[Tagging] [OpenStreetMap] #5163: paths and tracks rendering indistinguishable: your opinion?

John Baker rovastar at hotmail.com
Mon May 19 19:28:36 UTC 2014

Just to add to address these points.

a) the key is static and not relevant to what is on the screen. footpath are in the key but not paths. There are dozens of things in then rendering we cannot add them all. Just the most common.
The best solution would be a dynamic key that just displayed what is in the viewing area but don't expect this anytime soon (years to come) unless you do it yourself.
b) There are plans to make better distinction by having all ways better defined on each zoom level (currently there are only for every few zoom levels) with more realistic widths.
However this will start will major roads first but will do to tracks, paths, etc. in the end that will make it easier to tell when zoom in.

And the mapnik team don't really have anything to do with this so no need to email them.

Date: Mon, 19 May 2014 21:18:24 +0200
From: A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com
To: tagging at openstreetmap.org
CC: mapnik-team at openstreetmap.org; openstreetmap at matthijsmelissen.nl
Subject: Re: [Tagging] [OpenStreetMap] #5163: paths and tracks rendering indistinguishable: your opinion?

    On 2014-05-19 19:41, Nelson A. de
      Oliveira wrote :

    On Mon, May 19, 2014 at 2:38 PM, André Pirard
      <A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com> wrote:
      Did you make that test: asking people
        which is track or path? Where walkers and tractors would go?
      Isn't this the job of the map key?

    Strangely, I was just looking at the key when your message popped
    up.  Did you look too?





    Just like any sensible rendering like the IGN map I've shown etc,
    the key makes tracks very distinguishable from foot and more
    important, although I still maintain that tracks should be wider on
    the OSM map, as in reality.

    But if someone cares to look carefully, the key does not
      correspond to the map at all !!!

    It even looks like the opposite: smaller red south is the
    track and longer black north is the path !!!


    In consequence, my request could also be stated "make the map like
    the key (and reality)" ;-)

    But yes I know the usual answer to obviously necessary improvement
    requests: "wontfix".


    On 2014-05-19 20:02, SomeoneElse wrote :

    The IGN map doesn't differentiate between
      paths and tracks by colour, but by an extra-long dash, something
      that I don't think that osm-carto uses (but there's no technical
      reason why it couldn't).

    The answers to all of that is in the maps and keys I have shown.

    First, differentiating (only) by color is not explicit unless you
    know the colors very well.

    And not very visible when the roads are thin, see map above, that's
    why IGN's black is fine in that case.

    Second, both IGN and standard OSM mostly differentiate ways by
    realistic width, to which they add color if wide.

    Colors you need not learn -- because you have width to tell
    importance -- are only useful to follow roads more easily.


    The net result of all this is that IGN is right: tracks and paths
    should be black and tracks should be wider that paths.

    IGN makes long dashes tracks to accentuate the width difference with
    path dots because these cannot be narrower.

    OSM might use continuous tracks if long dashes are a problem.


    Extentfully yours at your request,





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