Worlwide maps

Hi everybody.
I definitely love what is done with OSM.
However, today I downloaded the japanese map and simply loved it until I found that most of the name are written in chinese pinyin.
For instance, instead of reading Ueno you can read shangye. (This is an example, I didn’t seriously check for this place).
However, is there any criteria so people use a specific language?
I’d love to have each place name written using the place language, perhaps it’s more effort but, traveling around, it’s always easier to show the people the name they understand instead of the name we believe we understand.

At least, english should be set as the default language.
When I read what chinese people have done with the japanese maps, I am impressed and grateful, however, it’s hardly usable as is.



Not sure if that answers your question, but names in japan should be in japanese, names in china in chinese and names in austria in german. Additionally it’s possible to add a name in a different language with i.e. “name:en”=* (where “en” is an ISO 639-Code).

If I understood you correctly name=* in japan are in chinese? That should get changed.

P.S.: You chose the wrong section. This is about the forum itself, Questions and Answers would have been better. I guess an moderator will move it soon.

Ok, moderator, please move to the adequate sub forum.
Yes, you understood right. I chooses to download the japanese maps but instead the names are partially in japanese but mostly in chinese.
I can promise you this is really hard to work this way.

I can understand that chinese/japanese caracters may be hard to enter. For this case, I even don’t know what to expect.
English conversion of 台東 might be Taitou or Taitô. I’d definitely love to have the chinese/japanese caracters but understand others might not.
Can we add two languages in one map and only display the one we like (on Garmin Zumo 660)?


Edit: After checking www.openstreetmap.org, I found that there, the maps name are correctly spelled. Only the file I could download from garmin.openstreetmap.nl are not ok.

I will try to export japan from openstreetmap.org, but I know it’s gonna be painful.

Edit2: I’ve been back to the tile selection from garmin.openstreetmap.nl in order to see if it was only the japan map set (all japan tile compound together) that were faulty. However, I requested the creation of two tiles in center Tokyo and I still have the same chinese text everywhere.
I’ve been to the former page www.openstreetmap.org and couldn’t find this problem. Perhaps it’s time to refresh the maps on garmin.openstreetmap.nl.
Do you have a procedure so I can create a .gmap file from www.openstreetmap.org ? Something that I can script or something similar. I am on OS X.

If you’re are referring to the Garmin maps from garmin.openstreetmap.nl, then this post should be in the “Garmin maps” section of this forum.

You could try some other OSM Garmin maps, see this list: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin/Download
It has a few options for maps of Japan, some with Japanese names. Though don’t know if any are available in Mac OS versions.

If you want to make some Garmin maps yourself, start with this guide: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin
Probably best to use Mkgmap, this is a Java program, so should run on Mac OS X.
Then I think you will need Gmapibuilder to convert it to gmap format. http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Gmapibuilder

The focus of the maps on garmin.openstreetmap.nl is on an international audience, most of whom won’t be able to read Japanese, Cyrillic, Thai, Chinese, Turkish etc. So the maps on garmin.osm.nl include the International (name:int) or English (name:en) translation as much as possible and uses a custom application to translate Cyrillic to Roman character set (contributions to translate other languages are welcome!).

If you want a map in the local language then you’ll need to find another map provider or build your own, as Vclaw explains.

Thank for the information. However, the real problem with japanese maps, at the the one I downloaded from here, is that the place’s name are mostly in chinese.
I 100% agree and like the international english naming. However, when you want to look for place such as Osaka, if it’s written Daban, you may be confused.
Beside this exceptional case,I love osm and english names.


Japanese place names in Chinese? Hmm, that sounds like someone tried to be funny and mess with the name:int or name:en nametag, perhaps a result of the recent tensions between China and Japan?

Strange, this node seems perfectly ok.
According to Nominatim there is no reference to Daban in Japan.

I have no idea why Osaka would be named Daban in my maps…

Please, check this node (a screen shot on my mac)

Except for the Chuo expressway, every name are using chinese pinyin.
As I mentioned earlier, in the former openstreemap website it’s ok. Only the garmin.openstreetmap file seems to have that problem.
Perhaps the maps contains multiple name and the gmap file is made using the chinese name…

I used Osaka as an example, I didn’t checked this node.


It looks like Japanese is converted to Chinese somehow. I suspect translit and will contact it’s maintainer.

Chuo Expressway is used as expected because it has a name:en tag, I assume the other names don’t have a name:en alternative available.

BTW: the map on garmin.openstreetmap.nl is simply the same map as on www.openstreetmap.org. What you see on this map does not necessarily match what you get in the Garmin maps, it is just a visual tool for tile selection.

So the order followed when parsing language tags are en, then chinese seems to be before japanese. Am I right?
I know only very few may consider this region so please beg my pardon for being asking a lot for this region.


Unfortunately, no. In short:

OSM Planet → split into tiles → translit → Mkgmap → Garmin tile

I’ve investigated further and I’m pretty confident that the translit application is to blame here, it’s supposed to (among other things as explained earlier) add a ‘name:zh_py’ tag (Chinese Pinyin) to Chinese roads/nodes but apparently does this also for Japanese roads/nodes. This is clearly a bug.

Finally, because it require a lot of work and I can not share it once it’s done. I went for these maps:


They may be somewhat outdated but they definitely are more usable.

Thank for the good job.

Sorry to zombie resurrect this, but I just ran into this problem.

Most of the Japanese place names are in English transliteration of Chinese, which is very unhelpful for locating places. I’ve checked both the osm generic map for garmin download, as well as the osm generic new map.

Is this (possibly) a result of the fact that a few of the tiles overlap China?

@dmizer, please note that Lambertus has been very irresponsive for over a year. Please use one of the other Garmin maps based on OSM.

Thank you.

I’ve tried all of the other Japan maps available and they all have pretty glaring issues.

As an aside, I downloaded the maps without the overlapping Chinese tiles and still have Chinese all over the map. So downloading the Japan map without any tiles that include China still gives Chinese on the map. Which is unfortunate because that map is really the best available otherwise.

Back to square one. Thanks anyway.

Note that this could be a transliteration artifact.
Typically, Garmin maps are built for a Western alphabet, so names in a different alphabet get somewhere transliterated. I do not know the details about that process, whether it is built into the mkgmap program or a feature of Java. I see transliteration problems in the map of Thailand where vocals are placed in the wrong position.
With Japanese, the Kanji are actually Chinese characters, so this fact could lead to transliterating them as if they represented Chinese words.
That could be an explanation of the things you see, but I am not sure if my idea is correct.