[Openstreetmap-dev] curves

Tom Carden tom at tom-carden.co.uk
Wed Jan 18 09:29:44 GMT 2006

> My experience of street network data in GIS is that it doesn't usually use
> curves at all. Everything is points and straight lines, or polylines, and
> although it looks crude at very close zooms the data is always good
> enough.

Interesting.  We can do better than that then :)

> I wonder if curves are going to add to the complexity of the applet and
> also data export, without really giving a lot of benefit in terms of
> additional data. Wouldn't point and line data be more portable into other
> formats in the future? Just a thought.

Right now, I agree.

I don't think it's worth putting much effort into writing curve software
right now. As you can see from the wiki page, it's going to be hard to
settle on the ideal curve type - what's important for the editor (speed,
ease of use) isn't important for print maps (quality, clarity) for
example.  Also, editing curves is a bit of an art form, and adding it into
the OSM editors might needlessly raise the bar for editing.

Not to mention that other things are more pressing (selecting multiple
segments for naming, and tagging streets as motorway/footpath/rail in the
applet, to name my favourite two).  Adding curves would also needlessly
raise the bar for writing clients.

I wouldn't sweat it over curves when refactoring the database - if
necessary, the modifications can be made at a later date.


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