What is national sovereignty?

on reading document

The OpenStreetMap community operates under the “on the ground” principle, recording
what is actually currently used in a particular area, giving pre­eminence to data collected
in­situ. This is generally what is used on our main example map at

This is recorded as a “name” in our database and is the one generally used on our
main example map.

are the parts that I see in document that seem to describe what is shown by default map style at osm.org

(technically it describes default map style, not OSM Carto specifically - so I expect that spirit of it would be expected to be followed by any potential replacements, though for example it is technically possible to make name language selectable )

most of document describes situation in database and explains how map differs from database what makes it irrelevant to any specific map style

disclaimer: I have not consulted this comment (or earlier ones) with other people on OSMF board before posting it. I have not consulted also next one.

added general note about data quality and research suggestion and links to Western Sahara specifically, see Disputed territories: Difference between revisions - OpenStreetMap Wiki

If you would have such listings for specific cases (maybe DWG has some internal document that can be made public? or it is but not known to outsiders? Or someone produced similar listings for other cases?) then it would be worth linking them

For now I am planning to continue using this wiki page as I am not aware of better one and while far from ideal it is better than nothing.

The DWG’s internal notes on this were mostly operational (who is trying to do what where, and with what what account names). All the “history” and “decision” stuff is public.

Someone more famous than me once allegedly wrote something like “bad documentation is worse than no documentation at all”.

If you’re going to try and make this wiki page fit for purpose, then please spend enough time to do a proper job of it. In most or all of the cases you’ll find previous discussions and “who did what why” in the old forum (merged into this one), mailing lists (searchable via the web) and the help site (also searchable). You won’t find much of relevance in the wiki since the very nature of that means that it’s prone to simply reflecting the last editor’s point of view and imperfect knowledge.

I’d estimate that it’d take about 3 weeks of free time (evenings and weekends etc.) for a competent technical author to produce a “good” version of this page. Any less than that and it’ll still be worse than useless - it would actually be more informative if it didn’t exist, because people would then search the forum, where most of the original discussions actually took place.

In fact, the Geofabrik polygons intentionally do not agree with borders. For a country with no disputes or special technical considerations the boundary polygon will generally exceed the country boundaries and be significantly simplified. Most border areas are included in multiple extracts because they need to have a bit of overlap. They’re also driven by commercial considerations - what their customers expect.

There are also some oddities for technical reasons, such as when a region has colonies or spans multiple continents.