Data working group/Disputes

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Preliminary page detailing action taken in case of disputes.

Jerusalem Name Dispute

Case

There was a dispute/edit war over the contents of the "name:" tag for the city of Jerusalem (http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/node/29090735). While involved parties were happy with the various name:language tags, they could not agree on suitable content for the main "name" tag (Hebrew, Arabic).

Resolution

Data Working Group decided that the node shall not have a name tag at all until involved parties can agree on something. Specialist maps can still render the language-specific name:language tags if desired, and it is not unusual even for large cities not to be named on the main OSM map (due to name collisions etc) so the downside of not having a name on the main map is acceptable. DWG hopes that involved parties will come to a resolution. Until that time, please refrain from re-adding a name tag to this node (or creating a new city node for Jerusalem). Data Working Group has added a "note" tag explaining the situation and will remove that once an amicable resolution has been reached.

In addition, the name tag of the place=suburb node for East Jerusalem (http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/node/299937491) has been converted to name:ar so that neither Jerusalem nor East Jerusalem now have a name tag.

Crimea Naming Dispute

Resolution regarding edit wars in the Crimea (Ukraine), issued 2012-07-31.

Background

The Crimea peninsula is part of Ukraine. Official language in Ukraine is Ukrainian. (Additional official languages may be defined by regional authorities but state regarding the Crimea is unclear.) The Crimea has a majority of Russian speakers and Russian is used on the ground. Road signs in the Crimea are often in Russian although it has been claimed that these should, legally, be in Ukrainian (unclear). Many streets in the Crimea have been initially mapped with Russian in the "name" tag. Ukraine community operates various tools/bots that modify the name tags and tries to ensure objects are properly tagged with all three of name:uk, name:ru, and name:en. In the process, the "name" tag was often set to the Ukrainian version which alienated some Russian-language mappers in the Crimea and this led to edit wars and vitriolic forum discussions. Position of Ukrainian mappers is (1) that they have a community policy to use Ukrainian in the name tag because that is the official language; (2) that if anyone wants something else they should challenge that policy; (3) that if someone wants to see the map in Russian they could use one of a number of existing web services that renders all names in Russian.

This is just intended to be a short introduction for the casual reader. If anything in this introduction is inaccurate it does not change our resolution.

Issues considered by DWG

  1. Local knowledge - Enlisting local people to contribute their knowledge to OSM is an important goal for OSM.
  2. Community - It is in OSM's interest to have a community peacefully working together.
  3. Edit wars - prolonged edit wars damage community relations, create unnecessary load on our infrastructure, and make our data less usable. They are to be avoided.
  4. On-the-ground-rule - http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Disputes#On_the_Ground_Rule

Resolution

We ask all involved parties to refrain from "edit warring". If true vandalism is detected by the community then it is ok to revert it; if however there is a point of contention behind this "vandalism" and the alleged vandal comes back to revert the revert, then the community should seek help from DWG instead of engaging in an edit war as it has happened in this case.

We hope that the Ukrainian community can find an amicable solution with Crimea mappers. Such a solution must necessarily include local mappers, and efforts must be made to reach out to them. It is not sufficient to execute some kind of proposal process and say "you can participate in the vote if you want". We acknowledge that this is difficult, especially given the rather un-civil way in which some Crimea mappers have behaved in this discussion, but if they are not included in the solution then the problem cannot be resolved. Even though the Crimea is part of Ukraine, this does not necessarily put the Ukraine OSM community in a position where they can rule over the Crimea OSM community.

Until such a solution is agreed upon, we ask everyone to stick to the "on the ground" rule. In particular, this means:

  • You can set name:uk and name:ru with whatever seems correct; removing or deliberately falsifying these tags is not acceptable and will be treated as vandalism.
  • For the non-postfixed "name" tag, the only acceptable value is what is physically on the street sign, or whatever sign is appropriate if the object in question is not a street.
  • Never change the "name" tag unless you have personally been at the place or seen a photo of the particular object and a sign containing the name.
  • It is not enough to say "<X> is the official language" or "There is a law that says street signs must be in the <X> language". You have to see the actual sign.
  • If there are signs in different languages, or one sign with different languages on it, then both names may be tagged together in the "name" tag; any edit warring about the order of names is not acceptable.

We will re-set all "name" tags in the Crimea that have been changed in April 2012 or later to the March 2012 version. After that, changes are only permitted according to the above "on the ground" rule.

We encourage the Ukrainian community to set up a tile server that shows all objects with their "name:uk" tag, so that users of the map have a choice between the "all Russian" names (a rendering that already exists on openstreetmap.by among others), "all Ukrainian" names (a rendering that does not yet exist to our knowledge), or "all names as given on the ground" (the default rendering on openstreetmap.org). The operators of openstreetmap.by have offered to add a "name:uk" rendering to their system, and if required, OSMF can offer additional resources to make this happen.