[OSM-talk] [OHM] Should we map former endonyms?

Laurence Penney lorp at lorp.org
Wed Mar 19 20:59:20 UTC 2014

It’s great to have such things mapped, but it does need care.

In this field Jochen Topf coded “Multilingual Map Test” together back in 2012. You might ask him to add Finnish to the languages offered.


Here’s part of Poland, shown with German labels:


While the larger cities have well-known and current German names that are uncontroversial — Warschau, Posen, Breslau, etc. — many small towns and villages would only have been given German names during the Third Reich.

It is therefore contentious to use the “name:de” tag for these places, unless one is making a map of occupied Poland during WW2. The naming was a political act, and most of the names were not used by Germans, even those living in the vicinity, before 1939 or after 1945. Taking politics out of it, perhaps one could use the date to indicate when the name was in use, thus a key of “name:de(1939-1945)”.

It would be good to speak to historians who specialize in this area.

- L

On 19 Mar 2014, at 20:37, Chris Helenius <chris.helenius at gmail.com> wrote:

> How are historical place names from annexed countries regarded? Or put in another way; when does a name no longer exist?
> In the case on Finland, which lost Karelia to Russia in the 1950s, hundreds of place names were translated and are now officially Russian, with the Finnish population gone.
> Former place names could nevertheless be of historical value (e.g. to see the geographical extent of the language), as physical historical features are. 
> The question is, does a name disappear when it is no longer used? Larger cities are still called by their Finnish names in a Finnish context, so would towns and villages be any different? Or when they are deserted?
> There is also the unignorable issue of geopolitics, as there are still tensions between the countries. 
> There is no shortage of geographical naming disputes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Geographical_naming_disputes),
> and wikipedians themselves had a row over geographical names. (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/02/05/China_Japan_Wikipedia_War_Senkaku_Diaoyu?page=full)
> I can imagine how the naming could be seen having a political agenda. 
> For what it's worth, my agenda is only historical, although I can't shrug off my national bias.
> Before I go and add name:fi= place-names, I'd like to hear what the community thinks of this.
> Chris Helenius
> _______________________________________________
> Historic mailing list
> Historic at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/historic

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