[Talk-in] Multilingual name tagging convention in India

Arun Ganesh arun.planemad at gmail.com
Tue Jul 12 10:53:00 UTC 2016

Not having map tiles available for the various languages is definitely a
problem, which motivates one to tag in such a way just so that the local
name is visible. Efforts to create an Indic language tileserver have not
really taken off, and probably this is what we should reconsider with more

Experiments so far:
- http://openstreetmap.in/demo.html
<http://openstreetmap.in/demo.html#9.99/13.9372/75.6525> which is a little
futuristic but very flexible for as many languages as possible. One blocker
is that complex text shaping to render Indic scripts correctly is unknown
when this will happen
- http://mlm.jochentopf.com looks like a good experiment worth replicating,
but there are not much details on how it was done
- http://yogiks.github.io/osm-kn/map/ World Kannada map made by Yogesh. At
the moment probably the most practical approach.

If we have a regularly updated working demo of Indic language tiles for the
major languages, this could better demonstrate the practical application of
using the name tags correctly. Anyone have other experiments to share?

On Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 2:14 PM, Yogesh K S <yogesh at itforchange.net> wrote:

> I too agree with keeping the current convention of name tags for
> multilingual names. Belgium has just two languages and in context of our
> regional languages, first mapper rule can create conflicts as Arun
> indicated previously. Perhaps we should try to improve the current state of
> multilingual names in India -
> http://taginfo.openstreetmap.in/search?q=name%3A
> cheers,
> yogi
> On 07/05/2016 06:19 PM, I Chengappa wrote:
> It would help greatly if mappers could see names in other languages on a
> rendered map. I see that the demo, for instance at
> http://openstreetmap.in/demo.html#9.99/13.9372/75.6525 is still just a
> demo.
> On 5 July 2016 at 07:19, Srravya C <srravya.c at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Found a little more about this topic in a discussion here
>> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:WikiProject_India#Use_English_for_the_.22name.22_tag>.
>> We could put the details about multilingual naming for India in this page
>> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Multilingual_names>. So that anybody
>> referring to this page in the future for naming convention, will get an
>> idea about existing conventions followed for India.
>> On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 8:44 AM, Thejesh GN < <i at thejeshgn.com>
>> i at thejeshgn.com> wrote:
>>> I think the existing convention works really well. Use name tag for
>>> latin script and specific language tag for that language names. I think
>>> this makes it easy to work and also divide work.
>>> On Jul 4, 2016 11:34 PM, "Arun Ganesh" <arun.planemad at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Bringing this up since there are recent edits adding multilingual
>>>> labels to the `name` tag [1][2].
>>>> The current convention that has been followed is to use `name` for the
>>>> local name in latin script. The reasoning if I remember was two fold:
>>>> - English being one of the official languages, latin script is widely
>>>> used in cities and in public signages in smaller towns. Only in villages it
>>>> is uncommon.
>>>> - Keeping the tagging convention simple[3], that could be used
>>>> throughout the country in a standard way
>>>> Keeping just one name in each tag, we have been able to avoid issues
>>>> like the first mapper rule[4] that could cause unnecessary regional
>>>> conflicts over ordering of scripts like in Belgium (and they have just two
>>>> languages).
>>>> Since we can add the regional names in their own name:lang tag, no data
>>>> is ultimately lost, and it is upto the data consumer to choose which
>>>> language to support for the user.
>>>> Would be great to hear positives and negatives of this approach and how
>>>> it benefits the public Is it time to revise this convention to be more
>>>> regional rather than national?
>>>> [1] http://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/40472998
>>>> [2] http://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/40479683
>>>> [3]
>>>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_India#Naming_in_different_scripts_and_languages
>>>> --
>>>> Arun Ganesh
>>>> @planemad
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Arun Ganesh
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