[Talk-us] Why do city names display in the local language at osm.org?

Steve Friedl steve at unixwiz.net
Mon Dec 21 15:40:29 UTC 2015

Mapping tiles are not generated on a per-user basis; they are generated for all users and shared.  The rendering software has to make intelligent decisions about how to make the maps look reasonable for everybody, and my suspicion is that things like city names are chosen from the local language of the country that the city is within, on the grounds that most people looking at a city live in the country.


It would be great if tiles were rendered customly for everybody (I’d be able to see elevations in feet instead of meters), but that’s not how this one works.




From: Alan Bragg [mailto:alan.d.bragg at gmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, December 21, 2015 7:32 AM
To: talk-us at openstreetmap.org Openstreetmap <talk-us at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: [Talk-us] Why do city names display in the local language at osm.org?


​My preferred language is set to "en"

For example Florence Italy displays as Firenze even though it's tagged with many languages including en:Florence

I get the same display in both the  chrome and internet explorer browsers.



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