OpenStreetMap defaults to the local or official language in each part of the world, but a significant number of places and features are also translated into other languages. In addition, multilingual names are available for features in many multilingual areas and some areas that use non-Latin scripts. Besides being localized themselves, OpenStreetMap-based software applications and frameworks often allow users to experience the map in their own language.
Serving worldwide alternate tile layers requires a lot of resources, but there are some providers:
- openstreetmap.de displays names in German where available.
There are some maps for special languages in specific areas:
- Bilingual map of Thailand (and some parts of neighboring countries)
- openstreetmap.in multilingual map of india + diary describing it
- tile.osm.be shows the names in French, Dutch and German for Belgium map
- openstreetmap.by shows the names in English, Russian, Belarusian and Belarusian Classical Orthography for Belarus map
- User diary discusses on how to render non default names using "name:xx" tag in OSM-Carto
The following services provide raster or vector tiles that contain multilingual names:
|Mapbox||MVT, PNG, JPEG||9||Demo; Mapbox GL documentation; Mapbox Streets source documentation; API documentation (advanced)|
|Skobbler||Raster||7||Use Mapcreator to customize the map to display names of places and streets in many different language combinations.|
Projects of historical interest
The Frisian language map was probably the first example of OpenStreetMap Map Internationalization (2008) but seems to be broken now. See User:Lambertus#Frisian language map (Fryske kaart)
For his GSoC project Arindam Ghosh mainly worked on Website Internationalization Ideas 2008, but had some other thoughts on map Internationalization. See Talk:GSoC Applications 2008#I18n of OSM pages and map tiles
Multilingual maps Wikipedia project was project kicked off in 2012 to set up rendering infrastructure for Wikipedia (Demo website: http://mlm.jochentopf.com). Uses tiles hosted on tile.openstreetmap.de:8002. currently offline
Before it shut down, WMF-DE's toolserver.org used to have a tile server with a separate layer for each Wikipedia language edition. The replacement tileserver on the WMF Tools Labs only supports English and German.