:

  1. “any (…) objects in Ukraine”
  2. “military or critical social infrastructure facilities”
  3. “location of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or other military formations”

It also does not discuss what sort of edits are acceptable to objects that have already been mapped.


I think this issue can best be raised at Russian–Ukrainian war and/or on Talk:Russian–Ukrainian war - OpenStreetMap Wiki so the Ukrainian mappers can discuss this and clarify these details.

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Yet you’ve done everything you can in the other discussion to get in the way of Ukrainian mappers doing exactly that :man_shrugging:

I will rephrase myself. Please don’t maintain the continuity of a disgreement on two separate threads. All the context for your last comment exists on the other thread in the Ukrainian forum.

Weird comment considering it didn’t seem to matter when I was the one repeatedly asking other people to stay on topic :man_shrugging: Not to be rude, but you really should have asked everyone to stay on topic when it was originally happening instead of singling my comment out after the fact. Sorry, but at this point I just don’t care about being 100% on point now that literally no one, including you, has bothered to care about it until now.

Also, @SomeoneElse it’s a little ridiculous that you told me people leaving emoji’s without leaving comments isn’t useful when they were upvoting my messages, but then you’ve done exactly that multiple times since then by either upvoting comments attacking me or leaving negative emoji’s on my comments. You can’t have it both ways dude, either they are useful or they aren’t. At least be consistent about it :+1:

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I decided that ‘stay on topic’ was not the best response. My existing response stands. Please don’t maintain the continuity of a disagreement between two different threads. It makes it more difficult to follow what the points of contention are. So, please continue your debate in the Ukrainian forum instead of going back and forth. This goes for all participants.

That’s perfectly fair. My message posted right before you changed yours and I thought it would look weird to drastically edit or delete it after the fact. Otherwise I would have either phrased it completely differently or not written it in the first place. I’ll try not to go back and forth with the debates though. It’s already hard enough to keep track of the whole thing as it is without any cross talk being involved :+1:

Hello everyone. It’s been a while since this topic has seen some activity, but malicious edits in Ukraine are still very much a thing. I checked for the first time in weeks and immediately I find something: Changeset: 131836855 | OpenStreetMap

Please help to keep Ukraine clean from edits that are related to the ongoing war.

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While I agree with you in the sense that there isn’t any particular reason to follow the urges of any “ukrainian community” at a place where the local people might have different point of view and where the frontlines keep moving back and forth, this guideline makes absolutely sense. None of this is stable and it keeps changing. It doesn’t make sense to map until the situations stabilizes.

Where has anyone in either one of these discussions advocated for laissez faire, unrestricted mapping on the front lines? I don’t think anyone would care if there was a recommendation not to map at the front. Nor would anyone probably mind if people like @Friendly_Ghost was reviewing edits there. I know I wouldn’t. That’s not what this discussion or the “guideline” that people are asking for clarification on is about though.

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You are right. But I believe the that the same principle (not mapping until it stabilizes) should be extended to place names and most stuff related to the ongoing conflict such as military trenches. Not because a self proclaimed community “urges” to do so but simply because this is a fluid and evolving situation.

Totally antidotal, but I watch a news anchor who does stories from Ukraine about the war. Sometimes he’ll do live streams or post pre-recorded commentary videos. In all honesty, most of the time the dude is sitting in an internet café somewhere drinking lattes while a bunch of people fart around on their MacBooks. Sure, the front line is fluid and evolving, but a lot of the country is perfectly fine. Don’t map where things are fluid, and map where they aren’t. That’s no different then anywhere else. Like if there’s a hurricane in Florida it’s probably better not to map the active disaster area. It’s perfectly fine to map the areas of Florida that the hurricane has zero effect on though.

So the question is what’s unique about Ukraine that it warrants making special exception for that no other situation or country is granted. Personally, I don’t see anything unique about it. There’s zero reason the news anchor shouldn’t be able to tag the café he’s hanging out in as takeaway=yes or whatever if he wants to. Acting like he can’t or shouldn’t just because 200 miles away the front line is fluid or whatever is just dishonest.


And another edit that broke multiple borders in Crimea at once: Changeset: 131892614 | OpenStreetMap
(Yes, I reverted it)

We really need to keep our eyes on this area to respond effectively to problematic edits like this one.

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  • The local community asked for it and if you trust local communities, you accept it. In the case of the Florida hurricane and other natural disasters, the local community also asked for help!
    • OSM core value: OSM is powered by its Community. Engage positively with the Community, be a good and respectful neighbour and assume good intent.”
  • Even if you don’t see anything unique about it, a good decision always requires second-order thinking → “Chesterton’s Fence” problem.

“When we seek to intervene in any system created by someone, it’s not enough to view their decisions and choices simply as the consequences of first-order thinking because we can inadvertently create serious problems. Before changing anything, we should wonder whether they were using second-order thinking. Their reasons for making certain choices might be more complex than they seem at first. It’s best to assume they knew things we don’t or had experience we can’t fathom, so we don’t go for quick fixes and end up making things worse.

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