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Hello, Today i set out investigation on how to start embedding OpenStreetMap instead of Google Maps in my blog. The blog is about travel in Iran where the language is Farsi which uses Arabic script. But the audience of the blog are English speakers. My browser's preferred language is English only. When I go to Google Maps and look at the map of Mashhad, Iran, all or most of the labels are in English (which is what I want because my readers are English speakers). But in OSM, everything is in Farsi. I already changed my preferred language in my OSM account (SETTINGS > MY PREFERENCES) to en-US. I read another post on OSM forum that explains that local contributors are asked to put the labels in their own language.

My question: there is no English version of locations in Iran that for some reason is not displaying for me, correct? I just want to make sure before I go back to using Google Maps.

asked 25 Oct '23, 12:26

escapefromtehran's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

OpenStreetMap is a database. The map at you see is just one rendering of that data.

Several third party tile renderers offer English as a label language in Non-latin-script local language areas. Have a look at the layers switch at as well as the list at and

E.g. I do run a map at where you will see English labels for Mashhad, Iran (but please note that this map uses transliteration if no English label data is present. Transliteration works well for several non-latin languages but not that well for Arabic languages like Farsi).

permanent link

answered 25 Oct '23, 13:54

Spiekerooger's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

edited 25 Oct '23, 14:01

Hello, thank you for your response.

The transliteration is pretty inaccurate and in some places just not even remotely close.

Following your suggestion, I ended up setting up an account at MapBox and, yes, the labels are English. So thank you.

The Mapbox studio is so overwhelming complex. Question: the only way to use Mapbox labels is to work with their website? Or is there a way to pull their labels but not have to deal with their complex system (and also pay their subscription fees)? Hope I make sense. I guess I don't understand how Mapbox is a "provider" in relation to OSM. Can you explain that? thank you.

(26 Oct '23, 04:01) escapefromte...

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question asked: 25 Oct '23, 12:26

question was seen: 845 times

last updated: 26 Oct '23, 04:01

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