[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Default Language Format

André Pirard A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com
Wed Sep 26 23:02:20 UTC 2018

On 2018-09-24 14:36, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
> Please see the Proposal page for the new tag, "language:default=<language code>" 
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Default_Language_Format 
> Description: "Specify the default language format used for names, and recommend use
> of language-specific name tags.
> "By making it easier to use language-specific name:code=* tags to be
> used instead of the default name=* tag, this proposal will encourage
> the use of name tags that include the language code for all features.
> This will improve the quality and utility of the database. It will be
> possible to display non-Western languages in their correct orientation
> and script, properly display multilingual names, and to research the
> most commonly used language formats in a particular area.
> "The key language:default=* with a 2 or 3 letter ISO language code
> should be tagged on administrative boundary relations, such as
> countries, provinces and aboriginal communities. This is the language
> used for the majority of named features within a particular region, as
> indicated on public signs and in common use by the local community. If
> the language can be written in more than one script, a qualifier can
> be added to specify the script format. More than one language code can
> be listed, separated with a semicolon, if the local community uses
> more than one language on signs or by consensus.
> "The language tag should be applied to the largest boundary relation
> that accurately represents the language used for default names. When a
> smaller administrative boundary has a different default language
> format, this boundary should receive a language tag as well. This
> would include boundaries of provinces or aboriginal lands where a
> different language is used.
All tags using defaults should not use their own, different but the same 
mechanism defined by the Defaults 
Hence, a default for a tag
which can be coded in any OSM object is
coded in the administrative relation you say, or equivalent.

This allows uniformly writing/upgrading the same program to handle all 
defaults instead of each default using its own program.
The Defaults 
must obviously be decided before the defaults that use it.

All the best,


> "The language tag may also be applied to individual features when the
> name is in a different language than the default for the region, or
> when the feature crosses a border."
> Please read the whole page, which has quite a number of examples and a
> detailed rationale for the proposal, then please comment here or on
> the discussion page:
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Proposed_features/Default_Language_Format
> Thank you for all of your comments, criticisms and suggestions
> -Joseph
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> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
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