[Talk-GB] Automating Freemap tile rendering

Tom Chance tom at acrewoods.net
Fri Feb 16 10:39:18 GMT 2007

On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 09:54:37 +0000, Nick Whitelegg <Nick.Whitelegg at solent.ac.uk> wrote:
>>This is really a question of confusing users with multiple sets of
>>tiles. I'm not strongly for or against putting more layers on... can you
>>point out the differences between mapnik and your layer? Is it poss to
>>put an SRTM layer on top of the existing mapnik and get the same thing?
> Yes - see http://www.free-map.org.uk/ then select "OSM + SRTM contours" -
> but two points:
> Firstly it doesn't look great, because the contours overlay the roads -
> they should really go underneath. Also the stacking layer needs to be
> polygons-srtm-roads which is not really possible without polygons and
> roads in different layers.
> Secondly I have used a slightly differnet look and feel in general for the
> Freemap tiles, particularly for footpaths etc which I'd like to maintain
> (though am open to suggestions)

I think there's a good case for a completely different layer for walking maps. Why else would we have completely different maps from A-Z and the two main OS scales? :-) Freemap looks much more useful for walkers than the current OSM mapnik tiles + SRTM.

I've often thought OSM could be quite revolutionary in providing street maps tailored for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, reflecting the safety and desirability of particular routes, and "points of interest" for people out of their cars. Some local councils do these, but in my experience they're usually pretty hopeless. They do, however, look so different that I doubt a layer over the top of the main mapnik layer would suffice.

So far the layers have reflected the stages of development in OSM technology (mapnik & osmarender). In the future it would make more sense to have the layers reflect users' needs, or point people to spinoff projects that cater to specific needs.


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