OpenStreetMap supports historic names

Posted by rorym on 17 December 2016 in English (English) now displays the historic name of areas! is a website which shows the Irish traditional boundaries in OpenStreetMap, like townlands, civil parishes, baronies and counties. It's very useful for Irish genealogical research, and mainting Ireland's heritage into the digital era.

An example of this is County Offaly, which was initially created as a county in 1556 as "King's County", and was known as that until Irish independence in 1922, when it was changed to County Offaly. Neighbouring Co. Laois was known as "Queen's County".

We use the date namespace suffix to support this. The current OSM relation for Co. Offaly shows how to add this data: name:1556--1922=King's County, name:1922--=County Offaly currently supports the following 3 forms. Other options may be added later.

  • name:--YEAR: Name before YEAR
  • name:YEAR--: Name from YEAR to the present
  • name:YEAR1--YEAR2: Name between the years YEAR1 and YEAR2

There is already support for adding the name Griffith's Valuation (with name:griffithsvaluation tag), and the 1901 and 1911 census names (name:census1901 and name:census1911). However that is often used for transcription errors.

Please add more historic names to OSM in Ireland!

Comment from BushmanK on 18 December 2016 at 01:31

@RobJN, it is not a proposal, it's an illustration of how similar problem could be solved without disrespecting data usability.

But there still is a question: should any historical data be stored in the OSM database, keeping in mind the core principle of not mapping anything non-current.

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