[OSM-talk] Handling of towns with different or alternative names

Simon Ward simon at bleah.co.uk
Tue Jan 27 20:02:07 GMT 2009

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 02:50:37PM -0500, Russ Nelson wrote:
> On Jan 27, 2009, at 2:08 PM, Manfred Podzkiewitz wrote:
> > Hello, i have a question about the handling of unoffical, or ethnic,  
> > or
> > historic names of towns and villages.
> The TIGER import in the USA uses name_1 for alternate names.  Perhaps  
> we should view all tags starting with "name" as potential names?     
> That points to using "nameEN" for the English name of a city, and  
> "nameDE" for the German name of the same city, etc.
> Or should that be "name:EN" and "name:DE"?

These already exist, see Key:name[1].

This doesn’t account for multiple names in the same language, though.  I
can also imagine a place having several old names over time, while
old_name=* really only allows for one.

In addition, where it wasn’t clear that an alternative name fit into one
of the key variations, I have used alt_name.  For example, I used
alt_name for the second name on streets with multiple signs[2], until I
learnt that they should be old_name=*

[1]: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:name
[2]: http://bleah.co.uk/~simon/photos/osm/multi-signage/mayford-mayfield.jpg

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a
simple system that works.—John Gall
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