Disputed territories

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This is a list of disputes between UN recognized sovereign states. There has been a previous attempt to document mapping disputed territories in WikiProject United Nations political boundaries. In September 2013, the OSMF issued an official document about this.

Current rule

The 2013 OSMF position paper, Information for officials and diplomats of countries and entities with disputed territories, does not truly establish any new rules for mappers, but simply refers to the on the ground principle.

Currently, we record one set that, in OpenStreetMap contributor opinion, is most widely internationally recognised and best meets realities on the ground, generally meaning physical control. In areas without clearly defined borders, the line is approximate. Our database structure enables map makers to easily ignore this set and substitute another more appropriate to your needs.
— OSMF, 2013

This seems to imply that the main national border (boundary=administrative + admin_level=2) is always supposed to be the one representing actual control. The tagging of alternative claims therefore remain undefined and hence not rendered by the default style. None of the proposals have been brought to fruition.

Tag proposals

Some editors are of the opinion that claimed boundaries have value in being recorded. The following proposals are known; if you want to tag too, check taginfo for actual use status first.



("Common claimant info" refers to keys seen in several proposals: claimed_by=*, disputed_by=*, controlled_by=*.)

List of cases and their representation in OSM

The following is a list of known instances and the OSM objects where they can be observed, structured by continent and other (if continent is not clear/between continents).

Given how incomplete the list is and how quickly thing can change (humanity!), it might really make more sense to just read Wikipedia:List of territorial disputes. The geolocation on articles can be clicked back to OSM.


Territory Claimants bbox Notes
Western Sahara
  • Western Sahara
  • Morocco
24.787/-12.107 Western Sahara is a disputed territory in northwestern Africa, partially controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially occupied by neighboring Morocco. See Wikipedia article "Western Sahara"
  • Somaliland
  • Somalia
Actual control is not defined. Not sure if a national border should be set.
Halaib Triangle
  • Egypt
  • Sudan
Only Egyptian claim rendered; neighboring Bir Tawil has both non-claims rendered.


Territory Claimants bbox Notes
Kashmir conflict
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • China
The Kashmir conflict is a territorial conflict primarily between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region. China has also been involved in the conflict in a third-party role. Wikipedia: Kashmir conflict BBC: Why India and Pakistan fight over it

https://openstreetmap.in renders the Indian perspective of the boundaries.

Numerous Chinese claims China and neighbors China has disputes with almost every neighbor, some of which are actively contested. See Wikipedia:Foreign relations of China#International territorial disputes.


Territory Claimants bbox Notes


Territory Claimants bbox Notes
Russia-Ukraine border
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
49.199/39.391 Russian delays on establishment of the border with Ukraine.
Tuzla Island and Strait of Kerch; Sarych
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
45.2645/36.5717 The conflict arose in 2003 when the Russian authorities started to build a dam towards the island. Since then Ukraine established a border garrison on the island for a closer surveillance. The reason for the conflict is the fact that Tuzla island's strategic location gives Ukraine full rights over the main channel in the Strait of Kerch and, thus, the access to the Sea of Azov. The conflict is based on the division of the Black Sea Fleet and a lease agreement of the Sevastopol Naval facilities.
Sea of Azov
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
45.915/37.371 ("Mutual jurisdiction")
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
45.159/34.634 In 2014, Russian forces occupied and annexed the Crimean peninsula, seizing it from Ukrainian territories. Russian claims to Crimea are not internationally recognized. The United Nations, through General Assembly Resolution 68/262, affirmed that Crimea was part of Ukraine and that Russia's annexation is invalid. Several nations imposed international sanctions on Russia in reaction to its action.
Aegean dispute, Imia/Kardak Greece


Broad number of delimitation disputes about a.o. national airspace, territorial waters and exclusive economic zones. Includes Imia/Kardak dispute.
Mont Blanc summit dispute France


France asserts that the principal peaks on the Mont Blanc massif—Dôme du Goûter, Punta Helbronner, and Mont Blanc lie in French territory, while Italy asserts that the summits are shared.
Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle boundary dispute Ireland

United Kingdom

Lough Foyle divides County Donegal, Republic of Ireland, and County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Carlingford Lough divides County Louth, Republic of Ireland, and County Down, Northern Ireland.
Gibraltar United Kingdom


Dispute over the interpretation of the Treaty of Utrecht and the location of the border.
Dollart/Dollard bay Germany


The exact course of the border through this bay is disputed, yet the countries have agreed to disagree by signing a treaty in 1960.
Lake Constance
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
Switzerland holds the view that the border runs through the middle of the lake.

Austria is of the opinion that the contentious area belongs to all the states on its banks.

Germany holds an ambiguous opinion.

Olivenza and Vila Real(including the municipality of Táliga) Spain


In 1801, during the War of the Oranges, Spain, with French military support, occupied the territory of Olivenza (in Portuguese Olivença). During the Treaty of Vienna (1815), the signatory powers (including Spain) agreed with the Portuguese arguments concerning its claim on Olivença but Spain never fulfilled its duty of giving the city of Olivença and its territory back to Portugal.
Croatia-Serbia border dispute Croatia


Limited areas along the Danube

Parts of Osijek-Baranja and Vukovar-Syrmia Counties and West and South Bačka Districts

Gulf of Piran Slovenia


An agreement was signed (and ratified by Croatia's parliament on 20 November 2009) to pursue binding arbitration to both the land and maritime portions of this continuing dispute.

In 2015 collusion between the Slovenian judge on the arbitration panel and a representative from the Slovenian government was uncovered. The Croatian Sabor voted to withdraw from the arbitration, citing allegations of significant breaches of arbitration rules by Slovenia as the reason.

Despite this the arbitration tribunal continued its work, issuing a ruling in 2017.

Prevlaka Croatia


Sastavci Serbia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Island of Šarengrad Serbia


Military complex near Sveta Gera, in the area of Žumberak/Gorjanci Slovenia


Veliki Školj and Mali Školj (near Neum) Croatia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Island of Vukovar Croatia


North America

Territory Claimants bbox Notes
Machias Seal Island
  • Canada
  • United States
44.4936/-66.9088 Currently rendered as United States (Maine) territory, despite only Canadians staying on the island.

South America

Territory Claimants bbox Notes


Territory Claimants bbox Notes