[Tagging] Draft Proposal: Default Langauge Format

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 27 11:20:32 UTC 2018

I've thought some more about this.  And reflected upon some comments from a
previous discussion (this topic is one of the list's perennials) a few
months ago that, back then, I couldn't see the reasoning.  And yes, I
realize the proposal is about
what gets stored in the db, not what gets rendered, but in the course of
time it will affect rendering in some way because
it's in the db and so it will get used.

There are (at least) five conflicting requirements in terms of what gets
rendered in personalized maps (or even in
standard carto in future years when we have vector tiles, etc).

1) If I'm in a country with a language I don't speak, I want street names
and shop names rendered as displayed on the
signage ("paint the label").

2) If I'm looking at a map with a low zoom, for example trying to figure
out where Azerbaijan is in relation to
Turkmenistan, I want the country names rendered in my language.  A
transliteration into English of what the
inhabitants call that country would be unhelpful, and if it's in Cyrillic,
Arabic or any other non-Latin script that would
be even worse.

3) If I'm travelling across Europe by car, and am currently in France and
want to get to Munich, at the French side of
the border I want to know to look for Allemande, not Germany or Deutschland
on the signage.

4) As I get near the border, I want to check my route to Munich (because
that's what it is called in English, and that's the
only name that I know for it) but will also need to look for signs to

5) All of the above have additional complications when dealing with
multi-lingual communities.

Some of the above are easy to deal with algorithmically: use my language
for things at low zooms.  Others require
significant thought in terms of "do what I want" algorithms.

Additional complication: some countries have, in recent years, altered
their transliteration schemes.  So now in
my country I see references to both Peking and Beijing, and to both Bombay
and Mumbai.  If those countries insist
on forcing what are effectively new names/pronunciations upon us then I
absolutely demand the French start using
"London" instead of "Londres." :)

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