Military areas in Israel (remove or not remove?)


I think we should keep things separated:

  1. Communication

Deleting anything without informing the other person or letting him first know about a “mistake” is done should never happen.
In this case we should ask Wikipod to improve communication :wink:

  1. Military areas
    As all of us know of the security problems we have, I would ask to keep the rule up: “No military elements in OSM Israel”
    Beside, that its may not allowed by Israeli law, we should try not to tag things that could harm ourself like bunkers, bases etc.

No matter if the data is available at govmap, gmaps, waze etc. we can have our own rules.

We decided together back in those days that we don’t want to map military elements and that those things should be deleted.
If we now decide differently Wikipod will probably not delete anymore. So don’t blame him only.

OSM is a community project.

I certainly think firing zones should be included. Entering those without prior authorization is dangerous to hikers, bikers and off-road drivers. This is publicly available info on official unclassified government maps and there is no reason in the world to suppress it. Let’s bring this up for a vote.
Military bases are a different subject and should remain off the map.

Do you guys realize how many and how large the areas designated as “firing zone” are in Israel ?
I’m holding a 250,000 aviation (south cvfr) map right now, and I can tell you that most of the Negev is one big firing zone. In maps of this scale and purpose I can understand the importance of such markings, but for a TOPO maps ?! With all due respect to tracks, paths etc’, navigation is based on topography before anything else. Rendering vast areas as firing zones will only make the map much less readable and will become worse as more details are added.

Besides, if it’s a safety issue, I don’t know of a firing zone that don’t have warning signs and every off road track being published – be it on the internet or books – tells you whether the suggested route is going through a firing zone or not.

So, my vote is NO…EXCEPT maybe …there are several military \ classified areas that are closed to the public regardless of what day of the week it is.
Than again, such places are always surrounded by fences’ walls and what not, so even that may be unnecessary .

You keep referring to OSM data as if it is identical to the Israel Hiking Map or collected for this sole purpose. If firing zones are depicted or not, and how invasive the marking on the map is, are questions that should be answered by the specific rendering. If Zeev and Harel so choose it can be disregarded altogether or marked with a thin red line surrounding the area; a line that won’t interfere with navigation at all. Please note that the Samash map from the Nature Preservation Society also shows firing zones (in light pink).

Apologies, you’re right :/, I keep mixing up the two maps. Perhaps we need a sub-forum for the IHM ? Just a thought.
Anyway, I still believe it’s an unnecessary addition, especially in the way it is rendered at the moment.


I believe both Firing zones/ranges and significant military bases should be mapped. Firing zone signes do not help you when you want to plan a trip. By the time you get there, it’s no longer planning time - it’s detour time…

Similarly, when you plan a trip in the Negev only to find that a track crosses a base and you need to do a 10-15 km backtrack to get to a road before the night comes. I’m not making this up, it happened to me.

In my opinion, getting stuck in the desert at dark, close to the fence of an army base, is much more dangerous than the risk of someone choosing to use the OSM map to find an IDF base.

Come to think of it, that base looks much better on the Bing map that was used to draw its perimeter in OSM.

When the Israeli Government publishes information, in Aviation directives and maps, the Government map portal, and other means, it no longer can be labeled “confidential” or “risk to Israel’s security”, even under Israeli law. The horses are already out of the barn. In many cases, it’s the Israeli government who let them free…


I agree that there’s no reason to be “holier than the pope”. Mapping well-known military bases that are already available, e.g. in GTFS data of the ministry of transport, is completely risk-free yet can be vital for navigation and security. Of course we can have some restrictions, such as that the base name must be identical to that on road signs or in GTFS data and not include any extra information.

Since all reported deletion actions have been done by one user - Wikipod - I encouraged him via a PM to join the discussion:

User Wikipod alreeady joined discussion some time ago.

I’d like to quote OSM wiki:

We need to adduce consistent arguments for deleting military landuses. Otherwise I can’t find any motivation to keep on such activity in occupied territories.

FYI, given the discussion above, I have restored my contribution.

On 21-June-2013 user Wikipod had once again deleted my contribution of way 221795856

In my opinion, Wikipod’s actions are acts of vandalism:

[/*] [/list]

Otherwise, Wikipod has been a constructive contributor to OSM. It is unfortunate that Wikipod also brings personal agenda and vandalism to the OSM community.

In a week from today I’m planning to contact the Data Working Group suggesting a for advice on the situation.
Perhaps in this period Wikipod will commit to stopping this behavior and we can put it behind us.

Guys, another interesting object:
The author is very collaborative, so I asking you - remove or leave?

It’s public knowledge.

See the entry on the Mossad facilities in the Hebrew Wikipedia, and the references to publications in Haaretz dated back to 2007

Ok, so you suggest to not remove it?

Dear Ze’ev,

I welcome you to watch my edits list, and then reconsider labaling me “vandal”. My deletions are not even 1% of all of my work here.

As i said many times before, i really don’t like deletion of other’s work, but this is necessary. You didn’t respected our decision and your country’s law so don’t expect me respect your work. Please stop your hostile activity against me. I do not use “personal agenda”, I just keep Israel’s interests.

It’s not matter if someone in the world knows about or ever wrote obout it in a newspaper - if it a base of Israeli security forces - we DO NOT map it. Besides “HaAretz” not care about israel security - they publish lots of secret information. (remind you Anat Kam’s Case)

Please calm down everyone - we’re all here to do good. An edit war or flame war won’t get us anywhere.
Let’s see if we can reach an agreement on our policies.
To abide by the Israeli law, I suggest that we only map military areas that are marked on non-classified official Israeli maps.
These include training areas marked on the map.
It also does no harm, and should be legal, to trace roads or buildings visible in Bing maps, even if they are inside military areas.
As for naming these areas and identifying the buildings, I think we should avoid that.
Maybe we can use what can be seen in road signs such as:
מ.ק. 354

What are your thoughts?

What kind of law are we talking about?

I’m no lawyer.

Try this

מסירת ידיעה לאויב [ד/21]
111. מי שביודעין מסר ידיעה לאויב או בשבילו, דינו - מאסר עשר שנים; היתה הידיעה עלולה להיות לתועלת האויב, דינו - מאסר חמש-עשרה שנה; התכוון בכך לפגוע בבטחון המדינה, דינו - מאסר עולם; גרם ברשלנות שתימסר לאויב או בשבילו ידיעה העלולה להיות לתועלתו, דינו - מאסר שלוש שנים.
ריגול [ד/22]

Here they are speaking about “Secret information”. I’m very unsure that road signs with military bases names may be categorized as such information…