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I am in Australia but doing some work for a Chinese company. We started using OpenStreetMap to display some data, but the first map area the company checked was "Republic of China" aka Taiwan. Now, we have a political problem where the company wants this to be displayed as "People's Republic of China" instead.

Is there a way to get alternate labels to satisfy this request? e.g. different layers? Hopefully the solution would not require us to re-process all the tiles, as that would be too much effort and still leave us open to future political problems that also need to be re-labelled.


asked 28 Oct '15, 08:10

keong's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


could you please clarify where you got your tiles from?

(28 Oct '15, 19:13) aseerel4c26 ♦

We are using a third-party tool called ModestMaps because it has a Flex/Flash version for the UI. One of the map providers in the code is OpenStreetMap.

(29 Oct '15, 00:21) keong

Bit of extra information: apparently the political problem is in the use of Chinese labelling that translates to "Republic of China". Other map providers seem to side-step the issue by using English labelling as "Taiwan" and this seems to be acceptable. Our solution may be to switch providers.

(29 Oct '15, 06:38) keong

I'll try to give this a start... this is "Taiwan" - as you see we have all sorts of names available in out data.

What you or your tile provider makes out of our data is his choice. Map tiles are usually bitmap images, so if you want to change a name, you would need to change this image. There are many tile providers which use OSM data, and all make their own choices. E.g. mapquest open displays "Taiwan".

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answered 29 Oct '15, 06:49

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

When you get map tiles from a provider, you get rendered images, You cannot change the content of those images. You will have to

a) ask your provider whether they can give you tiles with a different content b) set up your own renderer and make your own tiles

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answered 29 Oct '15, 06:51

escada's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Wouldn't it be possible to, say, re-route the tile requests through your own server that replaces the objectionable tiles?

(30 Oct '15, 14:16) Tordanik

@Tordanik, to me it seems a valid option to use a tile proxy which replaces some tiles only, yes. Possibly one could modify a caching proxy for this.

(30 Oct '15, 19:03) aseerel4c26 ♦

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question asked: 28 Oct '15, 08:10

question was seen: 3,757 times

last updated: 30 Oct '15, 19:03

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