[OSM-talk] [HOT] Nametagging: Local script versus "international" latin script (for Libya)

Jean-Marc Liotier jm at liotier.org
Mon Feb 28 10:33:28 GMT 2011

Jean-Guilhem Cailton wrote:
> It would not solve the problem for all tools, of course. For example,
> MapOSMatic of Tripoli apparently uses the name field. So my
> recommendation, given the feedback received so far, would still be to
> use Latin + Arabic in the name field.

Do that if it is the most expedient way to satisfy the requirements of 
users... But isn't it recommended to also use the tags that will let 
people generate maps in a specific language ?

By the way, for latin script names, should we use int_name, name:en or 
both ?

> Regarding readability of the map, I'd like to raise the issue of place
> definition and rendering (city/town/village...) The global convention is
> based on uniform population numbers. (> 100000 / > 10000 / ...). While
> these may be well suited for densely populated countries, like United
> Kingdom or Germany, coupled with the current renderings, it produces
> maps that look "empty" (compared with other providers) in other
> countries. Typically in Libya, with its large desert areas (but also in
> France, for example).

Tagging should not be done with rendering in mind, but the relative 
importance of the place in the urban hierarchy must be taken into 
account. Documents showing the administrative hierarchy may provide 
useful hints, though administrative status is not always correlated to 
actual importance to the local social fabric.

> For roads, for example, the convention can be adapted to the local
> context. "An unpaved surface is not considered a road" in GB, for
> example, but in other countries this might be the standard surface.

Very important indeed in Africa where the topological hierarchy in the 
road network is the most important factor to consider. In Libya in 
particular, I have seen a lot of residential, tertiary and even 
secondary roads with unpaved surfaces.

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