[Talk-GB] Fwd: Re: Edits in Wales

Miguel Sevilla-Callejo msevilla00 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 14 12:39:22 UTC 2017

Sorry, this one...

🌍 Miguel Sevilla-Callejo
from my mobile 📱
---------- Mensaje reenviado ----------
De: "Miguel Sevilla-Callejo" <msevilla00 at gmail.com>
Fecha: 14/8/2017 0:42
Asunto: Re: [Talk-GB] Edits in Wales
Para: "Andy Townsend" <ajt1047 at gmail.com>

Dear all,

I'm so frustrated reading your emails.

I've living in Aberystwyth for two years before I came this summer. I know
the place, the people and the situation about the language.

Despite I do not have too many editions in OSM I'm involve actively in
Spanish community and I consider myself an good editor following the wiki,
working within the community and improving the data.

In other hand I'm PhD in Geography and I work with GIS and analyzing the
territory and teaching Geography.

Unfortunately, as you can read, English is not my mother tongue. Sorry
about that.

First, if you think the wiki is wrong maybe you could work to improve it
starting a discussion. What do you expect from a new collaborator? Does
he/she have to ask directly to you?

Second, despite other pages of the wiki, the page about multilingual
tagging I guess is OK as far as I know: the situation in Wales is the same
than in Basque Country where we tag name=neutral, Basque and Spanish (check
the wiki).

Third, although English is the language we use to tag, "name" tag is not
equal to name:en out of England or other ONLY English speaker places.

It's a shame see than in other villages in Ceredigion the streets in
OpenStreetMap are tag name=English_name and, if exists name:cy=Welsh_name.
Have a look to New Quay for instance.

In Ceredigion - I guess some of you prefer to call it Cardiganshire - people
are bilingual - they speak Welsh, no only for fun, and English - and the
street signs are in both languages (Andy, have a look of the photos in
Mapillary, please). So, it's common sense to follow not MY approach, the
WIKI approach: name=neutral + name:cy + name:en

Please, could you provide a good reason not to do this? I hope something
different than a aesthetic one or a preference from you who NOT live in

As Brian said  definitely we need more people here, in Wales. By the
way, thanks
for your comprehensive reply.

I'm trying to envolve some Welsh colleagues in OSM and promoting our
wonderful mapping project around. I hope someone could help us to
understand better the place.


🌍 Miguel Sevilla-Callejo
from my mobile 📱

El 13/8/2017 19:04, "Andy Townsend" <ajt1047 at gmail.com> escribió:

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
<https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:sidewalk>=both/left/right/no (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

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
l_names&type=revision&diff=1121276&oldid=1116200 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/P15nY
vqg/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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