[Talk-nz] Place names

Andrew Douglas-Clifford adouglasclifford at gmail.com
Wed Nov 10 03:15:03 UTC 2021

The wording of the wiki doesn't make it an absolute that the sign posted
feature is the default/preferred source of primary names:

*Here are the usual sources of primary names:*

   - *The most prominent name on a sign posted on the feature itself,
   especially for a feature in the built environment*
   - *The name of the feature on a sign elsewhere, such as a fingerpost*
   - *Common or official usage, especially for a feature in the natural

It also states that where this disagreement, it favours 'on the ground' -
but this appears to refer to disputed territories (New Zealand is not a
disputed territory - in this sense the New Zealand Government and the
official gazetteer of place names are the 'side' in control).

Unless the signposted name differs greatly (this is probably the exception
than the rule), I don't feel it is pragmatic to exclude macrons on that
basis - they will not be likely to confuse people/tourists in the real
world, with or without macrons - therefore it should show the name
correctly with macrons. It is also not an insignificant thing - this
obviously affects many maps that render OSM names in their basemaps for
places. I agree with Eliot's points on that basis - the NZ community can
decide how this is interpreted, and what is right for our local situation.


On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 4:02 PM Mike Kittridge <mgkittridge at gmail.com>

> The first point in https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:name literally
> does say "sign posted". I think the wiki is quite clear about this.
> We can choose to not follow the wiki (rule), we'll just need to be clear
> for people contributing to OSM in NZ that we have a different rule we
> follow.
> On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 3:44 PM Eliot Blennerhassett <
> eliot at blennerhassett.gen.nz> wrote:
>> On 10/11/21 14:35, Mike Kittridge wrote:
>> > well...now that I'm actually looking at the wiki page in more
>> detail...it really does seem to emphasize that the "name" tag should be
>> what's "on the ground".
>> > I take back what I said before...reluctantly...because I would have
>> preferred it be the official name according to the gazetteer, but there is
>> an "official_name" tag that can be used for that purpose.
>> Note that "on the ground" means "whatever name, designation, etc are used
>> by the people on the ground at that location".
>> It doesn't mean "what is written on a signpost"
>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Disputes#On_the_Ground_Rule
>> Having said that, nitpicking over the meanings of words in the guidelines
>> won't resolve this.
>> The NZ community can still decide that the names with macrons per the
>> gazetteer are the ones to go in "name".
>> I am still in favour of this.
>> I read the OTG rule as being more about avoiding confusion, and editwars
>> in disputed territories.
>> It is not as if the name with a macron is going to create confusion in
>> people using the map to find a place.
>> "I'm looking for the turnoff to Ōkarito, but that sign says Okarito so
>> I'd better keep driving"?
>> As Andy Townsend said "a community decision is a far better option than
>> us just choosing to enforce one option or another.
>> I have little time for the no-macron side given that they have zero
>> history of contributing *anything* to the
>> NZ map apart from deleting macrons from names, and then citing "the
>> rules" as a reason why it is justified.
>> --
>> Eliot
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