[Tagging] Rendering of individual power lines in residential areas on default osm-carto

johnw johnw at mac.com
Thu Mar 12 02:21:30 UTC 2015

I really dislike strong black renderings for power lines, if they are rendered at all. 

I opened a ticket in which I was told it was my fault for thinking it it was a bad idea and to stop complaining or claiming persecution (which was really really weird). Others mentioned that the stylesheet may be updated in the future. Flexibility of the stylesheet is a must to adapt to local conditions and labeling customs,  in the same way the map accommodates languages other than English. 


In OSM, so many things man made, especially ways, go from light colors (local roads) to brighter colors (Tollways, trunk roads) to how importance. Black lines are walls and barriers of some kind - embankments, bridge casings, retaining walls, or a mode of transportation, aerialways or the like. 

Then, for some bizarre reason, there are black power lines. You can see the towers, but the lines are not a barrier to movement, not a (human) transportation method, and look like retaining walls over the road. 

They should not be rendered in -carto at all, or at best a very light grey line - anything but a solid black wall/areialway running across/over streets and hillsides, train lines, and whatnot when they serve no transportation purpose nor offer any barrier. 

it is a direct conflict to the stylesheet. 


Having the trunk lines rendered is a big negative, though the towers are visible landmarks. the local lines are less important than hedges or walls. they are background noise. 

There are so many neighboorhood wires here in Japan that every neighborhood would like a plate of black spaghetti. The amount of wires, even in rural areas, is surprising. In suburban areas, the mess would be catastrophic.

rural https://www.flickr.com/photos/javbw/11091291246/in/set-72157638113676925 <https://www.flickr.com/photos/javbw/11091291246/in/set-72157638113676925>  

suburban https://www.flickr.com/photos/javbw/11091343673/in/set-72157638113676925 <https://www.flickr.com/photos/javbw/11091343673/in/set-72157638113676925> 

and, when combined with other rendering choices, the problem is compounded.

In certain countries (such as the one I am in) the thick black line has a single purpose - private train lines. The zebra striped lines -carto uses are for national lines only (JR lines in Japan), and the thick black lines are for private railways (such as most of the Tokyo subway system) that run across the country. Two of the three train lines in my city should be black lines. So thick black trunk lines makes it look like there are train lines all over my province that don’t exist, which is a real detriment to the OSM/-carto render in Japan. adding neighborhood lines would be even worse. 

This system of labeling was adopted in Japan to more easily differentiate the lines and systems sometime between 1945 and 1965, as I have official city maps for my area from 1921, 1945, 1965, and 2007.  The 1965 map uses the labeling all Japanese maps and other websites use now, which is not possible to implement currently in -carto. This makes the map the odd-man-out and much more difficult to orient yourself on at important city-wide zoom levels, and confusing in areas where different train lines meet. 

The inability to properly render train lines in a manner used the by local populations *around the world* (not just for me and my little area, as was claimed) and using the zebra stripe for all standard train lines is a detriment to the map. coupled with the unnecessary prominence of the power lines,  these two issues create a very bad combination in some places, though it is particularly bad in Japan.  


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