[Tagging] Translating tags into the database itself ?

Tobias Knerr osm at tobias-knerr.de
Thu Aug 18 12:11:28 BST 2011

Pieren wrote:
> species=Juglans regia (this is the latin species name for common walnut)
> species:en=Common Walnut
> species:de=Echte Walnuss
> Is that a correct approach for internationalization ? Until now, a tag
> was basically in english (like amenity=school) and if you want to
> display its meaning in other language, you would have to translate it
> automatically in your application, not in the database.

And that's basically how it should be done here, too: Use just the
species tag, and let applications translate/render/... it as desired.

The :lang suffix convention is not directly applicable because "species"
is not a key for arbitrary strings like name or description. Instead, it
is a key to be used with a fixed, albeit large, number of possible values.

species:de/en/... might be useful temporarily when someone doesn't know
the Latin name (although that's not hard - you can look them up in
Wikipedia). Ideally, this would become entirely unnecessary over time as
editors would offer localized presets for species tags.

> The discussion would be more about the language
> adopted for the value, if it can be english or latin.
> What's your opinion ?

It should be Latin because Latin species names are a well-established
convention for scientific classification of species.

-- Tobias Knerr

More information about the Tagging mailing list