[OSM-talk] shortened names

Brian Quinion openstreetmap at brian.quinion.co.uk
Thu Jul 28 12:52:59 BST 2011

On 27 July 2011 23:10, Richard Mann <richard.mann.westoxford at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 10:44 PM, Kay Drangmeister <kay at drangmeister.net> wrote:
>> That, to me, is a convincing argument to tag the unabbreviated form
>> and let software (easily) do the abbreviation, instead of tagging
>> the abbreviation and have software do the (next to impossible) task
>> to un-abbreviate.
> "name" is what is on (the majority of) the signs
> Anything else belongs in a different tag (long_name, full_name,
> pedants_name, whatever)

Speaking as someone who has to use this data can I make a plea for
unabbreviated names to always be used.

As has been repeatedly mentioned it is relatively easy to go from a
full names to abbreviations, going the other way is virtually
impossible without errors.  To give you an idea of the size of the
problem have a look at the nominatim abbreviation list [1] - once you
add them for every country it is difficult enough to cope with just
going from full to abbreviation let alone the reverse.

Now that said I don't really care which tag is used for the 'full'
name.  I'd personally prefer the name tag was used for this because it
has always been the policy of OSM that the name tag includes the full
unabbreviated name.  Really - this has been one of the few points of
(until recent conversation) agreement.

My preference would be to add a common_name (or the existing
short_name) and to render that in preference to name on the map.

[1] http://svn.openstreetmap.org/applications/utils/nominatim/module/tokenstringreplacements.inc

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