The current #OpenStreetMap controversy is the Ukraine/Russia border esp. over #Crimea. The #OSM "on the ground de factor control" rule means it should be marked as part of Russia.

Some don't like that, and I really wish they'd suggest better rules instead of just complaining. I like the 'on the ground' rule. What other rule should OSM use for country borders? We need an clear rule that is objective that we can all agree on. So what should that be?


@rory The only thing I could think of is some kind of internationalisation layer for boundaries analogous to changing the language of labels / place names.

So you could opt for the Russian view of Crimea, the Chinese view of Tibet, the UK view of Gibraltar and the Indian view of Kashmir.

But I can't see it being practical to maintain.

@priryo I am actually working on exactly that! ( ) There's another idea here ( ). Let's hope it'll come to fruition.

You're right it'd be tricky to maintain, but in #OpenStreetMap, we're used to having a big database!

@rory Amazing! Good luck with it. I love the move away from the idea people have of borders as being some kind of objective thing like mountains or rivers, but must be a tricky thing for people to get their heads around.

@rory @priryo Interesting proposal! the first promising attempts at solving this issue that I've seen :>
I'll try to word my (mostly philosophical) thoughts on this topic

@rory @priryo
Maps are always just models of the world, and can never represent the true state of it. OSM has solved the resulting issue of "truth" nicely with the "what you see on the ground" policy.
But by that rule, no nation states should be mapped at all (except for actuall walls/fences).

This model however would not fit most users needs. But when we're considering the users needs first, we should include /all/ users needs; so mapping multiple representations of borders would be necessary.

@rory @priryo Hmm, now I want to do a study on "what goals does a user of a PoI/street map follow when looking at nation borders?" 🤔

@norwin @priryo "Who has the power to arrest you?" is a good rule to use to determine what country you're in.

@rory @priryo I think this could be quite nice for people teaching history if you could do it by decade (or some time scale) on a slider and show the borders as they change over time.

@carbontwelve @priryo Have you heard of ? (cf. ) It's not very well developed though.

They aim to be the most out of date map on the internet!

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