[Tagging] Mapping language borders, tagging offical languages?

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Fri Sep 14 06:47:07 UTC 2018


On 14.09.2018 04:43, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
> It would be useful to tag the primary language of wider communication in
> a place, because this information is already implicit in the names of
> places but hard to access.

See also a longer thread on this list from April:


> The most complicated issue would be areas where local languages do not
> relate to existing boundaries. 

Yes, and I would like to avoid introducing tons of new hardly-verifiable
boundary relations for that. OSM suffers from being unable to define
fuzzy boundaries and they would be necessary here.


> 2) Tag each inhabited place with a language.

seems a more sensible idea to me.

I would like to caution against westerners "helpfully" defining the
"primary" language for any place other than where they live though, we
have too much accidental cultural imperialism already. Let people all
over the world be agents of their own map, and define what *they* think
the locally used languages are, rather than "help" them understand their
own culture.

As you rightly say,
> It is certainly possible for a local mapper to verify the majority
> language spoken in their own community and neighboring settlements

where "local mapper" is the important term. (Also, let us not
accidentally roll out the concept of *one* "primary" language, which
will only cause the same kinds of conflict as the "one primary name" we
already have - many languages could share the first rank of importance.)

> However, it would be more work to add tags to each
> place=hamlet/village/town/neighborhood than to tag a single boundary line.

I'd go for a mixed approach - tag the (largest useful) administrative
boundary first, and then allow lower level admin boundaries and finally,
place nodes, to override the default. Requires a little more brains to
evaluate but we can really do without another world-wide mass edit where
someone adds an obvious "primary language" tag to every settlement.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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