[Tagging] Translating tags into the database itself ?

Chris Hill osm at raggedred.net
Thu Aug 18 12:12:27 BST 2011

On 18/08/11 10:46, Pieren wrote:
> I just discover in the wiki the natural=tree enhancemens and
> especially a (new) concept about tagging translations:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tree
> The speciies and genus keys have to be fulfilled in latin and other
> tags supply translations:
> 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. So, your
> editor would translate "Schule" or "École" when the tag is
> "amenity=school". And we don't need an "amenity:de=Schule" or
> "amenity:fr=École" attached in all elements.
> So I would expect the same concept for "trees", so the
> "species=common_walnut" would be translated in editors as "Echte
> Walnuss" but we don't translate tags into the database when it can be
> automated, right ?
> Of course, you can add any tag you like but I would like to remove all
> these tags translations from this wiki page since it is a breach of
> our tagging standards. The discussion would be more about the language
> adopted for the value, if it can be english or latin.
> What's your opinion ?
Species is a form of name, though strictly the binomial name (/Juglans 
regia/) is always in Latin - this is the very widely accepted standard 
across the world. Any other name is is known as its common name and will 
be different in different languages, possibly with more than one name in 
a single language. To describe a plant's species as 'common walnut' is 
not really right, that would be its English common name, Echte Walnuss 
is its German common name.

The example above is somewhat understandable, but maybe a tag of 
common_name with language variants might be better. E.g.  
common_name:de=Echte Walnuss, common_name:en=English walnut

This common name is distinct from occasional naming of special or 
significant trees (e.g. The Great Oak), but that would just use the 
name=* tag.

Cheers, Chris
user: chillly

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