Proposed features/Refugee Site Location

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Refugee Site Location
Status: Rejected (inactive)
Proposed by: Manonv & Kateregga1
Tagging: place=refugee_site
Applies to: noderelation
Definition: Refugee site location tagging
Rendered as: not rendered
Drafted on: 01-02-2020
RFC start: 01-30-2020
Vote start: 02-03-2020
Vote end: 17-03-2020

Please comment on the discussion page.

Proposal

There is not yet a real consensus within the OSM community regarding the way to reference refugee camps in OSM. As a result, tagging is applied inconsistently which makes it quite difficult to find and use this data. In the past years there have been several attempts to improve the referencing of refugee camps in OSM but they never succeeded in finalizing a full proposal.

We would like to propose a very generic tag this time to map the location of refugee camps. We propose to use the tag place=refugee_site

A refugee site is a place that hosts refugee and/or IDP population and that is under operation of the UNHCR or another organization (other NGO, government agency, etc.). A refugee site can be a temporary site or a long term site.

For long-term refugee site that are no longer under operation of the UNHCR or another organization (other NGO, government, etc.) it is possible to use instead or also the tag place=town or place=village.


Rationale

Humanitarian organizations working with refugees and other displaced populations are willing to open some of their data to OpenStreetMap for wider and sustainable dissemination, but a common framework aligned with OpenStreetMap standards is necessary.

For example, organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)*, which work with refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people, map refugee sites (i.e., camps and settlements) to collect timely, accurate information on the structure of these places and their infrastructure, in order to better understand the needs of those affected by a crisis and to plan humanitarian response efforts. Over the years, UNHCR and partners have collected a large quantity of geographic data linked to site infrastructure. Some of this data is publicly available, but it is not always easy to find nor is it centrally stored. Some of this data could be shared on a wider scale and more sustainably, especially in regions where other actors who may or may not be directly involved in the humanitarian response are also active in collecting and maintaining spatial data. This is why UNHCR is willing to share some of the data more widely and disseminate it through the OpenStreetMap platform as well. A sustainable approach to sharing, collecting and keeping data up-to-date needs to be based on a tagging system that considers as many use cases as possible.

Since many individuals and organizations already contribute to OpenStreetMap refugee site mapping efforts, it would benefit everyone to agree on a clear and consistent tagging schema for refugee sites.

UNHCR and partners, in close collaboration with organizations like CartONG and HOT, also support remote mapping efforts through Mapathons to help and populate data for areas that are not yet mapped and to combine that data with field observations and additional data collection campaigns whenever possible. Additionally, many individuals and local contributors also contribute to the OpenStreetMap site mapping efforts together with specialized NGOs such as other members of the Missing Maps project, REACH, RELIEF, or others. Using OpenStreetMap geographic data for refugee sites is very useful for humanitarian organizations, local governments and communities, and for refugees themselves. OpenStreetMap data could be valuable for decision making, to avoid duplication of efforts, and to enable a more efficient humanitarian response. However, it is currently difficult to efficiently use OpenStreetMap data because of highly inconsistent tagging (see next chapter, “Tagging”). In this context, it would benefit everyone to have clear and consistent instructions on the tagging, starting with the tagging of refugee locations. This effort could then be extended to other refugee facilities (a first revision of the OpenStreetMap refugee data model was conducted by CartONG in 2019, it still needs some work and to be discussed with relevant stakeholders)

*UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

Examples

UNHCR Presence and POC's locations (UNHCR webappviewer screenshot)


UNHCR decided to share some of the data more widely and disseminate it through the OpenStreetMap platform as well. CartONG is currently assisting the agency on this process. "It also shares a list with locations of People of Concern to UNHCR  (refugee camps, refugee settlements, IDP camps amongst others) through their REST Services.


Here are some UNHCR OpenData platforms where you can already access UNHCR data:

Tagging

Proposed tag and associated tags

key value required wiki
place refugee_site yes
refugee_site:for refugee or IDP optional
name <string> optional wiki
alt_name <string> optional
landuse residential optional wiki
population <number, estimated population> optional wiki
start_date <date, establishment> optional wiki
operator <name of operator> optional wiki
operator:type <ngo, community, government, intergovernmental_organization> optional wiki
operational_status <value> optional


Why did we decide to provide an alternative to the proposed feature «boundary=refugee_camp» made back in 2018 ?

In most cases we don’t have the official boundaries of the camp. Even the organizations in charge of the refugee sites don’t usually have them. Sometimes refugee sites are next to a host village, or in urban areas where it’s impossible to separate clearly the camp from the nearby neighborhoods when watching the aerial imagery.

As refugee site boundaries can be a very sensitive information in some countries, it is not recommended to map imprecise/unofficial boundaries

  1. When boundaries are not clear from the satellite imagery and not known by the mapper, we recommend to simply add a node at the centre of the camp with the tag place=refugee_site. If adding the boundary nevertheless in those conditions, please tag also source source=local knowledge/unofficial/refugee site operator/etc or as official_status=unofficial
  2. When the mapper has local knowledge/from people in the field, or has access to information from the refugee site operator, it is possible to add it to OSM but still optional.
key value required? taginfo?
place refugee_site yes
boundary refugee_site optional
source local knowledge/unofficial/refugee site operator/etc yes
official_status unofficial optional

We suggested to adapt the proposed feature boundary=refugee_camp into boundary=refugee_site in order to be consistent


Why did we choose the key:place instead of key:amenity or key:social facility?

Refugee camps are places where hundreds or even thousands of people live. Those places are theoretically temporary, but in practice, these camps and the population living there often end up staying for many years. In this context we find that the key:place is better suited, instead of the key:amenity or key:social facility that are already partially in use but not suited for this context.

Amenity and social facility tags should however be used in order to map individual facilities within the refugee sites like community centres, reception centres, transit centres, food distribution centres, child-friendly spaces or shelters.


Why did you choose the value:refugee_site?

It is true that Internally Displaced Person and Refugee are two different statuses. By experience we know that it’s not easy for people not working directly in humanitarian or development organizations (inc. local mappers) to differentiate those two statuses. In everyday language people usually use the term refugees to talk about all displaced people, including IDPs. Also, some sites may include the 2 different categories of people in the same location. That is why we decided to use the generic term “refugee” as the main tag and to propose a subtype IDP or refugee to make a distinction when necessary or when one have enough information about the site’s population. Let’s not forget many tags in OSM already don’t have the exact same meaning than what they describe, which is logical because these very definitions might vary according to countries.

We were suggesting to use UNHCR current categorization of refugee site {refugee_settlement, refugee_camp, IDP_settlement, IDP_camp}, but based on the comments we received, we will amend the proposal to simplify it and modify subtype Refugee_site:for=refugee or refugee_site:for=IDP when information about the site’s population is known.


key value required? taginfo?
place refugee_site yes
refugee_site:for refugee or IDP optional


IDP = internally displaced person(s) persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized state border." OCHA Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement


Should we use refugee=yes?

We also propose not to use the tag refugee=yes anymore as it directly targets vulnerable people and is not completely in compliance with OSM semantics. We consider that the refugee_site reference is enough. We, in fact, recommend to remove this tag when existing.

Under the “Do No Harm” principle, it is strongly not recommended to use the tag refugee=yes for individual buildings except for public buildings like reception centre for instance.


Tag in use Taginfo Wiki What we propose to do if the tag place=refugee_site is approved
amenity=social_facility

social_facility=shelter social_facility:for=refugee

Taginfo Wiki To be removed from the area and replaced by place=refugee_site. But to be kept on buildings (refugee centers/refugee accommodations)
amenity=social_facility

social_facility=refugee_camp

Taginfo To be replace by place=refugee_site
amenity=social_facility

social_facility=refugee_housing social_facility=refugee_housing:for

Taginfo Wiki Already discarded but still in use, should be completely removed
amenity=refugee_housing Taginfo Should be removed at least on individual housing/refugee individual accommodations
boundary=refugee_camp Taginfo Wiki Tagging should be changed to boundary=refugee_site.

Use of this tag should be limited to areas where one has field knowledge or information from the operator.

refugee=yes Taginfo Should be removed at least on individual housing/refugee individual accommodations
tourism=camp_site

refugee=yes

Wiki Already discarded (https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:camp_site) but still in use, should be completely removed

Applies to

Apply to node. Should not apply to area when official camp boundaries are not available.

Rendering

Features/Pages affected

Proposed_features/Refugee_Camp_Boundaries A link to this new Proposed features wiki page will be added.

Refugee_Camp_Mapping

Humanitarian_OSM_Tags/Humanitarian_Data_Background The page will be updated, this overall article contain out of date information.

External discussions

No external discussion at the moment.

Comments

Please comment on the discussion page.

Voting

Voting closed

Voting on this proposal has been closed.

The result is Rejected with 28 votes for, 12 votes against and 1 abstention.

Approval rate: 70%. Less than required 74% so rejection.

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Lucas Longour (talk) 21:27, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --NICOJP (talk) 21:06, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --YoViajo (talk) 15:10, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Anaximandre (talk) 19:20, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Brian de Ford (talk) 13:09, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Léonie Miège (talk) 13:42, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Martin Noblecourt (talk) 15h44, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. - I have not reviewed final form, but I spotted "UNHCR decided to share some of the data more widely and disseminate it through the OpenStreetMap platform as well" - remember about Organised Editing guidelines and Import/Guidelines. Assuming that data is of a good quality, on compatible license and it is about something mappable in OSM - it can and should be added. But we have Import/Guidelines for good reasons, we had similar imports done with good intention that resulted in adding problematic data and various kind of problems. Following this import process should help in avoiding this kind of problems. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 19:43, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Great work! --Fizzie41 (talk) 21:24, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. While I appreciate the idea of mapping locations related to refugees, I do not think the proposed definition and tags wil work. The description includes too many possibilities: "A refugee site is a place that hosts refugee and/or IDP population and that is under operation of the UNHCR or another organization (other NGO, government agency, etc.). A refugee site can be a temporary site or a long term site." This could include a single building which which is operated by a local church and hosts a single refugee family from another country for a month or two. It could also include a huge semi-permanent settlement with thousands of people, shops, businesses, permanent structures and so on, which is nominally operated by a government agency but which actually functions as a town for many years. The definition needs to be changed so that it is clear what qualifies and what does not.--Jeisenbe (talk) 22:01, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
Also see my concerns about refugee_site:for, operational_status and official_status (all of which have no definition) on the Talk page. --Jeisenbe (talk) 22:14, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Russdeffner (talk) 17:02, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Gendy54 (talk) 13:20, 10 March 2020 (UTC)


  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Fnordson (talk) 13:24, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --AgusQui (talk) 14:02, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Mar Mar (talk) 13:20, 9 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Maigel (talk) 22:08, 10 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Renecha (talk) 12:24, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Using the place tag for this causes problems in situations where the distinction between a refugee camp and a town is vague. Is a settlement of over 100,000 people, that's existed for 30 years and has schools, hospitals and a graveyard a city or a camp? I think it should be tagged as both. If it isn't then OSM will either not have some of the biggest refugee camps mapped, or it not have some of the largest towns/cities in the area mapped. Either would be a serious omission. Because of that, the refugee site should be tagged outside of the place tag. --Øukasz (talk) 15:01, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Per Øukasz - I raised this problem and it was ignored/dismissed. But I was unsure whatever it truly may happen. Now given a real example... 23:43, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --grosjen (talk) 20:39, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Dr Centerline (talk) 21:21, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --RoGer6 (talk) 22:39, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. For the following reasons:
  • all reasons mentioned by Jeisenbe above
  • place=* is usually applied to nodes, not the extends. What you want to tag is a landuse feature. This should happen through a new value of landuse=* or a subtag of [[Key:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]]=* (e.g. residential=refugees because people live in a refugee camp.
  • OpenStreetMap maps what is on the ground. However, your proposal restricts the usage of the tag to "camps that [are] under operation of the UNHCR or another organization (other NGO, government agency, etc.)". The operator or the absence of an operator should not be taken into account for a tagging decision. There are very likely camps without an operator but which might still be valid features to map (e.g. refugees doing "wild" camping for a couple of months). In addition, your definition excludes any camp operatored by government.
  • usage of an abbreviation in a value
  • lack of a definition of refugee_site:for=*, operational_status=* and official_status=*
  • The proposal mentions the tag official_status=* but there is neither an accepted proposal for that tag nor significant and documented usage as proposed today. This is not a sign of a well written proposal.
  • Can the status whether something is official or not surveyed on the ground? --Nakaner (talk) 16:31, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
EDIT: Bold section added later. --Nakaner (talk) 17:00, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. needs more discussion and refinement --Fx99 (talk) 16:57, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. I think place is the wrong root key here. --Basstoelpel (talk) 17:39, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. - IMHO the term is too generic for allowing just organized sites and not spontaneous sites. I believe one catches all is not working well (i.e. the proposed tag is too flat, and the name for it is on the other hand even more inclusive than what the proposal describes)—Dieterdreist (talk) 18:05, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. place is the wrong tag for such a site. place describes a geographic category, this proposal descibes a concrete item --Nop (talk) 18:20, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Mayeul (talk) 19:00, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --0live (talk) 19:03, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Ed07 (talk) 19:47, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Maevedf (talk) 20:34, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Manonv (talk) 20:39, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Paola (talk) 20:40, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Good start but I suggest some refinement as discussed above to make it fully usable on a long term base --Highflyer74 (talk) 20:48, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Jessbeutler (talk) 21:41, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Place is the wrong key --Thomas8122 (talk) 22:05, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Place is the wrong key --Reinhard12 (talk) 22:25, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Jamozvan (talk) 23:24, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Ferdinand0101 (talk) 02:11, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. --TheBlackMan (talk) 07:10, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Landuse=residential will render and can be used now without this added tag. All this tag will do is identify the 'place' as a refuge site. OSM uses the key place on landuse=residential to identify villages, cities why not for refuge sites? The problem of demanding an operator would be better left off, the tag usage however will evolve. Even if this proposal is rejected the tag can still be used. --Warin61 (talk) 07:22, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

Late votes

  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Place is the wrong key --Polarbear w (talk) 18:13, 25 March 2020 (UTC)