OpenStreetMap

Iraq village cleanup

Posted by Øukasz on 17 July 2017 in English (English)

Many cities, towns and villages across Iraq have been placed on the map not by people who know them, but by an automatic import from older data sources. Because of that, they are often wrong, misplaced, misspelt, out of date, or otherwise of bad quality. All the names should be verified by people with local knowledge of the villages.

CATEGORY Cities are large settlements, with no or little agriculture. Towns are smaller, with some agriculture. Villages are primarilly agricultural. There are many abandoned or old villages across the country. These should be tagged as abandoned:place=village.

NAMES Currently used name should be placed in the name= tag, in original Arabic spelling. Old names (for example used before renaming in 2003) can be placed in old_name= tag in order to allow cross reference with historical docuemnts. Places that do not have specific English names, but can have their Arabic names transcribed into Latin alphabet should use name:ar-Latn= tag. English and other (French, German, Spanish...) translations may be placed in name:en=, name:fr= and so on tags.

ROADS All villages should be connected with minor roads to the main network - usually highway=tertiary or highway=unknown tags are adequate.

Location: Saladin, Iraq

Comment from Nakaner on 17 July 2017 at 19:17

Øukasz wrote:

Places that do not have specific English names, but can have their Arabic names transcribed into Latin alphabet should use name:en-Latn= tag

I think that if the place does not have an English name in real life (I suspect that most villages all around the world have one), the English name should not be tagged at all. In addition, we should not add names to OSM which can be retrieved automatically by our data consumers using transliteration. There is already a map style which does that: The German OSM Carto map style transliterates names in non-Latin script if there is no name in a Latin script available (style, PostgreSQL extension being used for transliteration, talk about that).

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Comment from Øukasz on 17 July 2017 at 23:50

Hey, thanks for commenting and for the links, I'll be sure to have a good look.

The thinking behind this is not for rendered map legibility, but rather for having query-able dataset, even if not rendered by most OSM derived products.

In Iraq pretty much all the names have been transliterated in some official level with varying degree of success, so I guess you can call these 'English' names - although they aren't really.

Automated transliteration is consistent and nice, but pretty much never produces the same results as appear on Latin road signs on the ground.

I put some more details here: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Iraq - obviously very much work in progress.

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Comment from MapMakinMeyers on 18 July 2017 at 13:05

I downloaded a ton of NGA data when it somehow was released to the public if you would like that to help with such a project. There are a few other datasets that could help along the way too if you need resources

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Comment from butrus_butrus on 21 July 2017 at 15:25

Nakaner: You cannot reliably transscript names in many languages - e.g. in Arabic where the wovels are (usually) missing in the writing.

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