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

Susanna Ånäs susanna.anas at gmail.com
Thu Mar 20 06:58:08 UTC 2014

There is interaction between Wikidata, the OHM, the historians working with
gazetteers, LOD researchers and Jochen Topf & Tim Alder's work. The
Wikimaps project is trying to stay abreast of the development to build on

I think also that Wikidata will lead the way and will offer a crowdsourced
platform for place names across times. The open questions would be related
to the choice of labels when displaying, while Wikidata itself would be
able to store many different names, languages and alternatives.

Discussion is needed for the modelling, eg. if a place is one entity with
changing properties or if a place is a linked continuum of separate places.
What properties to store, how to link? How can the data be linked to say
OSM DB entities? Do the notability guidelines of Wikimedia allow storing
only important places?

So, in short, the most natural site for discussion is the wikidata-l list
(now cc:d)

Susanna Ånäs

2014-03-19 22:59 GMT+02:00 Laurence Penney <lorp at lorp.org>:

> 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.
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2012-November/065312.html
> Here's part of Poland, shown with German labels:
> http://mlm.jochentopf.com/?zoom=7&lat=52.57802&lon=19.11621&layers=B0T&lang=de
> 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
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