Mapper since: June 02, 2012 | Contributor terms: Accepted almost 5 years ago

Hi, my name is Jerry. I am passionate about maps and traveling since my childhood. I lived in 6 countries across the world and both my parents are of 2 different continents (I was born in a 3rd country :D ). Thus, I am lucky enough to speak 5 languages fluently and 2 almost fluently. I make different kind of maps on Google My Maps (so far mainly for my acquaintances). In openstreetmap, I find something I can't find on Google: I can make that map better. Each time I correct something, it is thanks to good sources or because I saw the configuration of the place on my own. However, as no one is perfect, I can also make mistakes :) If you see one, please discuss it with me before deleting anything. You can write to me in English, French, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese - those are the languages I speak fluently. I also speak Russian and Lithuanian (not bad in oral communication, but I read very slowly) and I understand Catalan, Galego and Italian :)

Usually I'll be modifying: A) Names (mainly adding names in different languages). If we are talking about Polish names in Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czechia and Germany, I do not use only Wikipedia as a source, but also Polish government documents on names abroad: - Lithuania: - Belarus: - Ukraine: - Russia: - Czechia:; - Slovakia: - Europe overall: However, for this matter, I use mostly pre-war Polish maps (, which are a very interesting source as they allow to find not only the correct translation, but also old village and town names when they changed (it is often the case, for instance, in Lithuania –ex.: Kaspariškės used to be Kaspariškiai; Latvia. In such cases I’ll be using the tag “old_name”. It is a bit different in nowadays’ Belarus, where most of all some villages with similar names were merged, and some places lost their Christian or patriotic Polish names to make them sound more communist) I will also be adding names in various languages (recently I added, for instance, “Bâle” in French to “Basel”) Overall, for other multilingual names (or sometimes street names where they don't appear), I use various paper maps and various Internet sources. I don't use Google Maps as OSM doesn't allow it.

B) Roads, border checkpoints, bike paths (usually I drove through those I correct beforewards, but otherwise you can find data or pics on other Websites, etc.) I tend to use satellite images to make river, lake, road and path contours as accurate as possible. For border checkpoints, as per OSM instructions, I try put the "border control" pushpin where the controls actually take place and not at the very border, like it is often the case currently. I’ll also try to tag thee appropriate lanes (ex. Green channel, all passports, “TIR” for truck lanes, etc.). This is most of all in order to help GPS app users (like – the base of which is OSM) to find the correct lane before they arrive to the border checkpoint. Some border checkpoints have expanded, which is not always visible on OSM. I’ll also try to reflect that. Sometimes press sources can be useful for such matters (ex.:, etc.). However, I'll be mainly using the borderguard sources of the respective countries. If I state a border checkpoint is “only for local traffic”, this means not everyone can use it. It is an extremely important info, the aim of which is for people to avoid making hundreds of miles and wasting time and money unduly. I will also add “border control” pushpins where passport controls within one country do actually take place (recently done in Lithuania and Belarus for border zone entering/exiting zones). I will remove any “border control” tag wherever I find it between 2 Schengen-zone countries.

C) Road common names: I will try to add the common or historic names used apart of the road number. For example: Via Baltica (Warsaw-Kaunas-Riga-Tallinn), Autostrada Wolności (Polish A2), Autoroute du Nord (French A1) , Juodasis kelias (Vilnius-Šumskas road), etc. I might move the current names used (ex.: “Rīga-Bauska-Lietuvas robeža (Grenctāle)” in Latvia) to the tag “alt_name”.

2 FUTURE PROJECTS FOR WHICH I WILL NEED HELP: A) BELARUS & KAZAKHSTAN: LOCALITY NAMES ACCORDING TO THE REALITY: I seriously plan putting all the main Belarusian locality (villages, town, city) names as they appear on spot: in Belarusian. I would also like to do the same in Kazakhstan. WHY: Currently OSM in Belarus & Kazakhstan seems to live in an alternative reality: those are the two only countries on OSM where locality names appear otherwise than when you drive there: in Russian instead of Belarusian or Kazakh. Ket’s remember OSM is used by many GPS apps like, so I can really be confusing for drivers when they see "Астравец" or “Асінаўка “ on spot and "Островец" or “Осиновка” on the map, for instance. Especially if you do not read Cyrillic. Even if you haven’t been in Belarus or Kazakhstan, you can find plenty of pics of roads in those 2 countries where you can see city, town and village names in local language only, not in Russian. In the case of Minsk, I am also planning to put the metro station and street names in Belarusian because that is how they appear on the spot. This will mean moving names from “name” to “name:ru”, and copying names in “name:be” to “name”. It also means that Russian-speaking users will still be able to find the places in question. I am not planning to intervene on street names out of Minsk; and not at all on restaurant or shop names. If I do, it means I’ve been on-spot (I often go to Belarus) and I’ve seen something different. My aim is not to “kick out Russian from Belarus”, but solely to make OSM more realistic. In Abkhazia, you see no Georgian names as the main ones, and neither do you in Crimea with Ukrainian. So why not reflecting reality until the end if even in Russian-born Yandex Maps, names in Belarusian appear as the main ones in BY! No politics on OSM, please. Just the reality!

B) MULTILINGUAL NAMES IN EUROPE ACCORDING TO THE REALITY: I also plan to put bilingual, trilingual or quadrilingual names across Europe just as they appear on spot in the “name” tag. The following countries or zones will be concerned: - Finland - Sweden - Norway - Denmark - Germany - Poland - Ukraine - Slovakia - Czechia - Austria - Hungary - Slovenia - Croatia - Montenegro - Serbia - Kosovo - Macedonia - Italy - France - The Netherlands - Ireland - Romania - Portugal - Luxembourg There are countries where bilingual names already appear in the “name” tag on OSM, as they do on-spot. However, either some new names appeared in the meantime (for instance in Asturian in Spain), either some have been forgotten. It is mainly the linguistic facility towns in Belgium (like Sint-Genesius-Rode, which appear with bilingual names on spot: Sint-Genesius-Rode / Rhode-Saint-Genèse).

Dear OSM users! Leave politics aside, or to other map service providers! Reflect reality! Not wannabe-realities.

Kind regards,