Israel Streets in English and not in Hebrew characters

Is there any map project or any other way to show the Israeli map with name:en street names ?

Not that I don’t like the Hebrew letters, but English is easier :stuck_out_tongue:

Mapnik & osmarender render just the name: tag…

some days ago was publicized a proof-of-concept renderer that show different languages

you can change all the name: tags in israel to the english versione (wrong way IMHO),
or setup a new rendering server that show just name:en if different from name:

In my opinion the israeli comunity should have as a target to enstablish a national rendering server that offer the 3 different languages (he,ar,en) as different layers.
(maybe russian to??)


Hey thats exactly what I ment.
But on this map you not able to get more that zoom level 8, in this beta phase.

I agree with the target. But we are talking already month about creating a Israeli URL with special Israeli maps.
I don’t see anything moving forward to make this real.

I like the idea of rendering maps especially for Israel a lot!

Some time ago (12/8/08), Mikel Maron wrote on talk-il:

I’ll ask Mikel to provide on this thread some more information. I also wonder about the costs of a suitable server and bandwidth…

We should start here:

I think that the biggest problem would be the cost of the server & bandwidth. I believe that thit is the first point we need to clarify, and see if there’s any sense in discussing all those details that assume you’ve already got an internet server, that can display the maps and (maybe) keep an up to date db and render the map changes.

Does any of you have experience with web hosting prices etc. ?

Do we want it to be a simple web server, and the rendering done on our local computer (perhaps with a modified t@h), or should the rendering and keeping the DB up to date also be done on the server?
It the latter case, I think, it would take more then a normal web server hosting plan. A much more expensive virtual server which might be way too expensive for us.

What do you think?

I don’t think that every country is starting to host their own webserver now to get the maps like they expect them to be.

Our problem are also the problems of other countries:

  • Writing from right to left : All Arab countries
  • Non Latin characters : All Arab countries + Russian + Chinese + Japan ++++++++

So why starting something new?
Projects like : will come true one day and will make it possible to get Israeli maps in Hebrew, Russian and English, without any problems.

When seeing something like : there is no need to reinvent the wheel and starting a website that shows the maps of osm again (Just if you add some adsense comercials beside it :slight_smile: )

Is there something else we need here in Israel that makes our maps different ?

Here in Italy we are planing to deploy our map rendering on our domain (
We want to have an italian standard rendered map (black motorways, red primary roads…) and we would like to rendere a different set of amenities with differnt icons.
I don’t know how expensive are the israeli hosting services, but here in italy we have very cheap options (a no-limit-space with no-limited-bandwidth are something like 40€/year) about virtual servers. we can pay a 50€/month for a co-located server with a reasonable bandwidth cap.

Have you tried to contact wikimedia Israel to have a partner? Here in Italy WM Italy is very interested about OSM and willing to help & contribute.


P.s. yesterday me and my wife had our interview with the sochnut delegate… we will made alyiah in the summer :smiley:

I agree that these problems will be solved sooner or later on the main osm site, and do not require a new Israeli web server. In fact, these problems pretty much solved - non latin character works very well, right to left character is ok too (multi-line problems in Mapnik, but this is not severe). The major problem, which I suspect will not be solved soon, is having a website that shows you a map of the same place in several languages. It will not be solved for us soon, because

  1. Most places are not so keen on English maps for their local residents in addition to the local language (I guess Russian is enough for Russia)
  2. The easy solution ( requires a lot of rendering power. Therefore, and because this problems affect few people, it will not be implemented in the near future on a web-server that is for the entire planet.

Maybe, but it seems to be just a proof of concept and not an actual web server that’ll help us. And meanwhile our problem is concrete: We both work on the same map. I tag name streets in Hebrew and sometimes and English, YOU can only see Hebrew names in and I know and appreciate your (you are just an example, of course) need for a map which uses other letters. If you feel it is ok to wait, or that the cost would be too high, we can wait and discuss it further in a couple of months.


Is there a version of the OSM Israel tile with English street names yet? or just a gmapsupp.img file for garmin of Israel?
I can read Ivrit, and can display the Ivrit fine on my computer, but my Garmin 60CSX displays the road names as ???
is there a way to install a hebrew character set on Garmin? I just updated to the latest software (3.9 I think) but that does not help…


I do not have a Garmin, but check here:
Try using the option --name-tag-list=name:en,name
That should use name:en tags, and when not available, fall back to the regular name tag.

Don’t know if it works.

Mkgmap works well, and it produces routable maps for Israel.
I create a new garmin file at least once a week, and try to add name:en tags where missing.

AFAIK, Garmin cannot show Hebrew. It would show it as ?? ???

That’s why it’s important to always add the name:en tag if the name tag contains Hebrew characters.

I started working on an english only rendering of the map, I have a machine on which I can render (but not serve from) and a VPS from which I can serve. Both are paid for by myself.

Anyone wants to pick up the tab for the domain I can probably setup a sub-domain on my personal domain but I’d rather use a more permanent home for it from the start. I’m thinking of using as a map with english language, and possibly setup hebrew, russian and arabic later as well.

Right now I import to the database the israeli map alone as extracted by cloudmade, it’s a bit incomplete, missing a few border areas but nothing critical. It’s a lot faster to import than the israel area from the full planet.

Looks like it’s still not working properly, city names are rendered in english but street names are completely missing.

How do you plan to render the tiles? do you plan to render the entire country once a week, or just mark viewed tiles as dirty if they changed?
How much time does it take you to render all of Israel for a single language? I tried once with mapnik, and zoom 17 took me a couple of days. I gave up on zoom 18…

Your post has been perhaps somewhat neglected, but this is definitely one of the most important things needed to take osm-israel to the next level!

On the machine I have it takes about 12 hours to render zooms 1 to 17 (zoom 1 is obviously quite meaningless). I didn’t try zoom 18, is it really needed? I think tangogps doesn’t even show it. It’s a quad core server machine and is mostly underutilized in its cpu front. I do need to transfer the files afterwards to another machine to serve the data but that’s not a big issue, I believe.

Right now the plan is to render the whole country on a regular schedule. Depending on the length of time to run all the processing of the tiles and syncing them to the display VPS.

Suggestion to Baruch: Add an instance of OpenStreetBug to your server.

I’ll look at adding OSB POIs on top of my maps, for now let’s just get something running.

You can look at

There are maps in Hebrew, English, Russian and Arabic. I don’t think there is any Amharic data to be worth including the map, but it will be easy to add once someone bothers filling some data in there. I’m not sure about Russian either.

The point of these maps is that if there is text in the wanted language name:lang is used, if not, the name tag is used. These maps cover the whole world but are mostly rendered on demand, so expect slow browsing unless someone already watched this part of the map you try to watch.

For now the map data is old (over a month old), I’ll try to catch it up, but it takes a while and I need to script this to be automatic.

The plan is for the data to be updated about daily in an automatic way.

The site is down for maintenance, I’m reloading the data to have the newest planet file as I had a very old planet beforehand and using daily updates was too slow. It will be a day or two before the site goes back up.

I’ve already translated many country and capital cities to Hebrew so the high level map will look nicer to Hebrew speakers. English is already pretty common but some work there would be useful as well and Russia and Arabic will need work as well.

I’m going to change the rendering of non-English languages to use English as a fallback before using the original language name, this will make it a bit more useful to the international users. In this way place names that are currently in Arabic and have an English name will show up in English to Hebrew users.