Morocco provinces larger than country

Morocco has a long conflict with the Sahrawi republic (relation 195838). The last isn’t considered a country in OSM, mapped at level 3. But these lands claimed by Morocco are not part of the country relation for Morocco either. That doesn’t really concern me, but what I do find counterintuitive is that the Moroccan regions (id’s 2424040, 2424260 and 3406823) do include the Sahrawi republic.
Can anyone come up with an explanation? Or is this improperly mapped?
(Similar issues do exist with other de facto countries e.g. Transniestre)

In my opinion it is improperly mapped. You’ve forgotten to mention Western Sahara (relation 2559126) which has currently admin level 2 (since 30 days) but it isn’t a country at all.

There is also some vandalism ongoing (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic got deleted several times the last few months).

In my opionion Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic should get admin_level=2, the admin_level=2 from Western Sahara should be removed and the Moroccan regions shouldn’t overlap with Sahrawi Arab Republic. But there shouldn’t be changed anything without notifying the local mappers before, for example GBSR INTERNATIONAL who wan’t to build a moroccan OSM community.

btw you can’t compare Transnistria with Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is recognised by 40 other states. Transnistria isn’t recognised by any other state + “All UN member states consider Transnistria a legal part of the Republic of Moldova”.

Same do i, Sahrawi is ok (AL2) and Western Sahara is not ok.

Btw: Is there an ISO 3166-3-Code for Sahrewi ADC? can’t find one.

The 3 Regions should be reduced to the Boundary of Morocco.


No, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic hasn’t an ISO 3166-1-Code as far as I know. The disputed territory Western Sahara has an ISO-Code (“EH”) but having an ISO 3166-1-Code doesn’t mean that an entity is a country/sovereign state.


Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic has applied for the domain .eh but they didn’t get it.


btw, the term “country” is misleading as it has different meanings:


did someone contact the local community? my english is not good enough, to do a controverse (political?) discussion.


btw: To ask only one side (morocco) about the situation in Sahrawi is not the best way. They have to say “Yes, it is ok that the easten part is not in Morocco any more” - and i don’t think they will.

I don’t think that there are any mappers from Sahrawi (SADR) because almost all people who lived in the eastern part of Western Sahara which is controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic currently live in refugee camps in Algeria:

Since apparently the Moroccan national borders are ok, I don’t see who could have a problem with subnational borders following the same frontier.

ok, thats problem #1 - just clip them and give me a note.

#2 what is about Sahrawi? al2 would be ok for me

#3 and “Western Sahara” - i think, it should be removed. But this may be a problem for some people which we don’t know.


I fixed 1. I did notice some level 6 devisions too, but I didn’t fix them

  1. I think we can just upgrade as you say.

  2. That’s one thing we could ask Morocco? I think they are most likely to speak French besides Moroccan Arabic. I do speak some French. But what exactly should I tell them? That OSM tries to find a middle way when it comes to borders, and that often that implies just mapping de facto borders (line of control). That Morocco seems mapped like that, but not Western Sahara. If it should be treated like a region of Morocco, and if they agree to the logic of fixing borders of regions to nations. Also, that in case of conflict, they please refer to this thread to see if we can work something out.

Ok, added al=2 to Sahrawi

I don’t know very much about the political situation there. Especially what’s about “Western Sahara”. 4rch said: “not accepted by any county in the world” and “is not a state”. that means for me: has to be removed? at least that AL2.

But i’m not shure.


btw: my nightly job checked MAR

The northern part looks well but what’s about the southern part?


In my opinion the AL2 of Western Sahara violates the “on the ground rule”:

→ Morocco controls 80% of the territory, Sahrawi 20%.

This [article]( gives) gives an good overview about the current political situation of Western Sahara:

I wouldn’t completely remove the boundary as there may be a country called Western Sahara or whatever in the future. Also it might be useful for mapmakers who want to show the outline of Western Sahara territory. I’d only remove the AL2.

Done, changed boundary=administrative to boundary=conflict. So it’s the boundary of “something” but not a country.

Any other ideas? “call me” :wink:


I shredded Morocco last night :frowning: has been fixed.

Going to fix the higher levels of MAR too. And still some technical problems with Sahrawi, but will be fixed soon.



next step: AL8 :wink:



I have a suggestion

We allows the community to represent the boundaries as we wishes.

But we add the following keys (or similar) boundary:UNO=yes/no boundary:ma=yes/no boundary:AU=yes/no so that jurisdictions can use OpenStreetMap data to represent their political vision of their official borders.

So we could have several MapCSS stylesheets adapted to each formal political representation based on upstream OpenStreetMap data.

We know that with the actual boundary scheme, neither France or Marocco can use OpenStreetMap in their diplomatic communication. It’s a showstopper for wider usage of OpenStreetMap.


This is a very interesting discussion to me: how best to map a conflict zone.

“Western Sahara” is in fact a political entity, recognised by the United Nations as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, with an ISO-3166 code (EH). It is divided by a ceasefire agreement into three zones: a Buffer Strip (with United Nations peacekeepers) separating the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Free Zone and the zone administered by Morocco (as part of its Southern Provinces).

There are two issues that I see: one is what is the correct political (de jure) boundary, and two is what is the correct military (de facto) boundary.

The problem I have with listing the Free Zone as a level 2 administrative boundary is that nobody recognizes it as such, politically.
–SADR claims ALL of Western Sahara, so those countries that recognize SADR diplomatically would have a Admin Level 2 for all of Western Sahara and label it SADR.
–Morocco also claims ALL of Western Sahara, as an integral part of the country. It is the only country that recognizes that claim, so it would be appropriate for a mapping program (not our concern) to indicate a dashed line if desired. (You could mark the northern boundary of Western Sahara as disputed; the rest is not.)
–The United Nations (and those countries that recognize the claims of neither SADR nor Morocco) recognizes ALL of Western Sahara as a territory without a central government.

So that is the political situation. The military situation is different, and this is where I would propose Admin Level 3, which is the de facto, boots on the ground reality. The Buffer Strip (5 km south and east of the Berm) separates the two sides in practical reality. I would not map any lower Admin Levels on the SADR Free Zone side except those defined by SADR. Similarly, I would not map any lower levels on the Moroccan side except those defined by Morocco.

The current Level 2 map shows something that is recognized by nobody. So I agree with the comment above by RedFox – it is a problem. 4rch uses half of the “on the ground” rule, but there are two parts:

Nobody at all recognizes the AL2 we currently support. So it completely fails the first part of the test. The only “internationally recognised” border – regardless of political position on the dispute between Morocco and SADR – is the full Western Sahara.

As to “realities on the ground”, I agree that if you were to see a street sign west of the Berm it would no doubt say Morocco, and east of the Berm it would say Sahrawi. But I would say that’s a concern of AL3, not AL2, just as a street sign in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or Republic of Cyprus would have its respective AL3 in Cyprus.

(What I propose seems to be quite standard on OSM – see Cyprus, Kashmir, Transniestre, etc., etc. Though I acknowledge that Western Sahara is a special case.)

And yes, this will still result in the bizarre situation of AL3’s for Morocco being outside the AL2 for Morocco. I don’t see any way around that – that is the “boots on the ground” reality.

I am happy to go along with the consensus, but I think it would be good to have a standard. (The ISO-3166 standard seems like a good one to me.)

(I note that this rule is not always followed – Kosovo, for example.)

It’s frankly weird to me to see a map of SADR that just depicts just the Free Zone, and it’s equally weird to see a map of Morocco with a truncated lower half. If we go with the AL2 of Western Sahara, then the different factions can convert that into any sort of map they wish. They can read out the EH code as “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic” or “Kingdom of Morocco” or “Western Sahara” or whatever. And we would still indicate the Free Zone and the Moroccan-administered zone, but at the AL3 level, not AL2.