[OSM-talk] Should we map former endonyms?

Martin Raifer tyr.asd at gmail.com
Wed Mar 19 21:42:41 UTC 2014

I would say that it depends:

* If the name is still regularly used to name a place (for example in  
newspapers, etc.), use name:*
* If the name has become out-of-use, use old_name:*
* If the name is still used by locals, use loc_name:* or reg_name:*

A somewhat similar situation than what you described can be found in  
Trentino in Northern Italy which used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian  
Empire until WW1. Before that, places had bilingual names in both Italian  
and German – nowadays the German names have largely become out of use. But  
there are some exceptions like the capital, some valleys and mountain  
ranges, …. Also, some German-speaking people from towns near to the border  
are still calling nearby towns of Trentino by their former names.

> The question is, does a name disappear when it is no longer used?

I would say that a name almost never "disappears". Instead, only its  
qualification can change: from commonly-used/official to a (local) exonym  
to a historic name (… maybe even to a point where it is almost completely  

My 2 cents from somebody who just happens to live in a region with some  
quite interesting place-naming situations ;)

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