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I'm mapping a Greek town. My understanding from what I've read here and there is that I should not attempt to translate or transliterate local street names; instead, enter them in Greek only.

However, there is a street whose name is of a German's, Wilhelm Dörpfeld, and it is locally known transliterated to Greek. I guess the main name of the street on OSM must be the Greek-transliterated name, as this is what it's known as locally. But we can't expect automatic tools to transliterate it back to Latin correctly, so I believe the Latin version should also be entered. In what language? German? (In that case English viewers should automatically get the German version instead of the Greek version [whether in the Greek alphabet or transliterated back to Latin], and I'm not certain map renderers are that smart.)

Another option could be to add the main street name in German, and add a Greek transl[iter]ation.

asked 21 Sep '17, 08:22

aptiko's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 21 Sep '17, 08:24


First of all, set the name=* tag to the street name as it appears on street signs. This is the default name that international renderers will use.

Secondly, add a name:xx tag for the other language. (This matters for searching.) If the name on street signs is in Greek, then add a name:de=Wilhelm Dörpfeld tag to record the German name; if the street signs are in German, use name:el=... with the name transliterated into Greek. You can even add all three of name, name:el, and name:de (two of them would have the same value).

If the street signs name is in Greek, you can additionally record the name in German in the int_name=* tag, to explicitly record the "other preferred" variant of the name. This would help renderers show to non-Greek speakers the German, rather than Greek, spelling of the name. (There is also a loc_name tag for the converse case, but a case could be made that using it would be redundant since renderers should know to look for a name:el tag in Greece.)

See: and for various name tags for some Greece-specific conventions (not directly applicable here)


permanent link

answered 21 Sep '17, 20:50

dsh4's gravatar image

accept rate: 4%

Not in this specific case, but generally, seems to imply that the transliterated name should be entered in int_name. Is that true? I recall seeing elsewhere that transliterating should be avoided (because it can be done by automated tools).

(25 Sep '17, 12:38) aptiko

I agree; that link's suggestion about int_name seems odd for the reason you give and for two other reasons:

  • There's a "script code" suffix, e.g., name:latn / name:cyrl for name in Latin / Cyrillic script (used in the Balkan), so conceivably there could be a name:latn / name:[Greek Script code] tag pair instead.

  • The documentation of name keys suggests that "int_name" should be about "This feature is internationally known by a name other than its official name", not about transliteration issues.

I suggest you take this up with the Greek OSM community. See (and note that the "Names" section on that page repeats the advice about int_name).

(25 Sep '17, 23:26) dsh4

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question asked: 21 Sep '17, 08:22

question was seen: 3,243 times

last updated: 25 Sep '17, 23:26

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