[OSM-talk] Persian/Arabian Gulf Tagging

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Thu Jun 17 21:51:26 UTC 2021

On Thursday 17 June 2021, Ebrahim Nejati via talk wrote:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Gulf
> - Here is Persian Gulf's Wikipedia's page where it is called Persian
> Gulf in all languages but Arabic. You can also read more about this
> naming dispute here.

For clarification:  This is not a case of a geographic feature having 
different names in different languages (which is a very common case in 
general that OSM takes care of with the different name:<language> tags) 
but a case of different nations having established or decreed different 
names to be used for the feature in question independent of language.  
So in many Arabic countries it is probably considered to be wrong (and 
sometimes also is forbidden probably) to name the Persian Gulf Persian 
Gulf *in any language*, not just in Arabic.  This is a problem 
fundamentally different from the common multilingual names problem 
(that there is a feature locally known as and referred to in different 
languages) which causes issues with use cases that expect a single 
local name.

I think there is currently not an established tagging to document this 
kind of case - we have the 'official_name' tag - but only as a single 
tag and not differentiated by country.  You could consider introducing 
an official_name:<country>:<language> tag - then for the Persian Gulf 
you could have:

official_name:sa:ar=الخليج العربي
official_name:sa:en=Arabian Gulf
official_name:ir:ar=خلیج فارس
official_name:ir:en=Persian Gulf

Christoph Hormann

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