[Talk-ca] What should a Canadian style map look like?

Jonathan Crowe jonathan.crowe at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 00:48:30 BST 2011

I agree with most of these suggestions. OSM should render in a manner
familiar to Canadian map readers. Road colours should be limited to indicate
primary/trunk and secondary/county roads (in practice, that should probably
mean no distinction between highway=primary and highway=trunk -- like
Matthew, I don't think green works well, especially in a heavily forested
country). Road surface should be indicated. Add to that another: toll
highways, which are usually indicated on North American maps.

The question of long-distance northern roads is a question of information
density. At low zooms, the Canadian map can seem pretty empty if we follow
rules appropriate to higher density countries (Guten Tag, Deutschland). Is
there a way of changing the rendering threshold for, say, towns so that
empty parts of the map would have smaller centres rendered?

Generally speaking, I find too much of interest disappears when you zoom
out. Points of interest (historic, tourism) only really appear at the
highest zoom levels, and that's less useful in places where the point of
interest is outside the nearest town (e.g., the Royal Tyrrell Museum).

As for rendering things like railways and trails, that hinges on the
question of what the map is used for -- i.e., why people are using the map.
No one map can cover everything at once: a road map makes a lousy cycling
map, and so on. That's where layers come in. But it'll be hard to figure out
what information is important without some idea of why people are using the
map -- we're still in building mode at this point, I think, so the answer is
still to come.

Jonathan Crowe
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