Thu 18 May 2017

Rendering/Cartography discussion

Nick Whitelegg Public Seen by 374

A thread to specifically discuss rendering and cartography issues for the UK map.


Nick Whitelegg Thu 18 May 2017

Hello everyone,

This thread is specifically for rendering and cartography aspects of the UK map.

Some initial ideas have been contributed by myself and Dudley Ibbett, it would be great to see some more discussion here.

My own thoughts:

  • Varying map styles at different zoom levels, much like the OS d and to provide familiarity to existing users of UK maps. e.g. road-atlas style with elevation shading at high zoom levels; Landranger style around zoom levels 13 and 14; and Explorer style at high zoom levels.

  • Higher zoom levels should have contours. Would it be OK to use the OS height data for this if stored in a separate database? (composited by the renderer)

  • Should we allow users to choose rendering style? Maybe turn contours (etc) on and off? Have a few pre-defined styles for walkers and other groups?

Some more specific rendering ideas:
- stiles and gates at higher zoom levels
- different types of field boundary rendered differently (as on Andy Townsend's map map.atownsend.me.uk)

  • Show permissive bridleways and footpaths in a less intense version of the RoW colours, perhaps magenta? Early versions of Freemap did this; OS use orange but this maybe clashes with contours. Cycle paths in blue?

  • Pubs, teashops and restaurants with icons?

Ideas from Dudley Ibbett:

"Having just had someone delete a service=driveway tag arguing that the OSM site display footways at a zoom level before this I would suggest taking a careful look at when highways appear so driveways link up to footways at all relevant zoom levels."

"One big advantage of OSM is the detail you can put in when navigating through farmyards and residential areas (ex farmyards). OS maps lacks this and quite often this isn’t accurate. Ensuring this information is clearly rendered would be good."

"I would advocate trying to render sidewalks "(i.e. pavements) "particularly along main roads in rural areas. It is useful to know about these when walking in the countryside and OS doesn’t do this."

"Finding a “soft” way to map the random “natural” tree rows that appear along rivers, streams & railway lines would be good."

Please feel free to contribute your own thoughts.

For the actual stylesheet maybe it's worth starting with the "old style" OSM rendering for road colours, etc, as that was originally designed to be UK-centric.

Do we want icons for urban features and a large amount of urban data as in the main OSM map, or do we want to go more for the typical "OS" user i.e. the motorist, walker or cyclist?i.e. are we aiming for "OS style maps" but with additional features for these specific user groups?



Alex McKee Fri 19 May 2017

Agree regarding sidewalks, but doing this right will be quite tricky.

I think keeping it simple and making one map for the present and then maybe adding an urban layer and rural layer might be a good idea. Urban areas may well benefit from higher available zoom levels and more detail while rural areas will need different kinds of features prioritised. So we could stop at zoom level 15 for the time being with a more general map and develop a z20 urban layer and z18 rural layer later.