[OSM-talk] name tags on place=country and how they're rendered on lowzoom

D Tucny d at tucny.com
Thu Jan 15 04:53:36 GMT 2009

2009/1/15 Sascha Silbe <sascha-ml-gis-osm-talk at silbe.org>

> On Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 08:14:21PM +0000, ?var Arnfj?r? Bjarmason wrote:
>  * Most have the common English name in the name= field, e.g. Germany and
>> Andorra
> At least for Germany, this has already been fixed on 2008-12-04.
> name=* (without a language code) should be the name in the local language.
> From the wiki page defining the meaning of name [1]:
>> name=Irgendwas        (the default name, used locally)
>> name:en=Something     (the name in English)
> [1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:name

As I see it, the default render shouldn't be English, it should be using the
local name of each location/object...

If/when we get caption layers for different languages, then, the English
caption layer would contain the English names of countries, and this would
be OK as the user could choose to view data in English, equally, someone
could choose a Chinese layer to view the Chinese names of countries or a
Japanese layer to view the Japanese names of countries...

Also, if someone so desired, they could make a caption layer that
incorporated the local name with English or a combination of languages in
smaller text below the local name, or the local name followed by the English
name in parentheses...

I feel that the approach of putting multiple languages into the name tag
when there are not multiple local languages is at least not good as I see it
as being tagging for the renderer(s) in their current state, rather than
providing all the information in such a way as the renderer can use it as
they see fit...

The one exception I see, which I'm not sure on how best to handle, is
countries that have multiple official languages and as such, multiple
official names... I believe this to be the case at least with Belgium and
Switzerland for example where there are multiple valid local names depending
on the language used in a certain part of the country (plus latin for

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