[Tagging] Which languages are admissible for name:xx tags?

Phake Nick c933103 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 25 10:19:29 UTC 2020

在 2020年3月25日週三 17:27,Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> 寫道:

> Hi,
> the "name:xx" tags are something of an exception in OSM because while we
> defer to "local knowledge" as the highest-ranking source normally, this
> is not being done for name:xx tags. It is possible for no single citizen
> of the city of Karlsruhe to know its Russian name, but still a Russian
> name could exist. Who is the highest-ranking source for that?

I believe in this situation, local knowledge refer to language of users of
the language.

My guess is that about 5% of name:xx tags in OSM actually represent a
> unique name in its own right; all others are either copies of the name
> tag ("this city does not have its own name in language XX but I want
> every city to have a name:xx tag so I'll just copy the name tag"), or
> transliterations (or, worst case, even literal translations).

Isn't that the function of the key? How else are you supposed to use data
in OSM for users who use different languages? Even if a name isn't unique,
how can data consumer figure out the name automatically?

A while ago we had a longer discussion about Esperanto names; in that
> discussion, it was questioned whether Esperanto could be in the name tag
> but nobody disputed that adding name:eo tags is ok, even though
> Esperanto is an invented (or "constructed") language.

I cannot see why Esperanto being constructed language would cause any
problem to the addition of value in the language into OSM. The wiki
description for lang:xx say it accept BCP47 values, and the "xx" part of
the BCP47 is actually based on the ISO 639standard, and eo is indeed the
ISO 639-1 code for Esperanto.

Yesterday someone added a few dozen Klingon names to countries in OSM. I
> have reverted that because of a copyright issue, but I think we also
> need to discuss which languages we want to accept for name:xx tags.

Adding Klingon name would not cause copyright issue since vocabularies are
not copyrightable. It's like if you come up with the word "McDonald's" and
then say it is the name of your shop, you cannot stop others from speaking
or writing the word "McDomald's" or claim there are any copyright involved
in such usage.

In my opinion, a name:xx tag should only be added if you can demonstrate
> that people natively speaking the living language xx are actually using
> this name for this entity.

How are editors supposed to demonstrate that when editing OSM? This is
beyond ridiculous.

I think we have a very unhealthy inflation of
> names in OSM that are added by "single-purpose mappers" - they come in,
> stick a name:my-favourite-language tag onto everything, and go away
> again.

They are a great help to the project of OpenStreetMap and I have been
trying to find and promote tools that will help people to translate names
into their languages.

Nobody knows if these names are even correct, and nobody cares
> for their maintenance. The country North Macedonia changed its name
> almost one year ago, yet roughly half of its ~ 170 name tags are still
> what they were before this change. Nobody cares; these names suggest a
> data richness that is not backed up by an actual living community that
> cares for them.

That is just the same problem with TIGER map data. I don't think anyone
have ever proposed removing United States data from the OpenStreetMap
database due to lack of maintainers back then?

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