[Talk-in] Multilingual name tagging convention in India

Arun Ganesh arun.planemad at gmail.com
Thu Jul 21 06:31:25 UTC 2016

Its surprising we all agree that using the latin script as default for
local names throughout the country is most usable. Wish we had more
perspectives from rural users of the map, but I guess at the moment we have
not reached there.

This issue would come up again if that happens and local scripts are used
for the default over latin, something similar is already happening in
Bangladesh http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=11/23.1262/89.1843

For now, I guess lets freeze on the latin alphabet as default for all urban
areas of the map. To sum up:

- The default `name` of a feature is that name and spelling that is
recognized by the local public, preferably recorded in the latin script for
data consistency throughout the country. Use a localized script only if
there is no recognized latin spelling for the name
- The localized spellings and scripts should be added in the corresponding
`name:lang` tags
- Due to complications arising over the ordering of multiple languages and
scripts in a label, no `name` tag should contain more than one variation of
the name, use a different tag for each variation

If no major corrections, I can add it to the wiki this week and we can make
changes there.

On Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 3:59 PM, Arun Ganesh <arun.planemad at gmail.com>

> Moved some old instructions for setting up a tileserver that Johnson wrote
> to https://github.com/osm-in/tileserver
> Anyone interested in setting up a custom tileserver with Indic language
> rendering, please feel free to expand.
> On Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 12:16 AM, Chetan H A <chetanha91 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I totally agree to follow current convention we have now. Multilingual
>> names can't be supported in India. We have 22 official languages in India
>> and If every language names were added with English names will clutter the
>> map. It's good to add separately using " name:lang=* " tag.
>> http://taginfo.openstreetmap.in/search?q=name%3A
>> Best,
>> Chethan
>> On Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 4:23 PM, Arun Ganesh <arun.planemad at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> 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
>>> seriousness.
>>> 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
>>> https://github.com/osm-in/openstreetmap.in/issues/14#issuecomment-193619651
>>> - 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
>>> @planemad
>>> <http://j.mp/ArunGanesh>
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> --
> Arun Ganesh
> @planemad
> <http://j.mp/ArunGanesh>

Arun Ganesh
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