[Talk-GB] Edits in Wales

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 13 15:38:17 UTC 2017

On 11/08/2017 17:19, Brian Prangle wrote:
> ...  and goes to the first source of what is seen to be the 
> authoritative source - the wiki- to seek guidance,

Unfortunately, the wiki isn't always "the authoritative source". 
Articles written there include both "descriptive" and "prescriptive" 
ones - saying how mappers currently map things, and telling them how 
they _should_ map things.  When it comes to "how to map things" often 
there needs to be a discussion, because no one person has the whole 
picture.  Sometimes people writing wiki articles take great care to 
represent the different views where they exist and try and thread a 
consensus course through them (Harry Wood please take a bow at this 
point); and sometimes they don't.

For example, https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Sidewalks says that 
"The simplest method is to tag the associated highway with sidewalk 
(none is sometimes used, but no is preferred 
<https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:sidewalk>)", despite 
https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/sidewalk#values showing that 
"none" is the more popular value.  I tried to make the wiki reflect 
usage but it was immediately changed back because "The statement never 
described predominant usage, but preferred usage. That hasn't 
changed.".  Clearly someone thinks that _they_ know better than me and 
the majority of sidewalk mappers in OSM.  Rather than "insisting" it is 
correct as per https://www.xkcd.com/386/ I decided that life was too 
short. I suspect that something rather similar has happened with regard 
to language tagging in Wales.

> and then asks, from etiquette, what the local community thinks,

To be fair, from reading the emails it doesn't read to me like that was 
what was happening; it reads very much like he was telling everyone that 
disagreed with him that they were wrong without offering any reasoning 
beyond "the wiki says...".

Unfortunately every multiple-language situation is complicated (and with 
a DWG hat on I've been involved in quite a few).  Some communities 
(Belgium being a notable early example) have settled on a compound 
"name" that doesn't reflect any language name on the ground but is 
intended to indicate that both have equal value; some - possibly the 
majority, but not by much - go with name as the "most used value" - so 
"Eteläinen Rautatiekatu" rather than the rather large mouthful 
"Eteläinen Rautatiekatu / Södra Järnvägsgatan"* for the street in 
Helsinki that I used to stay when working there, despite all street 
signs being bilingual.  Some have gone for locally-relevant variations 
of both.  However it's always the wishes of the local mappers that 
should hold most sway (and, again from personal experience with a DWG 
hat on, that can get difficult when one community is under-represented 
in OSM).

> *Can this discussion specifically address what is wrong with the wiki 
> page on Welsh placenames 
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Multilingual_names#Wales and 
> suggest improvements?*

I'd start by asking some more Welsh mappers!  So far we've had the 
person who created the original cyosm map arguing against a compound 
name, along with a number of (very) frequent visitors from England. 
Other than the person who raised the issue we've not yet had much of a 
balancing population on the other side of the argument; but not everyone 
follows changeset discussion comments or this list.  When the status of 
Western Sahara was raised with the DWG I went through a fairly long 
process which started at 
https://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?pid=602864#p602864 to 
ensure that everyone's views could be taken on board and to make sure 
that no-one was missed - I made sure that ever mapper in the region 
who'd recently mapped affected objects had a comment in a changeset 
discussion (and if no reply a direct message) in what appeared to be 
their usual language.  Contacting _every_ mapper who's mapped in Wales 
is unlikely to be feasible but contacting a subset of regular mappers 
(perhaps based edit count > a certain value) and based on some sort of 
"edits in Wales" criterion could be doable, but based on the Western 
Sahara survey I'd expect that it'd be a sizable amount of effort; just 
putting up a "web survey" form somewhere and hoping people come to it 
won't cut it.

If after that sort of discussion there's still opposition to "compound 
names" in Wales I'd suggest that an initial change to the wiki page 
would be the removal of the section added by "Männedorf" in 2014 
that introduced the idea in the first place - but we need to make sure 
that people even know about the issue first.

> I'm also hoping that this discussion might kickstart OMSUK's Welsh 
> language render project

Well good luck with that :) 
https://www.loomio.org/d/P15nYvqg/getting-the-uk-map-going- seems to be 
somewhat moribund; maybe a specific language render get people to 
actually start doing something rather than suggesting "things that it 
would be cool to do"?  As I said in the loomio thread, if anyone wants 
any specific help about e.g. "how to do X with lua" (or even "what do I 
need to do to set up a server at Hetzner") let me know.

Best Regards,

Andy (for the avoidance of doubt, writing in an entirely personal capacity)

* South(ern) Railway Street

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