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Concerning editing countries with Arabic place names, is it possible to change these to English (and if so how)?

asked 12 Sep '11, 19:23

tessellationfanatic's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

The OpenStreetMap German community has a German Map. It is world-wide and uses a German style. It displays the German name if it's set, but it also automatically transliterates non-latin-alphabetic names (cf. this small area in China, one of the streets there only has a Chinese name).

For Arabic countries, there is probably not many name:de (German names), so it'll latinize to be something that's basically "English", and hence should be suitable for your purposes.

For those interested, the automatic transliteration is detailed here: A simple way to localize (latinize) an Openstreetmap style

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answered 09 Dec '15, 09:19

rorym's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%


... yes, and see for a general overview.

(09 Dec '15, 17:20) stephan75

For viewing purposes, Wikimedia's toolserver has a number of non-local-language maps. Here's the English one.

When editing, Arabic placenames often have English and other language alternatives. See for example this node - you can see "name" is in the local language, and there's also "name:en" (and name:de, name:fr etc.).

I don't think that you'd want to change the "name" tag to a non-local name. If there's no English name for a place on the map and you know what it is (via a source valid for OSM) then you might want to add a "name:en" for it.

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answered 12 Sep '11, 20:06

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%


To confirm: the "name" (without :xx) tag's value must be in the local language, not in english or some other "default" language. Sometimes there are multiple official languages in a country, and it's up to the local mapper to figure out which one to use in each individual case (it doesn't have to be the same decision throughout the country).

Some country's mappers have made a concerted country-wide decision to put two languages one after the other in the "name" tag. That sounds like a pragmatic decision but I find it odd : I'd much prefer "translated renderings" to be more commonly used.

(13 Sep '11, 09:38) Vincent de P... ♦

The link to Wikimedia is now dead; see e.g. Mapquest for English labels.

(09 Dec '15, 08:41) Piskvor

You can view labels in one or multiple languages using the "Multilingual Maps Test":

(09 Dec '15, 14:27) neuhausr

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question asked: 12 Sep '11, 19:23

question was seen: 11,230 times

last updated: 09 Dec '15, 17:20

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