Mapping Jerusalem

Hello all,
I’m new to this project, and would like to map Jerusalem.
I hope I got tags etc right.

There’s one problem I’m not quite sure on how to approach: Jerusalem is a multicultural city with Hebrew and Arabic speaking residents, and plenty of English-Speaking guests and tourists.
I’ve noticed much of East Jerusalem is mapped in Arabic, and West-Jerusalem in Hebrew.

How about making the street names in English + Hebrew/Arabic.
For instance Hillel Street will be
Hillel הלל
And Salah A-Din street will be
Salah A-Din صلاح الدين

Has anyone encountered other problems in mapping Jerusalem?


Personally, I don’t like having mixed values in the same tag.

The standard is that the “name” tag would be the language that’s spoken by the locals.

That means that in “Western Jerusalem” it would be Hebrew,
and in “Eastern Jerusalem” it would be Arabic.

Of course that doesn’t prevent using “name:he” and “name:ar” tags anywhere.
I’d like to ask one thing, however, and it is to always add “name:en” with English letters.

You should remember that Mapnik is not the only renderer, and that you shouldn’t “edit for the renderer”

The map can be rendered using any “name:*” tag.
Using mixed values could cause the English map to have names like: “Hillel ???” (no Hebrew characters…)
or “Salah A-Din ??? ???” (no Arabic characters…)


I think you have pretty resolvable yahoo satellite imagery of Jerusalem, which OSM is allowed to use.
As for the ‘name’ tag having multiple languages in it, I rather dislike the idea.
It is, however, the custom in some places. I’m mostly aware of Brussels, note how everything is “french name - dutch name”:

wouldn’t English renderers see only question marks for both east and west Jerusalem?
isn’t it better to see
Hillel ???



What about a nice little street with a name like “הצייר יעקב שטיינהרט”?

Renderers know how to render a map using any name:* tag.

Brussels is a bi-lingual city, but both names are written using Latin characters.
I don’t believe we should use 3 (Latin, Hebrew, Arabic) different kind of letters for all the named entities of Jerusalem.


Hi Haketem and welcome to the OSM Project!

on a long distance there will be maps that are fitting the language of the viewer.
So there will be a map for all Russian visitors of Jerualem and there will be map for all Arabic speaking visitors.
This would make several languages in one name tag needless. I can just imagine how a tiny street looks like if you write the streetname in two or three languages.

On the other side its very important to keep the map created in a equal level.
The naming convention says that the name tag should be the local name in the local language.

I’m actually not understanding why the Palestine mappers are naming there streets in English and sometimes in Arabic.

So I’m suggesting to keep the Israeli site in Hebrew only. No mixing of languages.

I think it would be great to see Israeli mappers and Palestine mappers working together to get Jerusalem mapped.
The press would jump on a headline like this: “Freedom Mapper are getting Jerusalem mapped” :slight_smile:

As mentioned by others already, the name tag is generally used in the “local” language. i.e. the language you would find on street signs. name:he name:ar and name:en can then be used to indicate the other languages.

People from Wikipedia have just set up a server that renders OSM data for the whole world for all of the 200 odd languages that wikipedia currently support. Once this settles in, hopefully it will give a huge boost to the language specific name tags and truly localised maps can be produced.

Some links to these are

and for a list of all the different laguages that are rendered.

Where there doesn’t exist a name tag for the specific language, it will fall back to the generic name, but hopefully more and more name: tags will be added in the future.

As the server has only been setup a couple of days ago, it doesn’t have cached tiles for most places/languages yet, so unfortunately it is still very slow until more people have used it and tiles can be served from cache rather than needing to be rendered on the fly.

Hello everyone,
Thanks for all the welcoming. :slight_smile:

I’m working on a non-profit project which requires a map of Jerusalem for showing layered data (Cultural, historical, etc).
The projects involves setting up a network of touch-screens in different cultural venues, using a web-based application for navigating through the city and through layers of information.
Also, I would like to show suggested routes (“Siurim”).
In addition I wish to print maps of different areas with different themes (Cultural maps, at first)

I was wondering if any of you could advice about:

  1. Permission to use’s maps/system for web and print
  2. Displaying map information (OpenLayers? any other suggestions? Needs to be adjustable (API?) to the touch-screen application, and to display Hebrew/English/Arabic)

If it’s technically possible to do so, it could be a boost to open-source mapping in Israel, and I promise to host a mapping party. :slight_smile:


This sounds both interesting and very useful to OSM at Israel.

See Legal FAQ.
Ask questions on legal-talk.

The license is Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0. There is a plan to move to Open Database License.

Basically, I believe you must credit in your online/printed maps; And you must release any changes you make to the map data under the same license.
To avoid releasing your extra data under the osm license, you have a possibility keep your data apart from the osm data, and to generate maps from several distinct sources.

ok, several things:
a. If you want to be able to choose a specific language, you should be interested in the idea of having name:xx for each language, and not name=“hebrew - arabic - english”. That will make life much more easier.
b. Regarding OpenLayers: I’m no expert, but if you want anything that resembles what you see in, that seems the way to go.
c. I’ve seen somewhere a java application which works on osm data. It displays the data in 3d, like google earth. It also shows buildings and POI.

Thanks for the links! License looks pretty good - information is for spreading, copyright is stupid.
and I guess time to see what OpenLayers can do :slight_smile:

Oh and another question - how should I I tag community centres (Matnasim)?


Hi Haketem,

looks like openstreetmap is exactly what you have searched for.

What do you mean with touch-screen application? On mobile phones ?4

You should take a look on the website of cloudmade: and specially on the “edit map style”.
Actually I’m not aware of the licenses of Cloudmade but they are pushing OSM very much with Applications and APIs.

Another interesting link for people wanting to print maps based on OSM: (I searched now for 45 min. and its only for france)

Hey Mr,
Not mobile phones, but actual computer screens.
Thanks for the links, mapsomatic is very cool!
Looks like OSM is exactly what I’ve been looking for, I’ll let you know if I can integrate it with the App we’re building.


Here is the link to the 3D Version of the Openstreetmap.
Its just available for Germany at the moment.

Try this if you just want to the result: is so awesome!

Hi haketem, welcome in the fool world of OSM :smiley:

As others told you all you want to do is perfectly fitting the OSM purouse :smiley:
I would suggest you to contact Mikel Maron from the OSM Foundation board. Hi will be very supportive for your project.