Proposal talk:ClaimedBorders

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Discuss Proposed features/ClaimedBorders page here:


It is unclear to me how you would map the claims on Antarctica with this proposal. Specifically, it does not work for the US, Russian, and Peruvian claims. Or rather, claims of a future claim.

The situation there is very odd, and it would be good to have an extra tag to be able to deal with it. I am not sure what wording would be best here, however.

There is a similar situation with the US and Canada about the not-yet-open Northwest Passage.

-- gappleto97 16:26, 29 November 2018 (PST)

I'm not very familiar with the claims for Antartica. "We have the right to make a claim" does mean "We do not make a claim now" right? So that would not be covered by this proposed tagging scheme... Rorym (talk) 08:28, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Authority tag for all borders

All admin boundaries exist by virtue of a decree from some authority or other. It's just that most of them are not disputed. If we tag each boundary relation with the credible authority (e.g. some government or other, UN treaty, local military commander etc) that it originates from, we have a non-political way of accommodating multiple versions of a boundary.

A separate discussion is then whether OSM should treat one of the versions as special in some way, or whether we should just steer clear of the politics and let all the versions have equal weight, and leave it to the user to choose which authority they want to believe. A specific challenge we would have is deciding which version gets rendered on the "standard map." We always say that OSM is the data, and not any specific rendering after all.... --Csmale (talk) 12:45, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

"A separate discussion is then whether OSM should treat one of the versions as special in some way" haven't we always treated one version (de facto physical control) as special? Rorym (talk) 17:02, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Comparison with other proposal

SomeoneElse asked for a brief comparison between this proposal and one I put forward. The main points of difference as I see them are in two areas, (a) relations, and (b) tags.


You note in the proposal the potentially large number of relations. Let's say that for each dispute there are three points of view: favor #1, favor #2, neutral. (There is actually a fourth, unknown, and possibly a fifth, unclear, but for the sake of discussion let's say three.) Then for each country with N disputes there are 3^N possible maps. Countries with maritime borders tend to have a lot of disputes. Spain has eight major disputes that I know of, thus 6561 possible views, but I am fairly sure they have minor ones I don't know about.

Because there are only 200 countries in the world (a little less, I know, but the math is easier), there are only 200 POV for each map. So of the 6561 possible maps of Spain, only (at most) 200 are relevant. Globally, that makes 200 * 200 = 40,000 possible maps of the world. SomeoneElse points out, correctly, that there will be actually fewer, because there are only a certain number of positions staked out. Still, I think you're talking probably 150 maps of the world and 3,000 country maps. These are just guesses. The point is, the number of relations can be staggering. Difficult to maintain, and inviting stale data.

My proposal, being modular, would require you simply to change the Bhutan tag on the France-Spain Conflict Area. One relation per conflict area, so if there are, say, 300 of them (there are actually fewer land disputes, I think, maybe a few dozen), you're talking an upper limit of 300 relations.

-- Johnparis (talk) 08:20, 7 December 2018‎ (UTC)

Presumably the reason why you think there will be "potentially lots of relations" is that Bhutan (to take your example) may take one side on a "Spain v country X" dispute and another on "Spain v country Y". Whilst I'm sure there are edge cases that show this, most of the time a third country will tend to take a consistent position in all disputes (see e.g. Spain's position against "all secession disputes everywhere"). Also, without wishing to offend mappers in Bhutan, the biggest issue that we have with claims at the moment is not being able to show the claim of the state making the claim, not third parties. Mappers anywhere typically aren't creating a map of the world; they're creating a map of one area according to one world view. If a mapper from Bhutan wants to make a map of Europe according to Spain's view, then using this proposal they'd simply need to select certain relations over others (easy to do while in lua before rendering, to take one use case example). Under your proposal if they were to "simply to change the Bhutan tag on the France-Spain Conflict Area" it doesn't get them any closer to being able to do anything useful with the data - they'd need to somehow munge together the particular relations that they were interested in to create larger relations (perhaps using something a bit like the area/multipolygon processing in osm2pgsql, but as yet unwritten?) to get the data they want OR they could use the first party claims (which are also present in your proposal and just ignore the "conflict area" relations altogether).
Based upon what gets looked after in OSM and what doesn't, I suspect that your extra conflict area relations simply won't get maintained in OSM. I'm not saying that it's not a good idea to say what tags we should use for them, but I am saying that most people making maps according to a certain viewpoint won't use them, and they'll tend to get broken easily which will reinforce people not using them. SomeoneElse (talk) 10:17, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
I too wonder about how many extra relations there will be in practice. Yes in theory there could be loads. But is that likely. I also wonder if any software is able to process the scheme to produce "polygon of country X according to country Y". Rorym (talk) 12:03, 8 December 2018 (UTC)
I would like to see Rory produce examples just for one country, Spain, so we can go from there.
Let's say for the sake of argument (and I have not fully researched this) that every country that agrees with Spain in its dispute over Ceuta holds the same position with regards to Mellila and the Plazas de Soberanía (except Parsley Island). I am fairly sure that many of those countries are neutral or favor Morocco with respect to Parsley Island, even if they side with Spain in the other cases. Then we know we have at least these maps for Spain (+ for favors Spain, - for opposes Spain, 0 for neutral):
          Parsley Plazas  France   Portugal   
France      0      0        -        0         
Spain       +      +        +        +
Portugal    0      0        0        -
Morocco     -      -        0        0
De Facto    0      0        0        0
I believe the US is neutral on Parsley and favors Spain on Plazas. So add:
USA         0       +       0         0
I don't know if they're neutral on Portugal and France; but in any case the "view from USA" map will differ from the others. You see where this is going. There are 81 possible maps of Spain just for these four disputes (I think there are more disputes). This proposal also leaves room for positions from, say, the Arab League, which I believe favors Morocco in its disputes with Spain, though I don't know their position on Spain vs Portugal or Spain vs France. If they're neutral, then:
Arab Lg     -      -         0        0
which is the same as the Morocco map. But it's entirely possible that Morocco takes a position on one or the other Spanish claims (they might oppose them just to be ornery, or support them to try to gain favor on their other claims). So the Arab League map might or might not be a sixth.
So for me it would be useful to see an example.

-- Johnparis (talk) 13:06, 8 December 2018 (UTC)


Andy, I have copied the parts of your comments that directly address my proposal to its Talk page, where I've replied.

-- Johnparis (talk) 13:06, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

Can you explain what you mean by "being neutral"? Does that actually happen? Where a country refuses to answer about what country another part of land is in? Even if it does happen, then you could simplify by not supporting "neutral" PoVs, and just merge/collapse them together