Posted by Andreas Lattmann on 27 October 2020 in English (English).

I must confess that in years of collaborating with more or less large projects, the worst community I have participated in is OpenStreetMap. There is no collaboration, the concept exists: this area is MY area so either you map as I say or rather you don’t map at all. So there are heterogeneous areas, some places with toponymy in dialectal form, others in Italian (I’m talking about Italy). For a moment I wanted to change all the toponymy of My 😅 area in dialect. But what’s the use? So I just make some changesets that I assume correct, if some other cartographer with a lot of degree tells me I was wrong, I revert. Simple, isn’t it? I only wish that if one criticizes me (even with rudeness) at least he would come down from the pedestal and tell me: you are wrong, these are the solutions. Instead it is not so. If I’m wrong tell me how to correct, saying it’s wrong is a non-constructive criticism. 🤔

Comment from SomeoneElse on 27 October 2020 at 08:31

If there’s one change that you could make to improve the situation, what would it be?

Comment from Sanderd17 on 27 October 2020 at 11:26

In a global project, one global entity can never decide what’s needed in local situations. That’s why OSM as a whole doesn’t make those decisions.

Instead, it’s up to local people to come together (in a virtual way during Covid times), and to decide what the best practices are.

So I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience, but if you think there isn’t a good community around you, try to create one. Take a look at who’s mapping around you (like with the “Who’s around me” tool from Pascal Neis: ). Try to contact them, and discuss the matter.

IMO, a number of OSM tools could be better integrated on the main site, to improve community building. There are many tools around from 3rd parties (like als the Neis resultmaps, or QA tools). But as long as those are external tools, I can see why people find it hard to build a community.

Comment from roptat on 27 October 2020 at 13:51

For the specific question of using the dialectal form for toponyms, I believe the general consensus is to use the official language(s). For instance, in Brussels they use both French and Dutch names, as both languages are official, whereas other parts of Belgium are monolingual. My experience with toponyms in France is that we always use the French name as name (since French is the only official language in France), and use the dialectal name (when it exists) in its own tag, as in name:br, name:oc, etc. We even had to invent our own language codes when none existed, such as name:fr-x-gallo :)

These languages are not rendered on the website, but we have our own maps with local names, for instance the Breton (br) map: Similarly, we have maps with the Basque (eu) and Occitan (oc) languages:

Comment from eduardosreis on 27 October 2020 at 15:06

I agree.

There is (and I also see it happening here) a certain feeling of possessiveness, of ownership, among publishers, for the areas in which they have dedicated themselves most. A feeling that seems to be born in the OSM mapper slowly and quietly, and that comes up when the first notification that someone has edited something in your area arrives. Perhaps they are remnants of an animal territorial instinct. :)

And I will not deny that I am also a little uncomfortable when someone changes an area in which I worked and does something with less detail than I did or would do. I am uncomfortable, but not to the point of reverting his edition (unless it was terribly wrong).

I think there is no solution. OSM is like a public square, it has people of all kinds. Some are more open-minded, others less, and my solution to that is also to let it go.

If I make a change in an area, and some PieceOfMap owner comes, undoes my edit and says it is wrong (because it is not the way he thinks it is right because he is sure that his way is right) I give a second look and, if I’m wrong ok, but if I’m right, I just let it go and go to another area.

Patience. This is the price to pay for the “O” in the OSM. :)

Comment from Andreas Lattmann on 27 October 2020 at 20:03

@roptat >I believe the general consensus is to use the >official language(s)

No, unfortunately this is not the case, in fact last year after having contacted a mapper and 15 days after he had not answered me, I moved the names in dialectal form to loc_name and the official name to name. I imagine an excursionist who reads the map at the beginning of the route and then starts to use the OSM maps, finds himself with totally different names. The community response was on the wiki it is written like this, so please restore the names as they were before! When they answer like this, what comparison do you want to have?


Now OSM has become the second project I currently collaborate on. In fact, first I follow the translation and testing of Delta Chat, then if I have time left I dedicate it to OSM. I am very sorry, I believed in OSM a lot, but now I prefer to collaborate with an international community like DC (Delta Chat) rather than being almost afraid to do an edit on OSM (There is a risk that I will anger someone)…

Comment from Sanderd17 on 28 October 2020 at 08:22

The most general concensus is to map what’s signed.

Drawing borders and naming stuff can be very controversial. See the issues in Crimea for example. Mapping what’s signed usually means that you map for whoever has actual control over the region (not just claims control). And it also excludes a big part of remote mapping because you need to survey the local signs. It also takes the controversy away from OSM, and into the political level.

But then ofc you have the bilingual signs, which usually means that politics reached an agreement on some level. And it would be shameful if OSM cannot reach an agreement on it.

Comment from dalsasso on 29 October 2020 at 16:47

Ciao, ti credevo altoatesino, che aveva problemi coi nomi doppi, ma vedo che sei dell’alto lago. In questa pagina del wiki si legge che è buona norma, nei casi di compresenza di più lingue, riportare entrambe le diciture nel tag name= (a.e. name=Brixen - Bressanone), in ordine di frequenza, per gruppo linguistico prevalente, specificando solo successivamente i due tag name:it=Bressanone e name:de=Brixen.

Queste naturalmente sono linee guida di OSM, che si riferiscono a problemi ben più impegnativi dei nostri toponimi dialettali. Credo però che possiamo trattare allo stesso modo i nostri, riportando entrambi i nomi quando è opportuno, cioè nei casi in cui il nome sia effettivamente utilizzato dalla comunità locale (ad esempio, non mi sentirei di cambiare il tag della città di Como in “Como - Comm”).

Ecco, io riporterei entrambi i nomi nel caso in cui uno valga per i locali e l’altro sia quello che compare sulle carte, o quello che serve al turista. Ad esempio, vicino a dove abito c’è un ripiano erboso (il “Pian Pasturee”), che sarebbe insensato riportare come Piano dei pastori, semplicemente perché nessuno usa quest’ultimo. Sempre nella mia zona c’è una sorgente, il “Buco del Pertugio” o “Pertüs”: li ho riportati entrambi, perché il primo compare sulle carte, e il secondo, un valore toponomastico che andrebbe perduto. Sono stato d’aiuto?

Comment from Andreas Lattmann on 29 October 2020 at 17:26

@dalsasso I agree with what you said, in fact I usually if a name is written on the signs on the spot and I also know the dialectal form, I insert in the name the official Italian name, in the loc_name the dialectal form. As for the places that have only a dialect name and do not have an official name in Italian, I put the name in the dialect in the name. For example, there is a place called Foin, I don’t dream of translating it into Italian, it is a place that only has a dialect name. In the case that happened to me there were official names in Italian, reported on road signs, I entered the name in Italian in the name and moved the dialectal form to loc_name… by the author who had put the dialectal form in the name I got an almost threatening message. I asked in the Italian ml and was told it was right as the mapper said. So sadly I restored all the names. That’s why I gave up. @SomeoneElse, do you know what it would take? a tool to get to know each other better, perhaps we would avoid prejudices and collaborate more. Right now, we are strangers who participate in the same project. I have been a mapper (with my old account) since 2014 and I honestly know better the Delta Chat betatesters (with whom I have been collaborating for a year) than the mappers I have been mapping with since 2014… OSM needs a more social part, maybe this would create more harmony.


@dalsasso condivido quanto hai detto infatti io di solito se sui cartelli in loco c’è scritto un nome e conosco anche la forma dialettale, inserisco nel name il nome ufficiale italiano, nel loc_name la forma dialettale. Per quanto riguarda le località che hanno solo nome dialettale e non hanno un nome ufficiale in italiano metto nel name il nome in dialetto. Ad esempio c’è una località che si chiama Foin, non mi sogno di tradurlo in Italiano, è una località che ha solo nome dialettale. Nel caso che mi è capitato c’erano dei nomi ufficiali in italiano, riportati sui cartelli stradali, io ho inserito nel name il nome in italiano e spostato in loc_name la forma dialettale… dall’autore che aveva messo nel name la forma dialettale ho ricevuto un messaggio quasi minatorio. Ho chiesto nella ml italiana e mi è stato detto che era giusto come diceva il mapper. Quindi sconsolato ho ripristinato tutti i name. È per questo che mi sono arreso. @SomeoneElse, sai cosa ci vorrebbe? uno strumento per conoscerci meglio, forse dieviterebbero pregiudizi e si collaborerebbe di più. Ora come ora, siamo degli sconosciuti che partecipiamo allo stesso progetto. Sono mappatore (con il mio vecchio account) dal 2014 e sinceramente conosco meglio i betatester di Delta Chat (con cui collaboro da un anno) che i mapper con cui mappo dal 2014… OSM ha bisogno di una maggiore parte social, forse questo creerebbe maggiore armonia.

Comment from dalsasso on 30 October 2020 at 17:24

Bravissimo, non so a quale mailing list di pirla tu sia iscritto ma hai evidentemente ragione tu. Almeno, se un nome compare sui cartelli va certamente inserito col tag “name= “. Lo scorbutico con cui hai avuto a che fare, se lo riteneva opportuno, avrebbe fatto bene a riportarli entrambi col tag principale. Italiano e dialetto sono a tutti gli effetti, in alcune zone, due codici linguistici conviventi e di eguale importanza. Ma dimmi: con un nome come il tuo non puoi essere italiano, come sei finito in alto lago 😂?

Comment from dalsasso on 30 October 2020 at 17:28

Very good, I do not know which mailing list you are subscribed to but you are definitely right. If a name appears on the signs, it is official and therefore it must certainly be listed with the tag “name =“. The obnoxious guy you dealt with, if he saw fit, should at least have listed them with the main tag. Italian and dialect are to all intents and purposes, in some areas, two coexisting linguistic codes of equal importance.

Comment from Andreas Lattmann on 25 July 2021 at 09:00

@dalsasso Sono nato in Engadina (Svizzera) le mie origini sono del Canton Zurigo, Stadel bei Niederglatt. 😄

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