I know placenames are hardcoded into map tiles. But how about we don't?

I'm seeing a couple of questions, and it's in the FAQ, why placenames are in local language. And that's good, we should keep that. But language is vital for understanding where in the world (literally) it is that I'm looking at, and to orient myself. As much as I want English placenames in Japan, a Japanese person might prefer Japanese placenames in Europe, if available.

This is why placenames should be rendered separately from image tiles. It's just too much work to keep several versions of every of the world's tiles.

Can we get this done please?

asked 27 May, 18:54

Thanatica's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

closed 28 May, 07:31

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦


Can we get this done please?

Would you like to help doing it?

(27 May, 18:57) SomeoneElse ♦

The question has been closed for the following reason "Not a question. This Q+A site is for finding answers to questions, not for discussing the future of OSM." by Frederik Ramm 28 May, 07:31

While it's true that it would be easier to separate the labels from the rest of the cartography in rendered tiles, it would still be a huge effort to render all those label tiles in different languages.

E.g. https://tracesmap.com is separating the basemap without labels and than adds labels via a second language layer. But so far only the English language layer is available for all zoom levels, all other language versions are only rendered up to zoom 12 at the moment.

At https://www.osmap.uk and at the other osMap language versions as well (see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/osMap for a list) higher zooms are available but only ten different (Western/European) languages are offered so far. Here the language labels are not separated from the rest of the cartography, so this does not scale well for all languages in the world.

So without vector tiles your dream won't realize easily - and even with vector tiles you would still have the problem of fonts capable of displaying the script/letters and would have to deal with labels that won't have a name in the language you want to see.

permanent link

answered 27 May, 19:32

Spiekerooger's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

edited 27 May, 21:51

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question asked: 27 May, 18:54

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last updated: 28 May, 07:31

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