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I'm trying to figure out what I have been doing is correct or not.

I have been adding pinyin(romanization of chinese) to the current hanzi(chinese characters) for the city of Shanghai, China. This is too reflect another westernized chinese city, Hong Kong, China.

There is a huge amount of expats living in Shanghai in addition to the foreign tourists. Having the pinyin allows a western speaker to speak the local language. for example "嵩山路 Songshan Road" The city of Hong Kong, China on openstreetmap is using this naming system of both Hanzi and Pinyin. The naming system states something to the effect of using the local language in the 'name' tag. Would this include pinyin? The physical local road signs in Shanghai are both in hanzi and pinyin. Any thoughts?

There is another open street member who is chinese that disagrees with adding pinyin and is removing my additions. Does this also mean that Hong Kong naming system is wrong?

asked 17 Jan '12, 10:06

f22shift's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 18 Jan '12, 01:21

Gnonthgol's gravatar image

Gnonthgol ♦

It seems that the OSM community decides as a whole what way to name the streets. Will have to talk to some other members to get a consensus.

(19 Jan '12, 04:14) f22shift

any possible way to revert my edits in the past in bulk? even if it means deleting my account. i can resign on...

(19 Jan '12, 12:28) f22shift

This kind of issue is often discussed on the project page for that country. (for China see ) It may also be discussed on

The convention for mainland China seems to be that name= has the Chinese name only, while for Hong Kong the convention seems to be name= has the Chinese name followed by the English name (which may be different to the Chinese name using Pinyin).

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answered 18 Jan '12, 01:14

Ebenezer's gravatar image

accept rate: 9%

This seems to be the case. It's very possible that I am wrong. But I don't understand why Hong Kong, which is also part of China, not using the Chinese name only.

(18 Jan '12, 01:44) f22shift

For Hong Kong I suspect that it's mostly for historical reasons (although there's a sizeable English-speaking community there) - a number of places have frequently-used English names. For example, Lockhart Road in Wan Chai is (according to everyone's favourite unreliable source) named after a former colonial secretary, whereas Wan Chai itself is an original Cantonese name. I've no idea whether the Chinese representation of Lockhart Road is a kind of "reverse Pinyin" or something else instead.

(18 Jan '12, 02:05) SomeoneElse ♦

Until 1997, English was the only official language in Hong Kong. Also now, Hong Kong is not a normal part of China. The governor has more power over Hong Kong than most governors do over their provinces. And the regions now has two official languages: Chinese and English.

That's why it's different.

(30 Dec '12, 13:48) Sanderd17

I go to Shanghai every year for a month to work and study Chinese. Having both Chinese characters (hanzi 汉字)and Pinying 拼音 is extremely important. There are over 200,000 foreigners (about 1%) in Shanghai that will make use of both.

I think OpenStreetMap.Org should have both. Utility is why we have maps.

Interesting details on the Shanghai maps: The current maps from OpenStreetMap only have Chinese characters not English characters. Google maps has only Chinese characters Apple maps has only English characters, even in the remotest regions of China Bing maps has only English characters and only only about 10 roads in all of Shanghai (a city of 23 million!)

The maps of Hong Kong from OpenStreetMap have both Chinese and English characters.

The maps of Beijing from OpenStreetMap have some streets labeled only with Chinese characters, some labeled only with English characters and some with both.

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answered 30 Dec '12, 01:37

pherzmark's gravatar image

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question asked: 17 Jan '12, 10:06

question was seen: 8,094 times

last updated: 30 Dec '12, 13:48

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum