I wonder if we can improve the way maps of places can be accessed on osm.org using short, friendly URLs...
If you look at pages on the wiki, they can (often) be easily accessed by typing something as simple as wiki.osm.org/brighton or wiki.osm.org/germany because the wiki software will check for the nearest match and send you there.
On the main OSM site, we have a 404 page (see e.g. osm.org/brighton) which currently doesn't do much, but could be put to better use to redirect people to either a known place or a search results page.
When I say known places, I mean we could include redirects for specific countries (e.g. osm.org/us osm.org/de) using their ISO country codes and information about their bounding box. We could also do something similar for places in a more general sense, but because there will be overlap there, maybe a search result would be best for that.
Is there currently a way of linking directly to a search result on the main OSM site? I couldn't spot one, but I may have overlooked it.
Any thoughts? Would this be useful? Any drawbacks in terms of losing the static 404 page?