[OSM-talk] Map Features / International

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Tue Jul 31 11:24:22 BST 2007


    I think that our map features page is too English (or maybe too  
German, depends on who edited it last...). Either we need to  
encourage more national tagging, or we must start removing cultural  
dependencies from Map Features (at the risk of making it less usable).

For example, there's the "shop" section, with an entry:

"shop=bakery: selling bread, cakes..."

I know that bakeries in Germany usually sell both bread and cakes. (I  
think I remember that bakeries in the UK tend to sell funny stuff  
with lots of meat inside as well... or was that in Cornwall only?)  
But in France, you have a patisserie (seeling cakes) and a  
boulangerie (selling bread).

So this is not about the *names* of things, it is not a simple matter  
of translation; other countries have different *kinds* of shops (or,  
more generally, amenities). Another example is the "pub/cafe/ 
restaurant" distinction that we're using. What is what? In Italy (at  
least those little bits of Italy I have visited), the predominant  
type of "cafe" is called a "bar" and must not be confused with the  
German or English "bar" (where you would not normally have breakfast,  
would you?)...

I'm not an expert at all in these "cultural" things, but it is  
obvious to me that Map Features currently describes what's compatible  
with those countries doing most of the mapping. Which is ok as long  
as we make it very clear to everybody that they should please invent  
new tags for their cultural idiosyncracies, e.g. the French must know  
that just because we talk of a single type of "bakery" that doesn't  
mean they should abandon their patisseries and boulangeries and force  
them into a system that was designed by people who knew only German  
or English bakeries. And so on.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00.09' E008°23.33'

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