[Tagging] Basic cartography features missing, why?

Anders Torger anders at torger.se
Sat Nov 7 17:14:23 UTC 2020

Hello Steve,

thanks for that wonderful and inspiring post! I'll surely think about 
doing-what-can-be-done-with-the-current-tools-at-hand, and think about 
that the work can be built upon by others in the future. Most inspiring!

And I'll also clarify, I don't expect some Swiss cartographic artwork to 
come out of the renderer. But I do think that OSM could go a lot further 
in that direction, and should strive to do so. That needs strategic 
high-level decisions. If cartographic renderings becomes a priority, 
other design decisions will follow. Now when many other factors are of 
higher priority, no improvement will happen.

I will continue to be a casual mapper as long as the bike routing tools 
I use use OSM. I'm an egoistic contributor in that regard, I do it 
because I need have direct use for the data myself. I also map the 
places I grew up in and love, and I have a specific connection to rural 
areas (although I live in city now) so I do work there to, makes me feel 
good. Some do handicraft as relaxing hobby, and mapping is my 

As I described in a different post, here in Sweden OSM doesn't have a 
particular strong position as the alternatives has come strong the past 
5 - 7 years. OSM didn't reach a good baseline here before interest went 
down due to easily and cheaply accessible alternatives, so we are in a 
tricky situation. We need mappers and it's hard to convince regular 
people to contribute to OSM, "why do that when high quality maps are 
free?". I've written open-source software since the 1990s, so the open 
license thing is an easy sell to me, but to regular people the ideology 
bit doesn't really work. I haven't done a survey, but my theory is that 
the typical contributor here do it as a sort of pleasing handicraft.

To make it pleasing the resulting product should be good, and I think 
there is more to do there, not the least for rural areas where the 
naming issues is most evident.


On 2020-11-07 13:30, stevea wrote:
> On Nov 6, 2020, at 1:51 PM, Anders Torger <anders at torger.se> wrote:

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