Tags that use Thai characters

Recently I’ve encountered several instances of tags that OSMInspector considers errors. The tags are obviously abbreviations and were meant to indicate the changwat, tambon and amphoe in which the feature is located.


Of course the tags are considered illegal because they are not in English. Also, the tags are redundant because such location (“is_in”) information can now be derived from the database. I had considered altering them to make them acceptable but took a look at the history to satisfy my curiosity about who put them there in the first place. I discovered something a bit weird; user:DoubleA deleted those tags about a year ago saying in his changeset comment: “removed obsolete tags”, source: “a basic understanding of tags and a brain”. Ignoring the derogatory comment and the fact that he neither asked permission or discussed his plan, what he did was more or less correct.

Then DoubleA was blocked and his changes reverted. Here is the text of the block message from Frederick Ramm:

There are other cases where tags appear in Thai characters, notably in the town of Omkoi and many of the buildings at Chiang Mai University.

My question to the Thai mapping community is, should we fix these issues (even if only to prevent OSMInspector from reporting errors), and if we should, how might that best be carried out?
Or maybe we should just forget about it and move on to other more important work.


is_in tags won’t become obsolete until we actually acquire accurate boundary data. On the other hand, addr tags may be more appropriate for some POI types (the ones in question can be translated to addr:subdistrict, addr:district & addr:province). Which should it be?

Sorry, I was under the impression that the is_in data could be accurately derived already.

IMO the tags should be replaced with the equivalent ones you suggested. I must admit that don’t usually use those particular tags myself. I use addr:city=Chiang Mai, which is erroneous because it really should be addr:city:en=Chiang Mai. I am moving to a new place in หมู่ 4, Tambon Nong Hoi and Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai. The Province is also Chiang Mai.

Based on examples in the Addresses table in the Thailand Project Wiki (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Thailand#Addresses) and ignoring the street and housenumber, my address is then:

addr:hamlet=หมู่ 4


It’s all very confusing to an outsider. I’m afraid I have an awful lot of correcting to do

While technically it is correct to have UTF-8 values as both key and value, there is a consent in OSM to have keys as lowercase ascii. In case keywords are used it should be British English.

For this specific: I will ask Tom when I met him today what is his feeling about that address tagging which was added years ago.

addr:district sounds much more correct. As we’re in Thailand the value certainly is something in Thai script…

BTW: I have the feeling we had this discussion already some time ago…

I believe the discussion we had involved using name:en for English names along with the standard name tag in Thai for street names.

But the present conversation made me aware of the fact that I have been using address:city rather than address:district to tag places in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is after all a city by most definitions. My usage of that tag was done automatically. I will make sure to use the :en qualifier in the future on the English tag for Chiang Mai and use address:district= เชียงใหม่ for the Thai version.

Just forgot: Tom is fine to have the tags replaced by something more suitable. Back that time he did not want to waste information contained on the signs.

Is the suggestion of Paul agreed by everyone?

Fine with me. Can you automate this change? And if so, can you share the details?