[openstreetmap-website] Query features button should have breadcrumb tooltip at all zoom levels (#848)

Minh Nguyễn notifications at github.com
Mon Dec 1 07:33:18 UTC 2014

OSM should somehow show you the country, region, and city you’re currently zoomed in on. It’d be especially useful when you follow a link and have no idea what part of the map it’s pointing to.

Bing and Multimap provide this context as a dynamic “breadcrumb” at the top of the map. Nominatim is also capable of providing data for a breadcrumb, but the comments in #85 indicate that querying every time you pan or zoom would put too much strain on the geocoder. We should consider a less expensive way to provide context, such as:

1. Make the breadcrumb perhaps less specific than it could be, and only update it after panning a few screens over.
1. Display a specific breadcrumb, but as soon as you pan or zoom, change the wording to “_X_ km from _Y_, _Z_” and show a Refresh button.
1. When clicking or mousing over the “Query features” button, briefly show the current breadcrumb. The “Query features” button is currently disabled at z13 and below, so this would give the button something to do when you’ve zoomed too far out to perform an overpass query. We could call the button “What am I looking at?”
1. Include a breadcrumb in the Legend or Share panels. (The Legend panel could have entries for the different administrative boundary patterns, each one labeled with the administrative boundary you’re currently in.)

The lack of a breadcrumb is sometimes cited on the talk-us mailing list as one reason to insist that `ref`s on state highways indicate the region unambiguously (e.g., “FL 123” in Florida), even where local usage differs (like “SR 123” in some U.S. states). But that tagging rule wouldn’t really solve the problem it’s supposed to. For example, if you’re looking at a city’s central business district or deep within a national park, there may be no state highway within view to tell you which state you’re in. It also isn’t universally agreed that the `ref` of a highway way should be responsible for providing this information.

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