[Tagging] Named junctions

John Willis johnw at mac.com
Thu Nov 5 22:47:46 UTC 2015

> On Nov 6, 2015, at 1:09 AM, Eugene Alvin Villar <seav80 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'd suggest to use a node tagged 
> place=junction
> with name=* or ref=*
> for this. What do you think?

From what I remember - in Korea they name junctions, and in Japan they actually name the signals themselves. 
I know that sounds like the same thing, but people to speak and refer to the Signal at the junction, and the name is on the signal, and the iconography used is the signal icon. As there are almost no street names in Japan on tertiary roads and below, spatial navigation is done through counting *unnamed* signals and occasionally using named signals.

The big problem traffic_signals_area 
was trying to solve is the over-rendering of signal icons. 

Billboards, pamphlets, and now websites use static images of maps with access directions and simplified maps that show how many signals you have to drive through before turning and reaching a destination from a known landmark (highway exit, train station). 

Here is the access map for a very large park. 


Note the line of signals in a row. Those are there to be counted. 

Because of Japan's very old and extremely convoluted road network, it is usually not obvious where to turn - so people not using GPS directions (actually using a *map*) Rely **very heavily** on accurate and consistent placement of street light icons. And OSM is totally broken in this regard. Every node gets an icon. Depending on the zoom level, there is 0-1-2-3-4 or more icons when just **one** should be rendered. The signal icon is more important that almost all place names. 

This is something all the Japanese paper maps and online maps follow, and Apple/Google also had to add all the icons properly to be useful *as a map* in Japan. 

Google Maps of the signals in a row. Note 1 named signal has a name box that doesn't cover the road. 


OSM has no rendered icons. 
It has a label for the lights rendered, but no icons. 

Next zoom level - label disappears. So no signals, no labels. Ugh.  

Now icons - but two of them, with label. 

Next, 4 icons - no label

Finally, at z19, I get 4 icons and a label together.

What a horrible job of rendering a single icon with a single label! 

This is an ****unacceptable situation****  for the Map in Japan. It fundamentally breaks using the map for road navigation for many many map users. and since every other map is better at this fundamental necessity of Japanese maps, it basically makes OSM an unusable choice in Japan (for spatial map usage while driving) and seem unfinished. 

Traffic_signals_area was an attempt to solve this, but as this isn't an issue in Europe, it was ignored.


Labeling the signal area is just icing on the cake of removing all the unneeded icons cluttering the map. 
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