[Tagging] Basic cartography features missing, why?

Anders Torger anders at torger.se
Sat Nov 7 22:00:11 UTC 2020

I'm don't know that much cartography terms and techniques, I only know 
what I know from using maps. I have noted though that traditional maps 
simplify the geographic shapes depending on scale. Sometimes in 
interesting ways, instead of removing small islands they are sometimes 
drawn bigger instead. It's actually quite elegant as it makes the map 
pack more information. It's probably not the right thing to do for an 
automatic generalization though, as it would be impossible to know which 
islands that has importance enough to be enlarged and kept rather than 
just removed.

Although OSM-Carto doesn't do any generalization of the shapes when 
zooming out I think it works quite fine on a computer screen, so I 
personally don't see it as a problem, but I guess a true cartographer 
will :-). In any case, when going to vector shapes it will obviously be 
necessary from technical reasons.

Maybe this is self-evident to anyone that knows more about this than I 
do, but I have to ask, are you saying that when we have to implement 
generalization to be able to serve vector tiles, it's also natural to 
include generalization of names? Meaning that we could see more names 
than we do now when we zoom out, so perhaps rural areas don't get the 
empty-map-syndrome? That would be awesome.

In addition I still want some method to name features in the landscape 
though, that supports automatic generalization. I thought named areas 
was an elegant way to do this, but it seems some have very strong 
opinions against it. Named points of natural features of different sizes 
would also work (like isolated dwelling < hamlet < village < town) but I 
don't think it is as elegant and provides less information as one 
actually can map out an area even if the borders are fuzzy. But, a point 
with size does the job so I think that is acceptable if one could get 
consensus on that. Points all with the same prominence which is offered 
today for some of the features I need to name does not work though as 
the generalization will then not be representative of the area.

On 2020-11-07 20:44, Tomas Straupis wrote:
> One more thing to consider: generalisation is one of the most
> important things for cartography, but it is also extremely important
> for vector tiles. 2-3 years ago we've played with government data and
> it produced huge (up to 4MB) vector tiles (pbf) for middle scales
> (zoom 8-12). Browsers (especially mobile ones) were struggling with
> that amount of data. Even moderate generalisation reduced the amount
> of data to 0,5M. It is something which is currently brushed under the
> carpet as using raster will never produce a tile that large. What I'm
> saying here is that generalisation (the real one, not DP) will have to
> be done anyways as OSM community is starting to see the disadvantages
> of legacy raster maps and is getting used to the idea of vector maps
> (for the client, not between servers).
> 2020-11-07, št, 21:23 Anders Torger rašė:
>> (I had to run it in Chrome, it didn't render properly in my Firefox, 
>> but
>> this vector stuff is new tech and Linux Firefox seems to have some
>> issues with that.)
>   Strange. Firefox on linux is my primary browser, it is the way I
> always use/test *.openmap.lt...

Okay, change that to "Firefox on *my* Linux computer" :-)... it's not 
the first time it seems like I am having issues with that which no-one 
else has... hmm... maybe I have been toying too much with the GPU 

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