[Tagging] Mapping language borders, tagging offical languages?

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Sat Sep 15 16:22:30 UTC 2018

On Saturday 15 September 2018, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
> * the choice of suggesting tagging the language information on either
> > the administrative boundary relations or the individual features
> > but not on any other feature with a meaning beyond the feature
> > itself was not arbitrary.
> Are you objecting to the idea of tagging places as well as
> boundaries? What about the protected area / aboriginal lands
> boundaries?

I don't think any tagging concept where the language format tag of a 
feature other than an administrative boundary relation has a meaning 
beyond said feature has a chance to be acutally broadly interpreted by 
data users.

Once you start going down this road the interpretation will become very 
complicated for the data user and completely intransparent for the 
mapper and hence it would almost certainly fail to find acceptance.

> > * the choice of syntax for the language string is something that
> > can be discussed obviously.  You can essentially use any characters
> > that are unlikely to occur in an actual format as structuring
> > elements.  The dollar sign is a common symbol prefix here.
> OK, but is this necessary for it to work? Is a 3-letter ISO code
> sufficient?
> Would it be possible to put the language code in the key
> (language:<code>=default) or is it better to stick to the value?

I am not quite sure what your suggestion is.  You would need to 
formulate a specific suggestion for me to determine if this would work.  
In general in a format string you need a way to distinguish between 
literal characters and characters indicating a symbol/variable.  The 
most common way to do that is to prefix symbols with a special 
character.  An alternative would be to enclose symbols in special 
characters (like braces, e.g. language_format={de} - {fr}).

> > * the core of my proposal is not using the plain "name" tag any
> > more for anything other than legacy fallback if other data is
> > missing.  Any proposal to separately tag the language of the name
> > tag ... is a very different idea.
> Functionally both ideas work the same, right?

No, most of the advantages of my tagging concept depend on not having an 
aggregate name tag but tagging the individual names in different 
languages (like name:en, name:fr) separately and defining the locally 
preferred formatting independent of that.

Christoph Hormann

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