If I am in the US and my browser locale is en-US, I'll get English language maps by default from Bing. Same thing if I access Bing tiles with OpenLayers.

If I change my country/region to (for example) Japan through http://www.bing.com/account/worldwide, then I'll see the entire Bing interface (including image tiles, place names, map features, UI components) etc in Japanese.

Is there a way for OpenLayers to request and render these fully translated tiles in a Bing or Google layer, based on a specific locale? I'm primarily interested in these two providers, but if this is possible with OSM or others, even better!

To be clear, I'm not asking about i18n for the OpenLayers UI compenents such as the Layer Switcher, I'm asking about the source tiles themselves.

2 Answers 2


With Bing Maps you can specify culture which is supported by Openlayers


Note you will need your own API Key.

  • Thanks, Mapperz. Looking closer at OpenLayers documentation, I see this depends on the Layer constructor, rather than some global O.L. setting. The Bing Layer has a 'culture' parameter which accepts the culture codes from your link above. As far as I can tell, Google and Google.v3 Layers don't support anything like this at all.
    – aponzani
    Sep 26, 2012 at 19:28

To request tiles from a given country, when creating the OpenLayers map the appropiate extent or center must be set.

I have never used Bing Maps, but I guess that internally the web application must do a translation from the user's locale to the center or extent of the displayed map.

As far as I know, OpenLayers does not have a function providing a translation like this. However a function doing this translation can be easily programmed. CIA's "The World Factbook" has a list of countries and its centroid coordinates. Another useful resource is "TLDs, flags and coordinates of countries".

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