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

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Thu Jul 28 12:59:20 BST 2011

On 28/07/2011 13:27, Nathan Edgars II wrote:
> Here (Florida) most roads are named by subdivision plats. Names can be
> changed and unplatted streets can be named by government resolution. Here's
> an example:
> http://orlapp1.ci.orlando.fl.us/asv/paperlessagenda.nsf/6acecff5f30ecb0d85256bd0005abae0/9db36bf38b912fbc852575a10046cc0d/$FILE/SNC2009-00001%20mission%20rd%20st%20name%20chg.pdf
> The official name here appears to have been changed from "S. Mission Rd." to
> "S. Pres. Barack Obama Pkwy.".
Looks pretty official to me! The official name includes abbreviations... 
So I would suggest there is no authority for expanding it to "South 
President Barack Obama Parkway".

>> It sounds like there are three types of street name:
>> 1) Official, as decided by the Powers That Be
>> 2) Signed, as displayed on the signs
>> 3) Colloquial, as people habitually use
>> So which one do we put in "name=*", and what do we do with the others?
>> I suggest putting 2) in "name=" as it is a) most useful and b) most
>> easily verifiable "on the ground". For 1) we can use "official_name" and
>> for 3) we can use "alt_name" or "loc_name" (all in the wiki at [1]).
>> Then the renderers (and other consumers of OSM data) can choose cleanly
>> which name to use.
> Going by the signs doesn't work when signs disagree. At one intersection
> here, Parkway is spelled out in full and abbreviated three ways (Pkwy, Pky,
> Py). Which one would you use?
I assume all the variations would be easily understood anyway so it 
probably doesn't matter that much. Not worth a protracted debate in any 
case... In this case it might make sense to opt for the variant with the 
least possiblity of misunderstanding, so "Parkway". If only the three 
abbreviations were used, then "Pkwy". How about always picking the 
"longest form present on a sign"?


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