Vandalism by User Giorgi1967

This user has been renaming various places in Abkhazia, which is contrary to ground truth and the commonly accepted practice on OpenStreetMap. Malicious edits like these have been reverted for years.

Can someone revert changesets like these:

Giorgi - this might be the same person as Giorgi1967. I had a long discussion with him on Facebook, after he spammed some OSM-related pages with his upset complaints about the way Abkhazia and South Ossetia are present in the Map.

I explained to him how OpenStreetMap is supposed to depict the de facto reality and that there’s currently no better way of depicting disputed territories that making separate countries out of them. I thought he finally understood…

I think it’s a different Giorgi. Giorgi1967 continues to rename stuff in Abkhazia. I have also messaged him, but he doesn’t seem to react. :frowning:

What’s even more annoying is the fact that he seems to be saving after a single edit. So reverting all his edits is quite painful…


yes thats needs to be reverted. He “killed” many boundaries in georgia.

Because that is a political motivated edit without giving any sources you should contact DWG to revert that. They got better tools to do that.


Did you call DWG? If not, nothing will happen.


btw: he is going on with his “work” :frowning:

Hi is “striking” back and in his eyes i’m the “Bad Guy” :wink:


User has been informed (short block) and changes have been reverted by frederik (woodpeck):


Some other user continues to do exactly the same kind of edits:
He registered when Giorgi1967 was blocked, so I suppose this is the same guy.

Yes, but it looks like he has learned. It seems like the user does only change the names to the “local” used, he does not delete old names.
You can contact him and try to find a solution which is acceptable for all of you.


Well, he is changing names from Ossetian and/or Russian (the local language used on the ground) to Georgian, which is not really used locally anymore and cannot be found on street signs. He is doing the same thing in Abkhazia. For years, there has been a consensus not to use the Georgian names in these two regions as default names in OSM, as they are not controlled by Georgia and the Georgian language is not used there anymore. “Map what’s on the ground” is the generally accepted practice on OSM, and he is clearly violating this.

Using the Georgian name actually makes OSM useless for these regions as those names are not used there. Most local can’t even read the Georgian script, especially younger ones. This user is just making political edits without any explanation/discussion. It’s really extremly annoying to revert hundreds of edits by this user, especially since he is often changing only a single item per changeset.

I have tried talking to him, but he doesn’t react.

Did you contact DWG, especially Frederik?

I think, he will help us again.


ps: der Kerl da unten geht mir echt auf die Nerven.

Sadly I haven’t. Should I contact someone from this forum?

I had written a longish posting here yesterday but somehow it must have got lost in transmission. So pardon me for being concise in repeating it:

  • I can revert all the edits of the new user and block them, as well as Giorgi1967 who seems to have resumed editing; the fact that there are many changesets is not a problem.
  • I notice that they have switched from tagging “name=GeorgianName” to “name=GeorgianName (OtherName)” where OtherName sometimes is the Russian name and sometimes it is something in the Latin alphabet but no equal to any of the other names. Would “name=GeorgianName (RussianName)” be an acceptable compromise, or would people in the region still view that as outdated and useless? Do we have any mappers on the ground in South Ossetia or Abkhazia at all?
  • This “consensus” not to use Georgian names, whose consensus was that? Is that documented somewhere? Or are there public photos of road signs where I could satisfy myself that Georgian names are really not used on the ground?
  • In the history of the regions, both Georgians and Ossetians/Abkhazians have at times been driven from their homes and been treated unfairly and cruelly; we must make sure that our adherence to “what’s on the ground” does not also contain a moral statement (i.e. if there are no Georgian street signs then we don’t map Georgian names but that doesn’t mean it is somehow the right thing that there are no Georgian street signs).
  • Politically, the regions have occasionally been affected by Russian influence which is considered as a threat by some; therefore I would like to ask Russian mappers to abstain from any name-changing in the area even if they believe that they are correct. Same applies to mappers from Georgia even though the areas are officially (as seen by the international community of nations) part of Georgia. For name changing in the region, I would prefer this to be done by mappers from Abkhazia/Ossetia themselves, and if there aren’t any, then I would hope that mappers from further away deal with the issues, rather than Russians or Georgians whose nations seem to vie over control of the regions. (I also notice that Russian mappers have in the past stripped away Georgian name parts.)

I read that at least in Abkhazia, there are some regions (Gali, Tkvarcheli) where Georgians form the majority of people; does that make a difference - do these regions perhaps use Georgian-language signs more frequently?

I can block these users and revert their edits but if possible I would like to give them a positive message, like: “Great that you care for Georgian cultural heritage, here’s something useful you can do” - rather than “go away, we don’t want you here”. Of course if they’re too stubborn to heed any advice then we’ll just have to block them and their sock puppets to come.


Having had some first hand-experience, I can give you more detailed information:

In both of these regions, there are still some signs that have the Georgian name written on it, but almost all of them have been put up before 1989.

The language situation in those two regions is different.

Abkhazia is a multi-cultural country and Russian is the language spoken everywhere, although Abkhaz is also learnt and spoken by non-ethnic Abkhaz people (although fluency is a very different matter…) Most Russians and Armenians living in Abkhazia have a positive attitude towards Abkhaz language and Abkhaz have a positive attitude towards Russian.

Georgian is only spoken by members of the Georgian minority and some older Abkhaz people who were forced to learn the language during Soviet times and often refuse to speak it now.
The only part of Abkhazia where Georgian is still the most widely spoken language is Gali region, where most Georgians live. But even in this part of Abkhazia, most signs on shops are in Russian while official signs are mostly bilingual in Abkhaz-Russian. Still, you have a good chance of finding at least some Georgian signs.
Tkvarcheli has a significant non-Georgian population and hardly any non-Georgian is willing to or able to speak Georgian, so many Georgians will speak Russian in public. Most schools there teach in Russian as well and younger Georgians tend to be more fluent in Russian than in their mother tongue.
Outside of those two regions, Georgian is not really used anymore at all and less understood than, let’s say, English.
Modern street signs in Abkhazia look like these:

(Abkhaz name, Russian name below)

South Ossetia today is ~90% Ossetian, so the Ossetian language has a stronger position than Abkhaz has in Abkhazia. Russian is spoken by nearly everyone as well, but on the streets, you will mostly hear Ossetian. Most street signs are bilingual in Ossetian and Russian. Few ethnic Georgians remain in South Ossetia, although there are a few villages that remain mostly Georgian. In those places Georgian is still spoken, but as in Abkhazia, even in those villages most signs are in Russian as Ossetians coming by generally don’t understand Georgian language and have a very negative attitude towards it.

This is the town sign of Tskhinval, the capital:

Street signs look like these:

(Ossetian name big, Russian name smaller)

As far as I know, South Ossetia was initially mapped in Russian only, but some (or only one?) Ossetian mapper (soslan) then changed the default name to Ossetian only and the Russian name was put in name:ru. As far as I know, Andrey Kozaev is also from South Ossetia.

I don’t know of any local mappers from Abkhazia. Abkhazia was always mapped in Russian, with ulil, who seems to be from Germany, being the most active mapper there.

I think the decision not to use the Georgian name is a purely pragmatic one. I don’t like the way Abkhazia and South Ossetia are treating their Georgian heritage/minority, but nonetheless that’s the way it is. To me, it’d make no sense to ignore reality.

It’d be great to add Georgian translations of POIs and street names in both of these two regions as they’re mostly lacking.

Any updates on this? Moab2000 is doing hundreds of edits per day, just like Giorgi1967 did.

Patience! In the case of such edits we can afford to think before we act, and a couple days more or less doesn’t make a huge difference for reverting. I have now blocked both users

and reverted the name changes and deletions once again

and asked them to get in touch with DWG.


They seem to be back…
User Balakhadze is doing the same kind of edits.

Shall I revert this myself or wait for DWG?