|A recognizable, commonly used short version of the main name.|
|Used on these elements|
|Status: de facto|
|Tools for this tag|
This key is set to the feature's short name, usually a shortened form of the primary name. In English, it may be an abbreviation, acronym, or initialism, or it may be a version of the name with unimportant words omitted. Shortened forms in other languages may follow different practices.
Generally speaking, names should not be abbreviated, because abbreviations are often ambiguous when taken out of context. However, in some languages such as English, there are many idiosyncratic abbreviations that a data consumer would be unable to guess based on the full name alone. Tagging these abbreviations can make it possible for a search engine to understand a common user query, help a renderer display a label that fits in the allotted space, or help navigation software announce a street name in the allotted time.
When to use
Use this key if the abbreviation is not obvious enough for a data consumer to generate it from the full name using conventional techniques, such as a lookup table of common abbreviations.
Short names are related to the concept of a reference. The two may match in many cases. However, a short name is generally better suited for display to the user, whereas a reference is less likely to have duplicates or ambiguity.
If the spelled-out name is much more obscure than the short name and should not appear in software output, put the short name in name=* and relegate the spelled-out name to alt_name=* or official_name=*. Many brand names started out as initialisms but no longer stand for anything, so tagging the historic full spelling as the main name would be pedantic.
How to map
For some kinds of features, such as the provinces of a country, there may be multiple customary sets of abbreviations but one that is preferred in OSM. Clarify the abbreviation set using source:short_name=*.