[Tagging] Slash, space, or spaced hyphen in multi-lingual names

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 10 13:29:54 UTC 2018

On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 12:25 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer <
dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:

> > On 10. Aug 2018, at 00:42, Daniel McCormick <mccormick at kaartgroup.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > While the default renderer favors name=* over name:nl or name:fr that is
> not the case for other renderers. We as contributors might think that is
> the most prominent way to view the data but not all renderers are the same.
> Having our data be specific in saying this is the French name, this is the
> Flemish name and this is the German name gives the data more flexibility
> than just having all languages thrown into one name=* field.
> nobody questions the usefulness of name:language tags, the question is
> only what, if anything, to put in the name tag in multilingual areas (and
> also this is a term which can describe a lot of different realities, which
> not necessarily have to be treated all the same).

Two things.

1) It is said to be standard practice to render what is observable on the
ground.  A minute's walk from where I live is
a street sign that says:

Heol Napier
Napier Street

That is what I observe.  See
I don't need to know which languages are spoken in this region, or what
language(s) the sign is in, that is what the
sign SAYS and that is what should be mapped (in my opinion).

2)  Ordinary consumers (people looking at OSM and trying to figure out
where they are) need to know what signs
SAY.  Presenting them with half the information increases the cognitive
load on somebody trying to figure out
where they are when GPS is not very accurate.  If they are unfamiliar with
the languages involved then "Heol Napier
Napier Street" may not be the same as "Napier Street" but a separate entity
(perhaps its a side street branching off
Napier Street).

As it happens, I know that Heol Napier is the Welsh name of the street and
Napier Street is the English name, but not
everyone consuming the data will know (or want to know) that.  They are
more likely to be concerned with
confirming that they are where they think they are.  Having name:cy and
name:en will perhaps permit vector
maps to display names in a language of choice, but lacking that name=*
should (in my opinion) show what is
actually there.  Anything else is perverse.

As another matter, Wikipedia has an OSM-derived project that translates all
names into as many languages as possible.
I'm not sure this is useful.  This might make sense for the tag info that
comes back from a query, such as the Chinese for
"addr:street" but not so much for the name of the street itself (which is
almost always the equivalent of an
arbitrary label).  I'd say that for actual names, transliterations would be
useful but translations would not (if you're
asking a local and know the local language for "Where is" and can pronounce
the name then that is more useful than
knowing what the name means in your own language.

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