How to handle massive name deletion?

By the way, I would only welcome such a decision by OSM, and could participate in this… I already have experience…))

"The first decision is always the right one"©

Two corrections I want to apply here:

  1. Putting a name:xx on a location does not mean we are mapping any sort of claim. Openstreetmap has locations with multilanguage names where no claim is ever intended, and locations where there is a claim, but we as map editors do not have an opinion about it, whether positively or negatively. It is merely intended to state the fact that location X is called by name Y in language Z.
  2. We do not consider national legal limitations for what is allowed to go in the database. This is impossible to do. As an example, India has a law that requires all of Kashmir to be mapped as Indian, while Pakistan has a law that requires all of Kashmir to be mapped as Pakistani. How would we ever able to comply with that. Instead, there is a policy that such issues need to be considered by the renderer. If someone wants to publish an app in country X where it is illegal to display some fact, that app needs to adjust the rendering before showing it to the user.

The difference between old_name, alt_name and a name from a difference language is philosophical.

I think that from what has been said in this thread so far, you have not achieved consensus for your opinion. If you proceed with deletion you will likely be banned, and I don’t think it would benefit OSM to have a power mapper for an entire nation banned. Better continue the good work and leave this particular tag alone.

Tags in OSM will not be used to justify an international conflict. It will only justify tagging wars and endless forum debates - and I think we all have better things to do in our lives, such as map useful stuff that helps people find the things they are looking for.

You won the war, you lost the debate. This seems to me a sum total win for your side of the conflict.


“…The Azerbaijani name of the town, Khojaly,…
In 2001 the settlement was renamed Ivanyan (Իվանյան) by Artsakh, after the late general of the [Artsakh Defence Army] …”

clearly… I understood… and after these your words I really respected you…

By the way, to what was said above - in ancient times, Azerbaijani merchants were engaged in trade with Europe, and with the same Germany through Spanish traders and guides… and the name “Almania” passed into the Azerbaijani language through the Spaniards, who even today call Germany “Alemania”. … and in most Middle Eastern languages, Germany is “Almania”… I’m sure you just didn’t know about it…

You won’t believe, but it is still Κωνσταντινούπολη in Greek (and doesn’t have name:az). Or you were saying that when Turkey had renamed Constantinople at that moment it was instantly renamed in every language around the World?

And it is still name:pl=Królewiec. And there are a lot of such examples around the world (I suppose most common for German, Finnish, Hungarian languages)

It claims nothing, it’s just reflection of their life on the map. It doesn’t matter to me what are the names in their language, as long as they understand each other. And “holder” of original name can’t make me to name it in another way, they may ask me to

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so what?.. Russians in the Middle Ages called this city Tsargrad, but now they call it Stanbul, and they have mutual understanding with Turkey, albeit small… and this mutual understanding somehow helps the Russians in today’s situation… but the Greeks and Turks did not have and will not have this mutual understanding… it seems like a small detail, just a name, but it leaves fateful consequences…

As I understand:

Note that it does not affect how Armenians are calling this places

On the ground situation in Karabakh changed (again) and many name tags likely need adjusting.

But no matter what legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan demands - Armenians may use a different names and these names can be recorded in OSM (but almost certainly not in name tags, but in language-specific tag).

This is a wrong assumption to make. And name:pl=Moskwa on Moscow does not represent a precedent for claims on this city either.

(to be specific, using specific name over another and claims which one was original is a common part of revanchist claims - but language specific names are not always one )

no, it states Armenian name of this cities. ( Relation: ‪Katowice‬ (‪2816597‬) | OpenStreetMap also has name:hy )

From what I remember there are some ways of mapping disputed boundary claims, which can be used if any are actually made by Armenia or Azerbaijan.

(maybe some name:hy are wrong and should be removed, but if Azerbaijani/Armenian mapper removes names in other language then I would advise providing thorough explanation. Or reconsidering making an edit. )


You better ask Armenian users, because I don’t understand Armenian scripts.

Officially, both countries signed Alma-Ata protocol in 1991 and recognized each other’s territories within the same boundaries as it was in the latest soviet period.

It means that, the latest soviet maps are considered as an official one for both sides. You can look the place names on soviet topographic maps.

But in case of name changes after 2000-s, it was done by separatist regime in former Nagorno-Karabakh, but not by Armenia. Even today, Armenian prime minister is giving reference to Alma-Ata protocol as an official document.

So, I think it is better to ask Armenian users to provide official Armenian maps where we could see how town names in Azerbaijan are named. Otherwise, I prefer to consider the latest soviet topographic maps both for names and boundaries.

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the name “Almania” passed into the Azerbaijani language through the Spaniards, who even today call Germany “Alemania”. … and in most Middle Eastern languages, Germany is “Almania”

in the first millennium „Germany“ was settled by different people, the Alemanni were a confederation of Germanic tribes, there were also other Germanic people like the Saxons, or the Franks (which at a certain time dominated western Europe and btw gave the name to France). That’s where the Alemania name comes from.

I made a quick research and found a 2005 map of Armenia from Armenian Atlas.

Here we can see that the town name for Lachin in Azerbaijan territory is written as Լաճին which is pronounced as “Lachin” :slight_smile: But the separatist regime called it Berdzor in the period of 1992-2020. So, as we can see, in official Armenian map it is also called Lachin but not Berdzor like the separatist regime called it. I believe it is the same for other names too.


Thanks for raising this. As an Armenian I will try to be neutral on this.
The OSM is following the “reality on the groung” principle, so changing the “name” tag to Azerbaijani is correct. However, the OSM also encourages capturing multilingual information.
And removing all the “name:hy” I consider as a vandalism.
Those Armenian names are widely used in press and by local people, althought they became refugees and left the area, it does not justify erasing the Armenian names from OSM.
I think this case needs to be raised to DWG for review.
Do we have anyone from DWG in this conversation who can help? Otherwise I can send an email with above details


Also wanted to bring the example of Cyprus, which can be used as a “good” model for the disputed areas/names.
In Norther Cyprus the locations have the Turkish names along the Greek names(btw they may be different from Turkish names).
By having the name tag = Turkish name - this is to follow the “reality on the ground” principle, as I said above. However all locations have the Greek names also(on tag name:el) along the Turkish names.


I already emailed DWG.

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Adding DWG Ticket#2024031410000173 here for reference.

At first glance it seems unwarranted to drop the translated names in this case. Regardless of the change in power, the previous people still have a name for those places. If it is a literal translation of the current name, we’ve got a tag for that. If it is a translated old name, there’s also a tag for that. For instance, on Istanbul, Turkey, you might add en:old_name=Constantinople.

If anyone here feels strongly on this matter and would like to send their thoughts privately to the DWG, just email us at and put Ticket#2024031410000173 in the subject.


and why you did not write to DWG earlier, about how all the “name:az” and even “alt_name:az” of Azerbaijani settlements of Karabadh were deleted by Armenian users?.. what is the principle of your selectivity?.. although you may not to answer, I actually guess…

As far as I could see in the edit history of related objects, the name:az multilanguage tags were always well defended by moderators during the time from 2010 to 2020 when someone vandalized them, and quickly reverted.

unfortunately, I noticed a completely different situation… and even if, as you say, they restored it, then it was the right decision, since it was and is Azerbaijani territory…

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