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Akrotiri and Dhekelia are wrongly stated as part of Cyprus

0 votes
Caches in Akrotiri and Dhekelia ( are wrongly stated as beeing in Cyprus, although they are British territories. Could it be corrected in Project-gc data? Following the case of other British overseas territories they should be displayed as a new state.

asked Oct 29, 2018 in Bug reports by TarkenCZE-Maso (320 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Technically it probably could, but when it comes to country data we are using the information that gives us, even when it is wrong (like counting Northern Ireland to Ireland, not to the UK). If we changed this to be geographically correct it would just confuse people by not matching what is listed by
answered Oct 29, 2018 by pinkunicorn (Moderator) (144,650 points)
Thanks for your answer.

Oh, I didn't know about the Ireland issue. I thought that this was to small that nobody cared.

Anyway I would strongly prefer to have data correct but I understand your point. Could it be perhaps corrected on the regional level? I know the situation with Cyprus is difficult, but there is no issue regarding Akrotiri and Dhekelia as far as I know.

Thanks a lot again.
Actually, it appears that that is already so. When I look at the region map of Cyprus (, these two areas appear to not be part of Cyprus.
Yes, they are not part of the Cyprus but they cannot be found anywhere. Perhaps, they should be displayed somewhere and displaying them as separate country would be most natural for me.
PS: Caches there are tagged on PGC as in the neighboring Region.
Do you have a specific example of a cache that is in the British area?
For example this one: GC1E4YR but I suppose you do not need it anymore.
+1 vote
Best answer

I and Pinkunicorn have discussed this a bit. I will post my conclusions.

Since the parts belonging to Akrotiri and Dhekelia doesn't belong to the country Cyprus, I would say that they geocaches there has the wrong country. Due to that fact, Project-GC is assigning them wrong regions. When no matching region is found for a geocache, Project-GC uses the closest, if it's close enough. I do not remember the max distance allowed for that fallback. This fallback often helps in cases where geocaches are plotted in the ocean, but also lakes and some other odd cases.

I see three different solutions to the problem, which I will present here.

1) Make HQ change the country to a correct one. I am not sure if the correct would be United Kingdom, or United Nations (which isn't a country, not even in the Geocaching-world).

2) Consider these areas as a part of Cyprus. My understanding is that they aren't actually a part of the country Cyprus, but at least they are a part of the island that's generally called Cyprus. Google Maps seems to consider the parts as another country, I can see a country border on their maps.

By considering them as a part of Cyprus we should then add two more regions to Cyprus. Might not be politically correct, but might be a decent alternative. Today's solution obviously isn't correct either.

The problem here is that I can't find the polygon data for these areas in OpenStreetMap. I can see on the map itself that there are borders, but I can't find where to extract the data. Without the data, we can't actually do this.

3) Don't care. Not the biggest issue.

Solution three is obviously the easiest, and right now it seems like the solution we have to go for. I would however prefer solution two, but without the polygon data, there isn't much we can do.

answered Oct 29, 2018 by magma1447 (Admin) (216,700 points)
selected Oct 29, 2018 by TarkenCZE-Maso

thanks for such a quick and comprehensive answer.

Just a brief comment to solution 1:
I think there is only systematic solution. It should be a new country (following the groundspeak policy for overseas territories such as e.g. Gibraltar). This has exactly the same status (see

So, for me the solution 1 would be the best (since it looks systematic to me). Solution 2 is also fine but I understand the lack of data for it.

Thanks a lot again, best regards.
I agree, solution 1 would probably be best. I did not express myself correctly. The down-side with that solution is that I don't think we are in a position to affect HQ about it. I think that would have to come from the community as a popular request, and I doubt it will be that frequently asked of them.
Being generally interested in geographical statistics this is a question that is interesting for me, even if I have not found any cache (yet) on Cyprus.
I would definitely prefer option 1), namely to correctly attribute those caches to their own entity. As it is the policy of HQ (and thus PGC) to create separate top level entities for dependent territories, there should, indeed, be a top level entity Akrotiri and Dhekelia.
Generally speaking, I would introduce this even without a change by HQ.
It always puzzled me why PGC makes a difference between how it treats fake/wrong attributions when it comes to the top level ("country") than with lower levels ("state", "county"). Luckily, PGC overrides whatever wrong attribution the CO may use at a lower level (e.g. wrong province in Belgium) and lists caches under the correct "state". However, when it comes to the top level, it blindly trusts the CO.
If I have seen wrong attributions to countries, so far I have always succeeded in convincing the CO to correct the country, but this is a tedious process. Friends of mine had problems because a challenge checker did not recognise a qualifying cache for the simple reason that it was listed under the wrong country etc. Or remember all the problems those April fools’ day caches caused which were randomly attributed to countries 10000 km away?
Wouldn’t it be much easier to base the statistics on the hard geographical facts also for the country level, just as PGC does for the state level? I, at least, would strongly advocate this.