[OSM-talk] Collapsed names

Martin Hoffmann hn at nvnc.de
Sat Jul 26 05:38:19 BST 2008

David Earl wrote:
> There's two separate cases
> (1) recognizing that variations are equivalent so that searching works.  
> I think I've demonstrated that that can work pretty well, without  
> needing to know the language - because 9a) it doesn't matter if you get  
> the odd extra hit on occasion, (bn) searches can be context sensitive,  
> and (c) you don't get to see and people don't search for the silly  
> variations that the database sometimes holds because of different 
> languages.

True. In this context, being overly "helpful" is a good thing. You might
also want to look for variations of the name, say, if someone types
"Holland Road" you may also look for "Holland Street" if no result can
be found for the former.

> (2) Drawing shorter variants when rendering. You only really need one  
> variation there, probably the shortest one.

Not sure I agree here. You want to put as much of the name into the
rendered map as space allows. Keeping the first names of people or at
least only shortening them to an initial may be a good thing because
they appear up front. From a name like "Serafino Balestra" a foreigner
wouldn't necessarly guess that this refers to a person and "Serafino"
can be dropped.

> In principle it ought to be  
> possible to determine the country an object is in, even though it is  
> quite hard at present. I think a lot of things would benefit from this  
> ability: nationally-styled rendering rules, deciding which way  
> roundabouts go, name renderings, validation, improved searching context 
> etc.



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