Military areas in Israel (remove or not remove?)

Hi everybody,

as Israel is a country where there is always a possibility of a war, I don’t like the idea of mapping military areas on the map.
Just the thought of helping terror organization with a good detailed Israeli map…

As we discussed a while ago in the old mailing list, we are not mapping military buildings / areas.

But what if somebody does tag them?

  • Should we remove them without a comment ?
  • Should we message the person who have mapped it ?

As the OpenStreetMap project is a platform for everybody (also non-Israeli),
it will become hard to get rid of all of those tags and I dont like the idea of removing something from the map.

What do you think about this topic ?

I think there is also a problem with the built-in version control.
As far as I understand, even if you delete something it is actually still there if you look for it.

I see no real reason to avoid mapping the whereabouts of military bases. I wouldn’t map the inside of the bases, there is little reason for that, but I would like to be able to tell a mapping program to go to Elyakim and find me the way to the base.

What do other web maps do?

I heard that other web maps of Israel do show the big military bases. But I didnt see it by myself.

The problem I see with not mapping the military bases is that it harms the normal folks who just need to get to some base for their reserve duty while it doesn’t do much for the enemy as the bases are not really hidden, they are clearly marked on the road with signposts. Just driving around will let you know where the bases are, but when I go for my service I don’t have time to wander around to find the base, that’s why I have a map and a GPS unit in the car.

At least waze doesn’t seem to show the two bases I look at, though it does show “access road to elyakim” it doesn’t show the base itself.

Anyway, if someone maps the data and you remove it, it is still in the history and can be restored and found, though it’s harder to find when not in the normal features.

WikiMapia has several.
With such details, that the Rasar can check for Pilim BaKane in the morning drill :smiley:

WikiMapia also clearly marks some installations that are not “clearly marked on the road with signposts”, if you know what I mean…

I believe that this is an uphill battle, as I think that some of the already existing military features in OSM were not added by Israelis.
It will be hard to follow and delete any new additions.
Not to mention the already mentioned history feature of OSM…


I thing people with bad behaviours doesn’t need to look at the map to know where the targets are…
You know, russia had “fake” maps with unexisting towns and without existings… but americans knows what is in the field.
satellite immagery of Israel is easy to find on Google maps…

Keep in mind, that shopping malls should probably also be removed, in order to make the life of a terrorist a little worse - they would have to look at other less known map sites :slight_smile:

I say:

  1. don’t map military related features. For Israeli citizens that might be illegal. Don’t ask your friends abroad to map it for you… that might also be illegal.

  2. Don’t delete accurate license-compatible information, that is a misuse of OSM.

  3. The problem is small, the world is changing, that information is freely available from other places on the net.

I’m a little new to OSM. I’m mapping Yokne’am Ilit, and I mapped today two public war shelters. It occurred to me that it might fall under the definition of military area (the most relevant tag I found was military=bunker), although they are used only by civilians. I wanted to ask if you think such places should be mapped.


I don’t think mapping such places is against the local law, but I am no expert. Personally, I would map them.

But military=bunker doesn’t seem right, as the shelters are for civilians (if I understood correctly).

I was thinking about amenity=shelter, but that is used for shelter from weather while hiking or similar. Someone mentioned bomb shelters towards the end of the discussion page, but that did not evolve. Care to revive that on the wiki, maybe propose shelter=*, or amenity=emergency_shelter?

Hi Haggai_e,

and welcome to the forum.

I think that a shelter shouldn’t be critical at all for the home land security and that those things are important for a detailed map.
So you are welcome to post as many as you wish :slight_smile:

So, what the final decision?
Is somebody against adding single node for some “popular” military bases for which exists road signs?

I want to add “Mahane Gideon” and “Julis” for navigation purposes.

Final decision was not to map military areas but also not to remove those areas is already existing.

There where several public known military bases in OSM but user Wikipod deleted them.

I personally think that we should keep all military stuff out of OSM in Israel.
Who knows if it can or will be used against us in the future.

I will ping him for his decision… It doesn’t make sense that you add it and he will remove it :slight_smile:

I’m OK with not including military bases in the map. But falsely tagging them as farmland or forest, as has been done, is too much.

Hi everybody!

As some of you noticed, I was responsible for deletion of almost all of the military areas in the map of Israel. I didn’t felt good with deleting things that others were working on them, and I feel sorry about it. But, I felt a greater commitment to our country and it’s security matters, so I made this step, even i did’nt felt good with it.

I must tell you that Palestinian Activists from the terror organizations did used OSM for their goals.
I know it clealy becuase i’m working with some of those, so plese be aware of your edits.

Many thanks to Mr_Israel for notifying me about this discussion!

Have nice and safe mapping,

If adding these nodes will simplify navigation (say for a mother who wants to pick up her son coming home for the weekend), then they should be added. Not having them on purpose to my point of view (I am no expert, though) doesn’t contribute anything to the security of our country.

Note that wikipedia has info on many IDF military bases including their location (even exact coordinates).

@Wikipod, just out of interest - can you point to the law you mentioned in your diary? Still, law or not, it seems ridiculous that revealing the location of HaKirya or HaShalishut is a crime.


Note that recently some Firing Zones (שטחי אש) have been added in the Golan by the user jakednb.

Hello everybody,

I had my work in oPT deleted twice by user Wikipod. Pls, can anybody quote legal references to justify such deletion activity? It should be promptly inserted in OSM wiki, to avoid wasting users time.


It should be safe to assume that firing zones appearing on the official GovMap are safe to depict (without copying) in OSM. Revealing the location of other military bases may be illegal for Israeli citizens, although most are indicated by signs on the ground.

My work was also deleted by Wikipod. I would like to avoid a dispute or an edit war, as this behavior is considered to be a form of Vandalism. Yet no one, including Wikipod, has provided any justification, in either OSM policy or Israeli law, for such actions.