[Tagging] Draft Proposal: Default Langauge Format

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 02:41:11 UTC 2018


Thank you for your comments.
Have you read the complete Proposal page
Perhaps I need to improve the wording to clarify some of your concerns

>”I'd rather have local languages mapped rather than the language the
>> renderer 'should' use.”
>> By recording each name in a separate “name:<code>=*” tag, database users
>> and map makers will be able to pick the best name for their audience.
> The best name for the audience is the one which matches the signage.  It
> does me no good to see an English
> translation of a Russian street sign.

This is true if your database use case is rendering a map for a local
audience. That's why the Openstreetmap Carto style renders names this way.
This proposal will not change the way names are rendered on the standard
map, except in the rare case where, for example, "name:fr=*" is present on
a feature in France but the "name=*" tag is missing. In this case it will
now render properly.

But not all names are street or shop names. There are internationally know
features, like Mt Everest and the Yellow River, which have well-known names
in many names, which are quite different than the locally used name. Take a
look at the current rendering of Nepal or China. The Openstreetmap Carto
style is useful if you are in Nepal and want to find a sign point you
towards Mt Everest, but a person sitting at their computer in Brazil will
have trouble finding the mountain on the standard map style.

The French style already renders names in French preferentially, but this
loses the information about the locally used name. I agree that this is a
But with the current use of names, it's not possible to make an
international map style that shows French names and the locally name at the
same time.
If you try to render "name:fr=*" and "name=*" together, you'll render the
French name twice for every street in Brussels

> The only thing the map should render is the name as it is displayed on
> signage.

For local routing yes, for Openstreetmap Carto yes, but all applications?
Not always

> It would also be useful if the IPA characters representing how a local
> would pronounce that name is present so applications could feed that
> to text-to-speech.

Yes! IPA is a great idea. I believe "name:ipa=*" could work for this. Want
to write up a proposal? :-)

> It is also somewhat useful, for multilingual signage, to use name:xx and
> name:yy to hold the individual
> language components of that name.

You've got it! That's exactly what we want to encourage. If every street in
Brussels has name:fr=xx and name:nl=yy, the French map style could render
(<joke> Or being the French, they might just render "name:fr=yy", but
there's nothing to be done about that. <joke>)

> The local name still needs to be specified so that database users know
>> what name or names are actually used “on the ground” vs foreign names. The
>> default language format tag makes this possible, but separates this
>> function from the name=* tag. And the proposal includes a language:local
>> tag so that all local names can be shown, even those that are less common
>> or in a minority language.
> No, no and thrice no.

??? What are you objecting to here? The "language:local=<lg>" tag?
This will not be rendered by Openstreetmap Carto style or anyone really. It
just lets database users that certain languages are actually locally used
names, vs foreign names.

For example, Puncak Trikora (id) / Wilhelmina Top (nl) / Mount Trikora (en)
is the 2nd or 3rd tallest mountain in Indonesia. It's currently tagged with
name="Puncak Trikora", which is appropriate, because that's the name used
in Indonesian, the official langauge, and would be recognized by most
people in the country. But there is also a local name in the Lani language,
which is only known to people who live closest to the mountain and isn't
used on any offical signs. This language:local= tag would show that the
Lani name for the mountain is in fact a local name, not a foreign language

It's probably not a tag that will be used much in Europe, where minority
languages often have official recognition and signage, but it will be quite
helpful in parts of the world with many languages, particularly for
mountains and rivers that may have foreign names from the colonial period.

> If this proposal is implemented, map makers and database users will have
>> many more options for using names in data or as map labels.
> Why would they want to?  What possible use does it serve?  Most street
> names and even place names are opaque.
> They may once have had meaning but no longer do.  Near me is "Market Lane"
> but at neither end of it is there a market.
> Back in medieval times there was a market, perhaps, but it's been hundreds
> of years since there was a market there.
> Several miles from me is Felin Wen.  That's Welsh for "White Mill."  It's
> not been a mill for many, many years.

It's incorrect to tag name:en=White Mill, then, because the local name used
by English speakers is "Felin Wen."

I believe this is clear on the name:<lg>= wiki page and the name=* tag
page, but I'd be happy to put in a clearer definition there, if necessary.

I absolutely agree that no one should be making up translated name:<lg>=
tags. The language-specific name tags should only be used for names that
exist in the real world, on the ground.

> For example, a vector map on a smartphone app could show names in the
>> user’s language by default. But when the user selects a feature by tapping
>> or clicking, the name on the local language would also be shown.
> Wrong way around.  The sane thing to do is show the local name, because
> that's what I'd be looking for on signage.

Sure, good point, the other way around would be best for most purposes.
App designers will now have the choice, and users can decide what settings
they prefer.
The app could even detect the user's location and use that to help guess
what name lables to show.
When I'm in China, I'll want to see the names in Chinese characters, but
when I'm back home in the USA and just browsing around, it would be nice to
be able to recognize the Yangtze or Yellow River, or Mount Everest, on the

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