[OSM-talk] Use of official names Re: shortened names

Nathan Edgars II neroute2 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 28 08:33:28 BST 2011

Can we all agree that we don't always want to use the complete official name?
For example:
*Martin Andersen Beachline Expressway is always called the Beachline
Expressway except on small ceremonial signs
*Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive: generally known as FDR Drive on
signs and in speech ('Eff Dee Arr Drive')
*Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior Boulevard: this is a more complicated
example, since signs often write out the whole thing (but still abbreviating
Dr. and Jr.), but in many cities signs and common usage simplify it to MLK
In all these cases, official_name=* can have the full name that nobody uses.

This of course also means that we don't always want to use an abbreviated
official name.

Returning to Saint vs. St., consider this hypothetical situation:
*The city of Saint Paul spells it out, but the town of East St. Paul
abbreviates it.
*A bridge connecting the two is known as the St. Paul-East St. Paul Bridge.
Signs consistently abbreviate it this way.
So what's the correct name of the bridge? Does the highway department set
the standard, and so both saints are abbreviated? Or do we go with what the
cities call themselves and use Saint Paul-East St. Paul Bridge?

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