[Tagging] Feature Proposal - Voting - Default Language Format

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 04:28:42 UTC 2018

On Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 10:55 PM Marc Gemis <marc.gemis at gmail.com> wrote:

> > Are there lots of POIs in Brussels that have a name in both languages in
> the database but should only be displayed in one language?
> I don't understand this. Where should the POI be displayed in 1
> language ? That all depends on the maker of the map, not ? If you make
> a map in Dutch, you first see if there is a name:nl value, if not you
> use name.

Marc, Iā€™m sorry if the proposal page is not clear enough. Ideally it should
have been translated into a few other languages as well.

My question was asking for examples of features that have a name= tag with
only the name in one language, but have both name:fr= and name:nl=.

> I discussed your proposal a bit on the Belgian Riot/Matrix channel.
> There are several different understandings of your proposal. Some
> thought e.g. that the default value tag should be fr - nl (and not
> fr;nl). Others see no problem in just having a name tag (and no
> name:fr) and so on.

The value of default:language= should normally be a single language format
code, in most places. But Brussels is one of them exceptions that requires
more than one language. So in the case, the semicolon symbol  ā€œ;ā€ is just
meant to separate two values. This is already used for highways that have
more than one reference, for example.

The tag default:language=fr;nl should prompt a map renderer or database
user to find both name:fr and name:nl. It is up to the map renderer to
decide how to display the two names, if they wish.

I fear that people will start retagging all fr - nl names to fr;nl
> names to match the default:language tag

This would certainly be a mistake. However, the default:language tag for
Brussels would only be on the administrative boundary, not on individual
features. Only individual features with a name in a foreign language would
need a default:language tag.

If individual mapper prefer to merely add the name= tag, they can certainly
continue to do this. Database users and map renderers should continue to
use the name= tag when there is no name:fr or name:nl tag for a feature in

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