Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.3)

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Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.3)

Johnparis
I have just posted another revised version of my proposal on mapping disputed boundaries.

It greatly simplifies the tagging and relation structure.

Thanks to everyone who gave public and private feedback. I've archived some of the comments that are no longer applicable.

John

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Re: Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.3)

Andy Townsend
On 05/12/2018 18:52, Johnparis wrote:
> I have just posted another revised version of my proposal on mapping
> disputed boundaries.
>
> It greatly simplifies the tagging and relation structure.

One thing that would be really helpful would be to summarise those
changes somewhere.  There's a whole page at the top of
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Mapping_disputed_boundaries 
devoted to contents; nothing there suggests what has changed.  The
difference between 1.2 and now
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Proposed_features%2FMapping_disputed_boundaries&type=revision&diff=1704857&oldid=1702873 
doesn't really help, except to show that the tagging has moved somewhat
away from a "rewrite of all OSM boundaries" towards at least some of the
tagging that we have now.


>
> Thanks to everyone who gave public and private feedback. I've archived
> some of the comments that are no longer applicable.
>
> The proposal is here:
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Mapping_disputed_boundaries


Thanks also for adding the
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Proposed_features/ClaimedBorders#Comparison_with_other_proposal 
section to the other proposal.  I've commented there why I think
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/ClaimedBorders is
probably easier to implement, easier to use, and easier to maintain than
this one, but there is still some useful detail here - not least the
definitions, including things like "Claiming Entity"

Arguably the biggest difference between the two proposals (and between
yours and what OSM does now) is that your proposal talks only about land
areas - I suspect that that will make yours difficult to implement at
all; and (as many people have said) we definitely need a solution here.

Best Regards,

Andy



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Re: Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.3)

Johnparis
Thanks, Andy. I replied to some of your comments (which I also copied to the proposal's discussion page).

So far as I know you're the first to publicly question the use of land boundaries, but as I fully believe in Keep It Simple, I'm happy to do that. It's not a major change, though I will probably do it as a version 1.4 and redo the examples. I can also do a ChangeLog for the proposal, though I really have pretty much discarded the earlier ones. I'll wait a bit to see if there are other comments on version 1.3, then dive in.

Briefly, without seeing at least one example for the other proposal, I don't think it's reasonable to assume it will be easier to implement. It is essentially an extension of my proposal (views of third parties on claims), but without the modularity introduced by the zones of control.

As for implementing my proposal, I believe I could create all the relations in a couple of weeks, tops. It took me a couple of hours for Israel-Palestine, for instance -- and that was on the dev server, where I had to download and reupload all the relations. So I think I've demonstrated that my proposal is pretty easy to implement. For any countries with no active disputes, there's no change needed at all.

Since the nature of the disputes rarely changes (most have been "frozen" for some time), there really aren't maintenance issues. By contrast, for the other proposal, the third party views do change, so there is a maintenance issue there (or for any extension that wants to include those). Not to mention the separate issue of verifiability of the third-party views.

And for "hot" disputes, where the boundaries do in fact change, my proposal would require changing the boundaries of the affected zones of control (usually two) and regenerating the De Facto Boundary for the two countries (two, for a total of four including the zones of control). And I note that even with the current map, the de facto boundary would need to be changed (revising two relations), so from a maintenance standpoint my proposal is essentially the same as what we have now. The other proposal would require changes in all the relations affecting each of the two countries.

Ease of use? I don't see how it can be simpler than to call up "Master Boundary India" to see India's view of itself. The pre-built relations include every country's self-view.

Cheers,
John





On Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 11:42 AM Andy Townsend <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 05/12/2018 18:52, Johnparis wrote:
> I have just posted another revised version of my proposal on mapping
> disputed boundaries.
>
> It greatly simplifies the tagging and relation structure.

One thing that would be really helpful would be to summarise those
changes somewhere.  There's a whole page at the top of
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Mapping_disputed_boundaries
devoted to contents; nothing there suggests what has changed.  The
difference between 1.2 and now
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Proposed_features%2FMapping_disputed_boundaries&type=revision&diff=1704857&oldid=1702873
doesn't really help, except to show that the tagging has moved somewhat
away from a "rewrite of all OSM boundaries" towards at least some of the
tagging that we have now.


>
> Thanks to everyone who gave public and private feedback. I've archived
> some of the comments that are no longer applicable.
>
> The proposal is here:
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Mapping_disputed_boundaries


Thanks also for adding the
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Proposed_features/ClaimedBorders#Comparison_with_other_proposal
section to the other proposal.  I've commented there why I think
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/ClaimedBorders is
probably easier to implement, easier to use, and easier to maintain than
this one, but there is still some useful detail here - not least the
definitions, including things like "Claiming Entity"

Arguably the biggest difference between the two proposals (and between
yours and what OSM does now) is that your proposal talks only about land
areas - I suspect that that will make yours difficult to implement at
all; and (as many people have said) we definitely need a solution here.

Best Regards,

Andy



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Re: Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.3)

Frederik Ramm
Hi,

so I've read the proposals that are on the table for the first time now.

I wasn't sure at first whether your proposal would break existing tools
that only look at boundary=administrative but I see from the discussion
page that you understand it is important to keep things working. It
would be worth making this clearer to the skim-reader of your proposal.
I haven't yet understood how the relationship between
boundary=administrative relations and your new relations is supposed to
be in the future though. Would boundary=administrative not be identical
to your boundary=de factor (apart from the yet-to-be-addressed maritime
areas)?

I am not 100% sure whether you are advocating to duplicate any and all
existing relations right away. If yes, I am against that; I would like
to map disputed boundaries only where disputes exist. You say in your
recent email that "For any countries with no active disputes, there's no
change needed at all." so I assume you're not planning to create
"boundary=master" or anything for non-disputed countries. This is good.

I am uncomfortable about your "list of claiming entities" and the
importance it has for this proposal. I think that the fact that your
proposal requires a well-maintained list of who is and isn't a valid
claiming entity is a big weakness of the proposal. I am wary of
bueraucratic statements like "if Transnistria joins the list, the
boundary between it and Moldova would become admin_level=2". It doesn't
sound right to me to have such things governed by a list. I can see how
the list might be the least worst solution but I'm not in love with it.

I don't understand what boundary=minimal is for. It should be easily
deducable from the other boundary relations and I don't see its added value.

I am not really sure about the notion of "zones of control" which seems
essential to your proposal. If there are two countries both bordering a
lake, and both of them think the far shore of the lake is the boundary,
does that then make the lake into a "zone"? It sounds like an arbitrary
concept to me. In some cases the "lake" might actually be an area that
has a name and can be called a zone, but in many cases it will just be a
dispute over where the border actually is, and the bit in between that
is claimed by both parties is just where the country relations overlap -
I don't see why it should have its own "identity" and relation in OSM.
What is the use of this? You say it should be added to the boundary
relations with the role "zone", but adding whole relations to boundary
relations is unusual (only done in places where "subarea" is common).
Doesn't feel natural to me and I don't see the use since the delineation
of the "zone" should already be visible from the overlapping boundaries.

If I have two countries A and B and each claims that area C which sits
in between them is theirs. Then if I understand you correctly, the
"Master Boundary A" will contain all boundary ways around A and C, and
the "Master Boundary B" will contain all boundary ways around B and C.
Why would C then have to be its own "Zone" and why would it have to be
added to the A and B relations?

On the whole I'm a bit concerned about the complexity of your proposal -
not only the proposal but also the somewhat legalese way in which it is
presented, which I fear will keep many people from even reading it to
the end, or contributing. This is an important issue and I'm
uncomfortable with having 15 people vote yes on this and then saying
"this is how we do it from now on". I wonder if maybe we should -
provided the proposal gains enough traction - simply declare two
"testbed areas" in OSM where we apply the new tagging and give users a
chance to get a feel for it before we roll it out world-wide.

And yes, we definitely need good comparisons between different
proposals, or perhaps a few more different proposals to add to what's
already on the table. Your proposal is complex enough already to make it
near impossible for anyone to suggest improvements - most people's way
of suggesting something would probably rather be "why not do it this
way" and then writing up their own ideas ;)

Bye
Frederik

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Kosovo/Serbia Example - Re: Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.3)

ebel
In reply to this post by Johnparis
On 08.12.18 14:54, Johnparis wrote:
> Briefly, without seeing at least one example for the other proposal, I
> don't think it's reasonable to assume it will be easier to implement. It
> is essentially an extension of my proposal (views of third parties on
> claims), but without the modularity introduced by the zones of control.

Hi all, I've uploaded an example of my proposal mapping Kosovo/Serbia. I
hope I've got it right and understood the geo-politics (feel free to
correct me): Kosovo seceded from Serbia, but Serbia (and others) doesn't
recognize that.

In this case, there is only one new relation needed:  (
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/9088937 ). I added some
"according_to:XX" tags to the existing Serbia (
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/1741311 ) and Kosovo (
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/2088990 ) relations.

I have half working code for working with this scheme, which I will
release shortly.


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Re: Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.3)

Johnparis
In reply to this post by Frederik Ramm
Thank you for this thoughtful analysis, Fredrik.

I will be incorporating many of these ideas in version 1.4. For one of them, the minimal boundary, I realized that it wasn't necessary, because it duplicates a zone of control. I came to this conclusion after your wrote your email but before I read it. Do you have strong telepathic powers?

I like your "test bed" idea.

I glad you started a discussion about the List of Claiming Entities. I will reply in a separate thread.

Your comment about the lake, it seems to me, describes every disputed territory in the world. Let's take the example of Lake Western Sahara. A large lake, and very dry, but ... Morocco says "our border is on the other side of the lake". And Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic says "our border is on the other side of the lake". You could, I suppose, just provide the de facto and master boundary for each, and let people "do the math" to calculate the zones (which involve simple union or intersection of the larger areas), but you run into the immediate problem of a NPOV mapper who simply wants to generate maps showing Western Sahara with two different zones. In a way it's a convenience, but I think it has practical uses.

Or another large, dry lakebed: Crimea. Russia says "our border is on the other side of the lake", as does Ukraine. Crimea is Zone C, which I am quite sure many people would want to see rendered separately from either Ukraine or Russia.

They can't do that unless there's a separate zone, tagged independently. On the other hand, having read your analysis, I now agree that zones should not be added to the de facto relation. I'm revising that for 1.4.

As for very small zones, if they are part of a real dispute, and we become aware of it, then yes they should be mapped and tagged. Parsley Island is 0.15 sq km. It was the subject of a skirmish between two countries, and has important influence on anti-smuggling efforts (both people and drugs). With respect to naming, the tag noname=yes is perfectly valid. (The "name" tag is not part of my proposal anyway.)

Thanks,

John


On Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 5:34 PM Frederik Ramm <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

so I've read the proposals that are on the table for the first time now.

I wasn't sure at first whether your proposal would break existing tools
that only look at boundary=administrative but I see from the discussion
page that you understand it is important to keep things working. It
would be worth making this clearer to the skim-reader of your proposal.
I haven't yet understood how the relationship between
boundary=administrative relations and your new relations is supposed to
be in the future though. Would boundary=administrative not be identical
to your boundary=de factor (apart from the yet-to-be-addressed maritime
areas)?

I am not 100% sure whether you are advocating to duplicate any and all
existing relations right away. If yes, I am against that; I would like
to map disputed boundaries only where disputes exist. You say in your
recent email that "For any countries with no active disputes, there's no
change needed at all." so I assume you're not planning to create
"boundary=master" or anything for non-disputed countries. This is good.

I am uncomfortable about your "list of claiming entities" and the
importance it has for this proposal. I think that the fact that your
proposal requires a well-maintained list of who is and isn't a valid
claiming entity is a big weakness of the proposal. I am wary of
bueraucratic statements like "if Transnistria joins the list, the
boundary between it and Moldova would become admin_level=2". It doesn't
sound right to me to have such things governed by a list. I can see how
the list might be the least worst solution but I'm not in love with it.

I don't understand what boundary=minimal is for. It should be easily
deducable from the other boundary relations and I don't see its added value.

I am not really sure about the notion of "zones of control" which seems
essential to your proposal. If there are two countries both bordering a
lake, and both of them think the far shore of the lake is the boundary,
does that then make the lake into a "zone"? It sounds like an arbitrary
concept to me. In some cases the "lake" might actually be an area that
has a name and can be called a zone, but in many cases it will just be a
dispute over where the border actually is, and the bit in between that
is claimed by both parties is just where the country relations overlap -
I don't see why it should have its own "identity" and relation in OSM.
What is the use of this? You say it should be added to the boundary
relations with the role "zone", but adding whole relations to boundary
relations is unusual (only done in places where "subarea" is common).
Doesn't feel natural to me and I don't see the use since the delineation
of the "zone" should already be visible from the overlapping boundaries.

If I have two countries A and B and each claims that area C which sits
in between them is theirs. Then if I understand you correctly, the
"Master Boundary A" will contain all boundary ways around A and C, and
the "Master Boundary B" will contain all boundary ways around B and C.
Why would C then have to be its own "Zone" and why would it have to be
added to the A and B relations?

On the whole I'm a bit concerned about the complexity of your proposal -
not only the proposal but also the somewhat legalese way in which it is
presented, which I fear will keep many people from even reading it to
the end, or contributing. This is an important issue and I'm
uncomfortable with having 15 people vote yes on this and then saying
"this is how we do it from now on". I wonder if maybe we should -
provided the proposal gains enough traction - simply declare two
"testbed areas" in OSM where we apply the new tagging and give users a
chance to get a feel for it before we roll it out world-wide.

And yes, we definitely need good comparisons between different
proposals, or perhaps a few more different proposals to add to what's
already on the table. Your proposal is complex enough already to make it
near impossible for anyone to suggest improvements - most people's way
of suggesting something would probably rather be "why not do it this
way" and then writing up their own ideas ;)

Bye
Frederik

--
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Claiming Entities (was: Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.3))

Johnparis
In reply to this post by Frederik Ramm
Thanks, Fredrik, for breaking the ice on the List of Claiming Entities and the criteria for the list, which I think is one of the key points of my proposal.

The list is logically equivalent to the stated criterion. That is, if you meet the criterion, you are on the list, and if you are on the list, you meet the criterion.

We already have a de facto list. In fact, the list in my proposal exactly matches it. It's just not written down anywhere.

What is written down right now is a stated criterion: a country is a political entity that has an ISO two-letter code.

I think that's a little difficult to visualize. Having the written list makes it easy for taggers to say "ah, yes, that entity meets the criterion" or "no, that one doesn't make it."

Right now, we have (so far as I know) two entities in OSM that do not have a two-letter ISO code but do have admin_level=2 boundaries: Kosovo and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Why is that? It could be because DWG has not formally adopted the ISO-code criterion. It could be because it decided that the criterion needed changing, but it never touched the wiki. In any case, it clearly felt that allowing these two entities to be considered countries was in keeping with the OSMF policy on disputed territories.

And that's a problem. Because so long as there are two exceptions, the logical question for others is, well, what's the real criterion? Why not other exceptions?

So my proposal changes the stated criterion. The list is merely an exemplification of the criterion. It helps greatly to have the list, I think, because if a group of taggers think Transnistria, for example, should be on the list, it clearly is not (you can look it up). Why? Because it clearly doesn't meet the criterion (again, you can look it up). So the taggers can't change the list, they have to make an argument to the community about a new criterion. And *that* changes the list.

As noted on the proposal's discussion page, the proposed new criterion would be: any entity that controls territory and that is recognized by at least 10 members of the U.N. General Assembly.

The existing stated criterion (not uniformly applied) is: only political entities listed on the ISO 3166 standard are to be considered countries.

The proposal's criterion includes Kosovo and SADR, and assigns them four-letter codes, because they don't have two-letter ISO codes.

The existing stated criterion is the same as the proposal's, without Kosovo and SADR, although those two currently (as of this morning) have admin_level=2 boundaries.

I'm not sure how it's bureaucratic to say, for example, that SADR has joined the (unwritten) list and now has admin_level=2 boundaries. It's the natural result of a decision by DWG that SADR now qualifies whereas before it didn't. My proposal offers a new objective criterion that conforms to the existing OSM practice. It differs from the stated objective criterion, which does not conform to existing OSM practice. If the criterion changes in the future, the admin_level=2 boundaries will change in the future, Transnistria being one possible example.

If there's a better way to phrase that, or if I should simply remove the example, that's fine.

John
 

On Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 5:34 PM Frederik Ramm <[hidden email]> wrote:

[snip]

I am uncomfortable about your "list of claiming entities" and the
importance it has for this proposal. I think that the fact that your
proposal requires a well-maintained list of who is and isn't a valid
claiming entity is a big weakness of the proposal. I am wary of
bueraucratic statements like "if Transnistria joins the list, the
boundary between it and Moldova would become admin_level=2". It doesn't
sound right to me to have such things governed by a list. I can see how
the list might be the least worst solution but I'm not in love with it.

 


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Feature Proposal - RFC - Mapping disputed boundaries (Version 1.4)

Johnparis
In reply to this post by Johnparis
I have just posted another version 1.4 of my proposal on mapping disputed boundaries.

It now includes maritime boundaries, thus minimizing changes from the current map (see the possible renderings page for illustrations). It also includes a changelog:

  • Version 1.4
    • Using maritime boundaries instead of land boundaries
    • Eliminating redundant or unneeded relations:
      • De facto relation is eliminated; it is now the same as the existing administrative boundary
      • Minimal boundary is eliminated; it is now a Zone of Control with role "undisputed" in Master Claim
      • Master Claims and Zones of Control are eliminated when not needed, such as for countries with no disputes
      • Conflict Areas are explicitly made optional
    • Roles in Master Claim now differentiate how claimant and zone are related: undisputed, joint, de facto, claimed
    • Describing administered territories
    • Adding how to change the criteria for the List of Claiming Entities
  • Thanks to everyone who gave public and private feedback. I've archived some of the comments that are no longer applicable.

    John

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