[Talk-us] Highway Shield Rendering

Phil! Gold phil_g at pobox.com
Mon Apr 2 13:25:58 BST 2012

Here's something that might be a diversion while you wait for the database
to allow editing again.

Richard Weait and I have been working on a rendering that uses route
relations to make individual shields that reflect what each state uses.
I've got a working prototype, and I'd like to get some feedback on it.
The server is a rather slow one sitting at my place behind a slow-ish DSL
connection, which means that it'll probably range from a little slow to
very slow indeed.  I'm working on getting some better hosting for it.  If
you're not yet deterred, I invite you to look at
http://elrond.aperiodic.net/shields/ .  The code and source files are at
https://launchpad.net/osm-shields .

I haven't yet written up the details about what works or doesn't but the
basic gist is that we use the network= and ref= tags on the relation and,
if there's no ref= tag, use the name= tag so we can get things like the
New Jersey Turnpike, which has a name but no signed number.  Business and
similar variants are expected to be in the network tag, since that's the
closest thing I've seen to a consensus on the topic.  If there's no route
relation or the tagging was not understood, we fall back to rendering the
ref= tag on the way just like the main OSM rendering.

There are actually two shield styles we have.  There's the cutout-style
that you see by default and another style you can switch to that more
closely resembles the roadside reassurance signs for the routes.  The
cutouts will probably load faster--more of them have been rendered
already--but please take a look at the other one, too; I'd like to know
which one people prefer.

I'm not an expert on every state, so I'm particularly interested in
whether things look good to the natives of each state and, if not, what
could make them look better.

If you just want to look around, here are some spots you might find

 * The greatest concurrency in the US is an 8-plex in Indiana:
 * New Jersey has several highways with their own shields.  You can see
   both the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway here:
 * Many states have boring rectangles for their shields.  Some have
   interesting shields with details that don't really come out with our
   rendering.  Two of the more visually interesting states that we do show
   are, I think, Washington and Utah:
 * Even Washington DC has its own shield design, but there's only one road
   with that sign, DC 295 (which is a connector between MD 295 and I-295):

So be patient with it if the tiles load slowly and please let me know what
you think!

...computer contrarian of the first order... / http://aperiodic.net/phil/
PGP: 026A27F2  print: D200 5BDB FC4B B24A 9248  9F7A 4322 2D22 026A 27F2
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