Working Group Minutes/DWG 2018 11 15

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

DWG Meeting on Thursday 15th September at 20:00 UTC

DWG members present

  • Michał Brozozowski (RicoElectrico)
  • Vladimir Marshinin (mavl)
  • Toby Murray (ToeBee)
  • Paul Norman (pnorman)
  • Nelson A. De Oliveira (naoliv)
  • Tom Pfeifer (Polarbear-osm)
  • Frederik Ramm (woodpeck)
  • Guillaume Rischard (Stereo)
  • Andy Townsend (SomeoneElse)


After some discussion the following amended resolution regarding the status of Crimea in OSM is adopted by majority vote.

The Data Working Group has reviewed its past statement on Crimea to make sure it reflects the OSMF policy for disputed territories. As with other confilcts around the world OSM only seeks to represent the on-the-ground situation. We understand the situation is sensitive, but have found the behavior of the peaceful and mature, and we hope that the community retains the spirit of cooperation instead of conflict."The previous resolution had four parts. Parts two and four have been carried to the current resolution.

1. Edits to the administrative boundaries for the region.

Crimea shall be part of the Russia administrative relation and not the Ukraine one as long as Russia has on-the-ground control in Crimea. The boundaries of Crimea shall be indicated as disputed, with the exception of water-based ones on the Black Sea or Sea of Azov where there is no dispute.

The Data Working Group takes no stance on if Russia's control is legal or not, as that is not within our scope.

2. Edits adding tags indicating that objects are in one country or another, such as addr:country on objects which would not normally have any addr tags.

These edits should be avoided. They do not generally have the impact the user intended in the cases we have seen, as the tags added are not generally used by data consumers. addr:country should not be added to individual objects, or added from existing ones; instead the admin boundaries provide adequate indications of country status.

3. Edits changing place names between languages

The "on the ground" rule remains the method of determining the appropriate value for the name tag. The name tag should only changed in response to a change of most of the signage, a change in what the inhabitants of the place call it, or to fix a place name that was previously incorrect.

Given the nature of the dispute, it would be best to support any name changes with a photo of changed signs or similar evidence, but this is not required if there are other sources.

4. Other matters

Mechanical edits changing names or country information would require consensus from both the Ukrainian and Russian communities. It is unlikely that any such edit proposals will be able to achieve this.

Creating accounts for the purpose of controversial edits is strongly discouraged.

Changesets which change the language of names or attempt to edit which country something is in must use meaningful changeset comments, not an empty comment or the same comment copied for all changesets.

Edits ignoring the above may be reverted by the Data Working Group. If edits violating this are noticed and you cannot work it out with the user, please email about the issue, remembering to include sufficient information to identify the edits in question, relevant correspondence with the user, and any evidence.

It is decided to publish this resolution on the necessary channels and mark the old resolution ( as superseded.

Organised editing policy

There is a board meeting tomorrow in which the topic will be discussed or voted on. Until instructed otherwise by the OSMF board, DWG will uphold the policy as currently drafted.

Facebook update

Andy reports from a recent phone call with Drishtie Patel at Facebook:

"Facebook asked for the call to discuss several of the issues that had been raised with them recently (including how reports from Facebook products get to OSM, and the editing in e.g. Thailand). Drishtie works for the 'Maps' team there and explained how that relates to the other companies within Facebook, such as Instagram. The Maps team doesn't have direct control over what goes into those products but does lobby for changes. I raised the issue that when a user hits the 'report' button in the Instagram app it goes straight to OSM. As a result, the reports that the Data Working Group get from Instagram users are often about data that is in Instagram and not in OSM at all.

We also talked about the way that Facebook works together with OSM communities - Drishtie said that things are improving (and to be fair they are - we're seeing more comments from Facebook in places such as [here](

We didn't set any deadlines by which any changes (such as to the Instagram report button) would happen - it was more about establishing where we are, and what the direction of travel needs to be."

Redaction log

It is decided to optimise our internal workflow by creating a wiki page that can be used to queue objects or changesets where redaction is necessary, if the DWG member handling a ticket is unable to do the redaction part of a ticket. Redactions remain a difficult procedure not all DWG members are comfortable with, and more knowledge sharing is necessary.

Application of import guidelines

We discuss where the boundary between editing and importing lies when only small numbers of objects are imported. We agree that it is a matter of judgement.

Rules for joining DWG

It is planned to create a document that outlines the requirements we have for new DWG members, the process for evaluating applications, potential minimum commitments and when to end a membership. We discuss a few bullet points and agree to continue over email.

DWG conflict of interest rules

It is planned to write down rules about how DWG members should behave if issues are raised that might cause a conflict of interest. We agree to continue over email.

Appeals process

We want to write down the process to be used if someone wants to appeal a DWG decision. The general process should be (1) raise the issue with the whole DWG, (2) complain to the OSMF board, however it is felt that appeals to the community are also possible since DWG aims to implement community consensus.

Next meeting

The next meeting is provisionally scheduled for Wednesday 9th January 2019 at 20:00 GMT.