Automated edits/Math1985/UK Shop Names

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I am proposing to unify the names of chain shops within the UK. In particular, I am proposing the following changes.

  • 99p Store -> 99p Stores
  • Costcutters -> Costcutter
  • Gregg's -> Greggs
  • Jewsons -> Jewson (shop=doityourself/shop=trade/shop=hardware only)
  • Ladbrooks -> Ladbrokes
  • Morrison's -> Morrisons
  • Rymans -> Ryman
  • Sainsbury -> Sainsbury's
  • Sainsburys -> Sainsbury's
  • Sainsburys Local -> Sainsbury's Local
  • Thompson -> Thomson (shop=travel_agency only)
  • Timpsons -> Timpson (shop=shoe_repair and craft=shoemaker only)

An overview of affected shops can be found through Overpass Turbo: Please don't forget to hit 'Run'.


Many chain stores are referred to by multiple (similar) names. Having only one form makes life easier for both mappers and data consumers.

I realize that automatic edits are often undesirable. When badly executed, automatic edits can easily introduce additional mistakes, especially when executed by mappers without local knowledge. Automatic edits can also have undesired side-effects. Moreover, automatic edits might offend mappers who do not agree with the edit.

In particular, I recognize that it is important that:

  1. automatic edits have wide community support;
  2. automatic edits do not introduce mistakes or otherwise destroy the work of local mappers.

I believe the second requirement is satisfied, as most chains are well-known and it's unlikely that other shops exist that are not part of the chain with the same name. I will also verify the tags manually to be extra sure.

To satisfy the first requirement, I will invite the community to express any oppositions.

In addition, I will take the following measurements to minimize any risks:

  • I will follow, of course, the Automated_Edits_code_of_conduct and the Mechanical Edit Policy.
  • I have created the current page to document this automatic edit.
  • I will discuss this edit at the talk-gb mailing list (link).
  • Per the DWG, I will not invite list members to vote on this proposal.
  • I will allow list members to register opposition.

Technical implementation

  • I will use JOSM combined with Overpass.
  • I will download the data from Overpass, manually select the UK only, and run the name="SHOPNAME" shop=* filter. Then I will manually go through the list and remove the elements from the selection of which the tags and location make clear that the element is no part of the retail chain. In case of doubt, I will remove the element from the selection. Subsequentially, I will change the name tag, and upload the data.
  • I will do this edit within one changeset with tags "mechanical=yes" and "comment=Use consistent name for UK chain stores, see".
  • This is expected to be a one-time edit. If the need arises for a new round of mass renaming, this will be discussed with the community again.
  • I will allow users to opt-out. If users want me not to touch some objects, they can leave the relevant object id's on this page, or contact me by e-mail.

Oppositions and opt-out

If you oppose this proposal, or if you want to register particular areas or objects for an opt-out, please mention so in this section.


Voting has become obsolete per this DWG decision.

Note that the votes below refer to an earlier version of this proposal.

Voting open date: 31 October 2014. Voting closing date: 14 November 2014. Voting stopped at 2 November 2014. The voting period can get extended in case less than 8 votes are cast.

Please use {{vote|yes}} or {{vote|no}} and give your reasons if you reject the proposal. In case of partial approve/reject, please indicate clearly which of the proposed changes you reject. Use ~~~~ to sign your user name & date.

Voting on a mass edit is highly irregular, potentially destructive and sets a very, very dangerous precedent.
By voting on this mass edit you are agreeing that any mass edit in the future can be sanctioned just by a handful of wiki votes, which could of course be easily rigged.
please do not sanction this by voting
Chillly (talk) 21:07, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Math1985 (talk) 22:44, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Wizrares (talk) 06:41, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
good catch Sdoerr! Is that your reason for opposing, or is that just an added comment?7
That was the sole reason for opposing. Sdoerr (talk) 09:27, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for catching, I will remove this change from the proposal. Math1985 (talk) 20:02, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, Aldi seem to like to call themselves ALDI: Sdoerr (talk) 22:52, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
You've linked to a German website. This is about UK shop names - please be careful, we have no guarantee that the company uses consistent branding in different places. (Or even if it's technically the same company...!) On the company's UK website they are kinda inconsistent... --Danstowell (talk) 10:59, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
And Spar seems to be SPAR: Sdoerr (talk) 22:56, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. BUT Sdoerr is correct that Jewsons should be Jewson - sorry I didn't spot that when I went through the list first time. --Danstowell (talk) 08:38, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Although I think the more 'controversial' names marked with an * should at least be in seperate edit. For example changing JD Sports into JD is perhaps not obvious, as this appears more like relatively recent rebranding rather than solidifying similar names. I'm not sure about ASDA->Asda (I'd actually change it the other way to ASDA). So I think some rational is needed for changes that are not just fixing obvious wrongness. Also may be the numbers of expected nodes/ways/relations to be changed for each line item would be good to. Robbieonsea (talk) 10:06, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. I think this is worth a shot. But be nice if you produce a map of all the changes so can have a quick sense check once done, thanks. --Hawkeyes (talk) 12:12, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal.fitzsimons (talk) 13:21, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Lsces (talk) 14:31, 1 November 2014 (UTC) Blindly making things fit someone’s preferred pattern will always be wrong which is why mechanical edits should be kept to situations where a tag name has been redefined rather than something which has no mechanism to protect REAL tag values that don't match the current preference. This should be handled in the first instance by messages to the editor who entered the data allowing them to identify where a local variation on the ground IS required!

Whilst in principle I agree with correcting error and unifying names, freedom for the mapper to map what they see needs to be respected.

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. lxbarth (talk) 15:09, 2 November 2014 (UTC) - awesome cleanup effort. Spellings seem well researched and not arbitrary. Nothing wrong in principle with standardizing spelling through a mechanical edit.

In this case I believe that too many of the proposed changes are to change names away from what actually appears on the signs. This is likely to result in many simply being reverted to what does appear and the more correct name will be added for new nodes.

You appear to be trying to change the acronyms that appear on the actual signs to be anglicised words, Robbieonsea has already mentioned ASDA, which is an acromym for Associated Dairies and if changed it should be changed to ASDA.

Again ALDI (Albrecht Diskont) is used on the signs, so if any change is made Aldi should be changed to ALDI.

SPAR (Door Eendrachtig Samenwerken Profiteren Allen Regelmati), full name is DE-SPAR. also use the capitalised for on their stores so if anything Spar should be changed to SPAR.

LIDL stores actually use LiDL on their signs, so chaning to Lidl is equally wrong.

As Sdoerr pointed out Jewson should be used, not sure why you have put an s on the end, have never heard it called Jewsons.

(talk) 17:34, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Do you believe streets named should be changed from “High Street” to “HIGH STREET” if the name sign is capitalised? If not, what do see the difference as?--Andrew (talk) 17:56, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Maplin (old signs only), Jones Bootmaker, Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge, Greggs, Primark, Max Spielmann also use uppercase shop signs. On the other hands, shops and restaurants like Farmfoods and Wagamama don't use uppercase at all, not even for the first letter. I think these examples show that following capitalization as on the signs in general is not a good idea - at least hardly any mappers follow capitalization as on the signs for these examples. Capitalization for LIDL, ALDI, SPAR, ASDA etc. can be discussed, but I think capitalization on the sign alone is not sufficient as an argument. Math1985 (talk)
Its not about capitalisation, LIDL, ALDI, SPAR, ASDA are acronyms, changing them would be the equivalent of changing BBC to Bbc (talk) 17:34, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
trigpoint no, words like "Asda" are acronyms not initialisms, whereas "BBC" is an initialism. "BBC" can't be pronounced as a word; but "UKIP" can which is why many newspaper style guides write it as "Ukip". The same is true for Asda, Aldi, Lidl. If you go to the Asda homepage you can see they themselves say "Asda" in many places on their homepage. The same is true for Aldi's homepage and Lidl's homepage. It looks like SPAR are more insistent about the capitals. But I think these examples show that capitalisation is NOT required simply whenever the word originated from initials, even if there are capitals on the logo. --Danstowell (talk) 10:53, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree in principle with this proposal. However, I can see that there are quite a few entries that remain controversial. I would suggest that the list be split into at least two parts to be discussed (and if necessary voted on) separately. Lets start of with the changes that are not controversial and get them out of the way, while we discuss the details (and agree underlying principles) for some of the others. (Whether it should be "Aldi" or "ALDI", I think we should come to a conclusion, and then try to be consistent in or mapping. A mechanical edit will help us get to a better state once a decision has been reached.) Rjw62 (talk) 18:16, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
To find out which changes are controversial, I need by definition opinions of other contributors. Which of my changes do you think are controversial? Math1985 (talk) 20:02, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree in principle with this proposal. I would like to see a clear statement of principle showing how the exact spelling should be selected. I suggest it is based on the way the company is normally known in normal script, i.e. not based on text components of graphically designed logos. IMHO Asda should be Asda not ASDA. Check out their website - the capitalised version is only used for trademarked combinations e.g. ASDA Mobile. Everywhere else (99% of occurrences) they call themselves Asda. --Csmale (talk) 23:14, 1 November 2014 (UTC)


Matthijs Melissen,