Language/charset used in cards


I’m quite new to OSM and I’m not sure if this is the correct forum for my question, so please excuse me if not…

I’m looking on China cards on direct on, but my problem is that all road names etc are written with Chinese letters, so it is not readable for me as an European. Is there a posibility that the intormation is written with arabic letters instead of Chinese? If yes, where can I configure this?

Thank you in advice of your answers.

I don’t understand what you mean by “cards”. Do you mean Roman, rather than Arabic letter? Arabic letters are going to be difficult as few people encode in Arabic, even in Arabic speaking countries, and I doubt there is a standard transliteration of Chinese characters into Arabic script.

The standard layer on is there for the benefit of mappers, not tourists and uses the primary name, which should be the name as it appears on street name signs in the country in question.

The cycle and transport layers prefer name:en, were present, although, in China, it is more likely to be pinyin than English, e.g jie, rather than Avenue…

There is, or was a map rendering, which overlay a plain map with labels selected according to a user specified sequence of preferences.

Note that the policy is not to transliterate on the map itself. That should be done by the map display application. China is possibly special, in that a large number seem to have been transliterated. I’m not sure if that is blind transliteration, or accounts for regional languages and alternative pronunciations of the characters. If minor places in China were mapped in detail, you would not expect there to be translations. It would be wrong for someone to armchair map pinyin names, even though I rather suspect that has happened.

China is also unusual in that it is technically illegal to map there without a government licence.

Also note that openstreetmap;org is not a tourist map server. It is there to assist people contributing to the map and also to demonstrate what is possible.

@hadw card/cards is a frequent (automatic) mistranslation from slavic languages of a term which means map.

The answer is: no the main map displays the name tag which should be in the local tongue using the typical character set in use locally. The question is asked quite frequently and there are many much more detailed answers as to why this is the case : for instance take a look on gives some examples of projects to produce map renderings for particular consumer languages, but they all seem to have either gone away, or only cover a small area around the primary country for the language.

That suggests, to me, that no-one has come up with a business plan that would support running a server, covering the whole world, and that would target users of a single language. Even nationalism doesn’t extend much beyond borders, once money comes into play.

Try the cycle map layer on - that has names you will be able to read on it.

Other options exist - from memory “English names” was a design criterion for Gnome Maps , for example.