[OSM-talk] Label language on the Default stylesheet

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Mon Sep 25 08:55:17 UTC 2017

On Monday 25 September 2017, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> Also, personally I'm in a similar situation to Maarten. I'm from
> Germany and I don't want a map with all German or all English names;
> ideally I want a map with local names except where I can't read them
> ;)

While i understand this view and also see you are saying this with a bit 
of irony it seriously saddens me that apparently a large fraction of 
the OSM community actually thinks this way and wants the OSMF to invest 
ressources in a map that is well readable for them rather than a map 
that represents and communicates the diversity of the global OSM 

I would want the map to display in a way that is well readable and gives 
good feedback to the *local mappers* everywhere on earth and that gives 
me an impression of the local cultural and geographic particularities 
of the area irrespective of if i can read the names or not.  I would 
want this by default even if technology also offered a 'filter bubble' 
version that shows me the map as i allegedly would want it to see where 
every place on earth looks like my home town.

I also want to cite from the current goals of OSM-Carto:


"Diversity - The style should represent the diversity of the OSM 
community and geography in general. The most obvious element to serve 
this goal is showing the local names everywhere on earth in their 
respective scripts. This goal however goes beyond labels. Both physical 
and cultural geography differs a lot globally and the aim is to 
represent this variety with equal determination - well mapped areas are 
not supposed to have more weight here than less mapped parts of the 
world. This also means the target map user is the potential global map 
user and no special consideration is given to the current geographic 
distribution of actual map use."

Changing that would mean aiming the map more at the same target as 
commercial map providers, i.e. serving the economically important and 
influential map user groups, giving them what market research tells you 
they want and giving up on the core of what makes the OSM standard 
style unique and forms a significant part of what attracts people to 

Christoph Hormann

More information about the talk mailing list