[Tagging] RFC: Names localization

Peter Wendorff wendorff at uni-paderborn.de
Thu Aug 2 14:00:05 BST 2012

Am 02.08.2012 13:42, schrieb MilošKomarčević:
> Tobias Knerr <osm at ...> writes:
>> On 02.08.2012 12:56, MilošKomarčević wrote:
>>> name=* without any context of what language is recorded in it is one of the
>>> biggest fallacies of OSM i18n and needs to be addressed.
>> You need to realize, though, that mappers in areas where only one
>> language is commonly used will not want to put more effort into mapping
>> names than they do today. And rightly so, imo - from their perspective,
>> it's just more work for little or no gain.
> Sure. Was just stating the root of the problem, probably brought on by
> architects with little i18n experience who probably assumed only one
> language/script is used in an area (or what they though of as most areas). It
> might have made sense 'from their perspective', but they created a bit of mess
> for a lot of upcoming and very large and populous multicultural areas (take
> India for example), not to mention smaller ones all over the world. Saying it
> was for no gain is a bit short-sighted and selfish, no?
>> Thus, there is a fundamental requirement for any future tagging scheme
>> for names: In areas with a single main language, _one_ tag needs to be
>> enough for a name in that language.
> Agreed.
>> Preferably, the key for this case should remain "name".
> I don't see a problem of mandating name:xx even when only one language is used
> for added clarity, and have a bot fix up existing ones. Does break backwards
> compatibility though, so too late to fix at this point.
I don't think a bot would help, but a hint in editors etc. might.
If editing software encourages the user to specify at least one lang:* 
additional to name, e.g. by giving a select box to select the language, 
many would do that, especially in multilanguage areas or near "language 

On the other hand what would you want to do if there's only one name 
tag, and no localized version of it?
use no name instead? Usually you would go for name as there's no better 
Same if there's name and some "strange" name:*, but not the one you 
prefer - then tage name as a fallback;
and if there's a name:* that equals name, then perfect: use that in your 

A bot cannot fix anything like that: adding name:* works "most often", 
but not always, and future mappers aren't encouraged/hinted by tools (QA 
tools or Editors) that there's a missing name:*, that could be added to 
specify the names language.


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