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.
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.
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.
- Proposed_features/DisputedTerritories (abandoned), a proposal for boundary_disputed=level and subtags
- Proposed features/Mapping disputed boundaries (rejected inactive), a proposal for boundary=claim and common claimant info
- (Mailing list) Suggested way to map disputed country borders May 2016, proposes boundary:disputed=administrative; common claimant info
- (Where's the discussion?) boundary=disputed + disputed=yes with common claimant info
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.
||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"|
||Actual control is not defined. Not sure if a national border should be set.|
||Only Egyptian claim rendered; neighboring Bir Tawil has both non-claims rendered.|
||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.|
||49.199/39.391||Russian delays on establishment of the border with Ukraine.|
|Tuzla Island and Strait of Kerch; Sarych||
||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||
||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
|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.|
|Dispute over the interpretation of the Treaty of Utrecht and the location of the border.|
|The exact course of the border through this bay is disputed, yet the countries have agreed to disagree by signing a treaty in 1960.|
||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.
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
|Machias Seal Island||
||44.4936/-66.9088||Currently rendered as United States (Maine) territory, despite only Canadians staying on the island.|