[HOT] Nametagging: Local script versus "international" latin script (for Libya)

Jean-Guilhem Cailton jgc at arkemie.com
Sun Feb 27 20:14:55 GMT 2011


Thanks Claudius for bringing this up here.

I am the Arabic-illiterate you got in touch with. I had also gotten in
touch previously with Esperanza36 on this same subject.

Also addressing this to the talk list, since some of the mappers
involved in the current Libya effort may very well be only there, as
well as some of the relevant technical competencies.

In fact, my main point was that paper maps are essential in field
deployments. GPS maps might also be useful. And of course, the standard
OSM online renderings should not be forgotten.

I think we all agree that, normally, "name=" data should be in the local

The question of the tools has been raised recently. As far as I know, it
does not seem to be perfectly solved for renderings on all devices yet,
nor everywhere.

For example, wikimedia tools server ( http://toolserver.org/~osm/locale/
) provide online maps that use a chosen language when it is available.
Unfortunately, from what I saw using it for Egypt, it seems that it is
not updated very frequently, which makes it ill-suited for the current
emergency mapping effort.

In this crisis context, my personal, maybe naive, take at this has been
to use both Arabic and Latin alphabets in the name tag when I added new
features, including even new Libyan cities that were missing. They get
rendered quickly in the standard OSM renderings, Mapnik and Osmarender,
and my guess is that they also get printed properly in most likely settings.

Esperanza36 mentioned  problems regarding GPS maps with 2 alphabets.

What are your experiences about this, regarding technical solutions and
best compromise for usability in crisis context?

Keeping in mind that a crisis is generally not the best time to deploy
new tools.

Maybe we should keep this focused on Libya for now, otherwise the
situations might be so diverse that the discussion might become
difficult to follow.

If a consensus rule emerges, it would then be possible to normalize the
current practices to it, which would improve the rendered maps of Libya
(currently a bit messy). (I.e. all names in Latin+Arabic, or in Arabic

Best wishes,


Le 27/02/2011 13:39, Claudius Henrichs a écrit :
> Hi there HOT team,
> I recently got in touch with a fellow mapper who had added "Tripoli"
> to the name-tag in addition to the local used arabic script during his
> participation in his H.O.T. remote mapping efforts. His argument was
> that he like many others who want to help can't read arabic and many
> other tools like emergency frameworks rely on the mapnik rendering.
> The first point (illiteration in certain scripts of the world)
> probably applies to 40% (just a guess) of populated surface of the
> earth so I guess this questio is quite relevant. I would like to get
> some insight on the second point he made. Maybe you can shed some
> light on this:
> 1) Do emergency relief organistions rely on the default Mapnik rendering?
> 2) Are there frameworks in place to help them quickly generate
> English-labelled maps of a certain area or even better bilingual ones?
> 3) What's the general recommendation you give for HOT mapping efforts
> regardings the main name-tag?
> I don't want to see the naming efforts of the Iranian mapping
> community being countered by some well-intended addition of English
> names once we have the next earthquake there. I think no one
> wants to rename a chinese province affected by the next flooding for
> the same reason.
> Maybe I can convince german community member Stephan Knauss to join
> the HOT team as he set up great bilingual maps like
> http://thaimap.osm-tools.org or http://iran.osm-tools.org
> Regards,
> Claudius
> _______________________________________________
> HOT mailing list
> HOT at openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot

pgp 0x5939EAE2

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