[OSM-talk] [Tagging] nomoj de internaciaj objektoj / nazwy obiektów międzynarodowych / names of international objects

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Mon Jan 6 14:45:06 UTC 2020

> ... the osm.org styles base themselves on the “name” tag to determine the default style? Or is this that the way the styles are currently defined do not enable the definition of heuristics to pick the best “name:*” tag if the “name” tag itself is absent? I really don’t know the styling part of OSM renderrers, but it seems to be crucial in this discussion: can you elaborate on this?

The "Standard" map layer on openstreetmap.org is in the
Openstreetmap-carto style, the details of which are open source at
https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/ - most features,
including bays, straits, lakes and other large natural features, have
a text lable displaed based on the "name=*" tag. This is also common
for some other styles which intend to serve the whole globe, since the
"name=" tag should include the common local name, in whatever language
or langauges the local mappers have chosen as the local standard.

In theory we could produce these name labels from tags like
"name:de=*" in Germany and "name:de=" + "name:fr=*" + "name:nl=*" in
the various parts of Belgium, but it's quite difficult to decide which
tag to use in each region.

There is currently no agreed-upon way to determine the "default"
language of a place on land. I attempted a proposal for this a year
ago, but it was not accepted (See issues at
Before that, two similar proposals were also rejected, so currently
there is no information in our database about what name:<language>
tags are used locally.

As far as I know there is no technically simple way to solve this
problem without picking a default language for a global map. The
current solution, which lets local mappers manually pick the "name="
for each feature, is not perfect, but it is better than guessing which
language to render for each region. While I am still in favor of a
solution that adds some sort of "default language and script" tag for
each region, it does not seem that there is enough support for that
idea to happen, so for now we need to have name=* tags for things that
are going to be rendered on global maps.

(Note that Openstreetmap-carto does not render the names of oceans,
continents and seas, but does render the names of some large bays and
straits and islands which are relevant to this discussion)

Joseph Eisenberg
(One of the maintainers of Openstreetmap-carto, mapper in Indonesia)

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