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#1 2021-10-27 02:24:19

New Member
Registered: 2020-02-23
Posts: 2

Transliteration changes

I noticed that Sundar1 has been changing the transliteration of name=* values in many places across India, e.g. changing "Chowk" to "Chok" -

They responded to my changeset comment with a detailed explanation in PM, and I figured we had best discuss the matter with the wider OSM community, especially Indian mappers.


#2 2021-10-28 08:47:44

New Member
Registered: 2021-10-28
Posts: 1

Re: Transliteration changes

Hello, I'm the culprit and I'd like to explain myself.
Firstly, thank you to contrapunctus for introducing me to this forum. I'm very much looking forward to exchange views with Indian contributors to OSM.
Like Wikipedia, to which I've been a long-time contributor, I find OSM a very intriguing project which I rather quite recently joined and I'm far from familiar with. Yet, due to the nature of Wikipedia and OSM, I have quickly noticed very similar problems.
I see a precondition for a fruitful discussion in an agreement on the self-image of OSM. Apart from being a bottom-up project, like Wikipedia, I would think that OSM aims to cater to users in the whole world just like google maps, bing, etc. and thus needs to be a standardised map adhering to a set of common principles and rules. This is my guiding principle when working on OSM as well as on Wikipedia. And this is not to say that, e. g. google or bing, are standarised when it comes to spelling rules - it's quite the contrary.
So, what standards or rules am I talking about? As for unified mapping symbols that are used in all countries there should also be a unified spelling system similarily recognisable in all countries. Do we take into account an international audience and apply such standards or do we blindly copy into our map whatever we happen to find along the roads? What would be more logical than to use the same system as the Survey of India despite the known shortcomings?


#3 2021-10-28 20:53:58

From: Charlbury, UK
Registered: 2007-04-24
Posts: 418

Re: Transliteration changes


You might find … edia_users interesting.

We don't try to impose order where there is none. If the street is signposted with a particular name, that's what we map. It's not our role to correct unusual orthography, no matter how alien it is to use. See the "Original research always wins" section of that page on the OSM wiki.

I see a precondition for a fruitful discussion in an agreement on the self-image of OSM

Maybe, but with the best will in the world, we probably don't want to re-examine the entire basis of the project on the viewpoint of someone who's been here for a few days. smile


#4 2021-10-31 20:47:01

Registered: 2014-03-28
Posts: 82

Re: Transliteration changes

Sundar1, can you point us toward the "same system as the Survey of India"?


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