[Tagging] nomoj de internaciaj objektoj / nazwy obiektów międzynarodowych / names of international objects

Michael Patrick geodesy99 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 6 08:59:20 UTC 2020

> There is no reason for the Baltic Sea to be the "Baltic Sea"
or for South America to be "South America" - this is an example
of English imperialism.

Mostly British Imperialism, almost every town in the U.S. has
a namesake in the UK - if you look at nautical charts, Spanish
dominates. History has happened. But I digress.

There is a 'reason'. Toponyms at all levels are established
by naming authorities and conventions at from the village
to the international level, for all sorts of domains. The
key point is, the locality decides, not outsiders - there
is no rationalization for you to give any name preference
until you have consulted with them and documented that
cooperation. Otherwise you are just using OSM as a
platform for your own flavor of 'techno-imperialism'.

Fluent bilingual persons are 43% of world population,
and trilingual are13% of world population - and many,
many more have a minimal ability, less than fluent. You
should do some serious study of the geography of
languages. Notably, administrative boundaries have
almost no relation to language prevalence areas.

Also, you seem to have a deep fundamental misconception
about what a 'tag' really is. OSM is a *software* system. While
a tag and it's values superficially resembles a piece of
natural language, and can appear as a label, that is a
coincidence. In the software system they are no different
than commands in a computer language - 'forest' causes
green shade in an area. The effect of your suggestion is
essentially the same as having a unique Polish version
of Python and expecting every other developer to 'look it
up and translate' when encountering your code:

dla xw zakresie(0, 3):
    wydrukować("Jesteśmy na czas",xw ))
Without at least one common lexicon to crosswalk from,
whether it's English or Chinese, the whole thing breaks.

> Any data will not be lost - programs will be able to extract the
desired name from the tags name:en, name:pl, etc., Wikipedia
links will be available via Wikidata.

Data is lost. You are making a huge assumption that
all transformations are equivalent and reversible. With
toponyms, they are absolutely not. Before you under
take this project read https://tinyurl.com/yhdph2cn and,
( why not? ) the Toponymy Training Manual From the
United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical
Names, Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
https://tinyurl.com/yjhpgsqa  If you don't read these, I
assume the proposal is just 'theater'.

Your Wikidata suggestion is fails on the basis of
synchronization. What mechanism alerts an
OSM consumer that a Wikidata entry has changed?

There aren't any 'neutral' natural languages. They
have many roots, continually incorporate words
from other languages, and some die off.

Michael Patrick
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