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Local versus international/english name of places  XML
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luftikus143



Joined: 10/05/2006 09:46:59
Messages: 9
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Hi there,

quick question: I don't really see how you deal with the "language" used for the name places (field "name"). I myself always asked myself is the name should be the local version or the english/international one. So is it:
Genève
or
Geneva?

In your list you have Geneva, but you have Canton de Genève. So, there is a kind of discrepancy, heterogenity.

I'd say that normally you use the local names for the primary name field, and then mention in the next field other versions too. Should this always be like that? And should these cases like the one mentioned above be corrected then?
Anonymous



What about places with coofficial languages?
Say, Donostia / San Sebastián.
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 4271
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The userinterface of geonames is currently only English, but it is the goal of geonames to display the name in the language of the user.

Here some examples (only place name and country name are translated):
Geneva for an English user :
http://www.geonames.org/search.html?q=genf&lang=en
Geneva for a German user :
http://www.geonames.org/search.html?q=genf&lang=de
Geneva for a French user :
http://www.geonames.org/search.html?q=genf&lang=fr

Or here for San Sebastian :
http://www.geonames.org/search.html?q=Donostia&lang=eu
http://www.geonames.org/search.html?q=Donostia&lang=en
http://www.geonames.org/search.html?q=Donostia&lang=es


The same is valid for the webservices, the place name search takes a lang parameter to specify the language.
http://www.geonames.org/export/geonames-search.html


If you edit a name on the userinterface it is best practice to enter the international/English name in the main edit window and enter all other languages with the corresponding language code in the alternate name form. It is could to enter the English name also in the alternate name form with the 'en' language code.

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luftikus143



Joined: 10/05/2006 09:46:59
Messages: 9
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Ok. I wasn't so much envisaging the interface, but more the database (which I downloaded). Normally, you'd find a single column for a place name; or you'd find more, with local/international correspondancies to the name, e.g. Geneva - Genf - Geneve.

If it's only one single column, than the answer to my question seems, that it should be the international name which should appear, e.g. Geneva.

If there are more than noe fields, than it still should be the international one, but local/french/german/you-name-it version can be added, too.

I just repeat what I thought I had understand from your message, to be clear about it.
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 4271
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The international names are stored in a second database table with the geonameId refering to the main table. You find them in the file alternateNames.zip in the dump directory :

http://download.geonames.org/export/dump/

The tab seperated csv file has the structure :
geonameId, language code and name

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agussman



Joined: 25/05/2006 21:20:32
Messages: 2
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I'm a bit confused as to the difference between the data in alternateNames.zip and the comma separated names in the alternate names field of allCountries.zip. What is the difference between the two?

It seems the use of an alternateNames table with a fkey to allCountries would be a good way of handling multiple synonyms for a place name.

Thanks,
Aaron
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marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 4271
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Hi Aaron

You are perfectly right. The comma separated names are redundant to the alternateNames.zip. If you use the latter you can drop the former.

Marc

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