South of Morocco Maps error

I’ve noticed an error in your map of Morocco. The southern part of Morocco is incorrectly labeled as the Republic of West Sahara there is no such thing in the southern of Morocco. Could you please correct this? Thank you for your attention to this matter.

1 Like

For convenience, here’s an answer from the old help site that I wrote back in 2017:

Hello, Andy from the Data Working Group here. Here’s the story of our involvement:

Various people complained to the DWG from around March 2016 onwards about edits in the area. What seemed to be happening was that mappers from Morocco were making politically motivated edits and removing the SADR area, labelling it as a “buffer zone” within an expanded Morocco territory. Part of the story can be seen from the history of the 5441968 relation.

At the same time various areas under Spanish control to the north were also removed from Spain and added to Morocco, and we got complaints about that too.

The OSMF has a document that explains how OpenStreetMap borders work. It’s designed to be read by officials who may not be familiar with OSM, but it’s useful to refer to here as it explains the “on the ground rule”. In order to try and obtain the views of the mappers in the area I contacted a large number of recent editors via changeset discussion comments, and also posted to the “International boundaries” forum here. That also links to wikipedia articles covering the history of the former Western Sahara territory. Some previous editors in the area did appear to be “sock-puppets” of others, but all were contacted to ensure that no “real editors” were missed.

I asked a number of key questions, about the status of the eastern part of former Western Sahara, the status of places such as Ceuta and Melilla in the north and, and if the area to the east was a territory distinct from Morocco, what admin_level should it have?

After a number of responses came in, as already mentioned I responded here. As noted there, there was a clear majority in favour of recognising something either as “Western Sahara” or as “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic” as a country (admin_level=2). That’s why, as part of these changes the SADR relation was changed to admin_level=2 in September last year. What happened next was that a number of users tried to undo the changes made as a result of this discussion, including some of the suspected “sock puppets” mentioned above, and those changes were reverted and users sent a message that they had to read before continuing mapping (in English and French).

That’s the situation as it stands now. If anyone has any further questions, they can email the DWG via

Best Regards,


actually there could indeed be something improvable there, as there is

tagged with boundary=administrative but according to wikipedia, 80% is administered by Morocco. Western Sahara - Wikipedia

This article has a simple overview map: Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic - Wikipedia

Morocco in OpenStreetMap seems ok at quick glimpse:

It doesn’t seem in line with the guidelines to have an administrative entity tagged for a territory where it is just a claim that is not reflected on the ground

Thanks to all for your input, I noticed that you have sent me a Wikipedia article as a reference, let me remind you that Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia anyone can write anything it doesn’t mean that its 100% correct, I’m from Morocco and I live there the information you are showing on your map are wrong and misleading! there is not such country between morocco and the state of Mauritania, the pretending to be a state named Republic sahrawi are located in the west of Algeria in a zone called Tindouf, between the borders of morocco and Algeria is a buffer zone