[Talk-us] Highway Shield Rendering

Phil! Gold phil_g at pobox.com
Tue Apr 3 13:17:16 BST 2012

* Minh Nguyen <mxn at 1ec5.org> [2012-04-03 02:19 -0700]:
> Displaying concurrent shields in bunches is certainly an improvement
> over all the maps that just pick one shield to display, and they
> look like reassurance sign assemblies to boot. But it's still
> strange to see shields hanging off either side of a north-south
> stretch of road. [1]

How does this compare?  http://elrond.aperiodic.net/shields/cincinnati.png
I opted to string three shields out in a row because I think that fits
into the rendering better; most text is horizontal, so there's less chance
for conflicts, plus three-shield reassurance signs almost always have them
in a single row.  I could probably be convinced to do it differently if
enough people prefer the two-row rendering.

> I'd prefer to see the shields strung out along the concurrency, with
> no spacing between each shield. That would be especially helpful
> where the concurrency's shields happen to appear near a junction.
> Google Maps does that, but they space the shields apart somewhat.

This is something that would probably look nice, but is difficult
(possibly impossible) to do in Mapnik.  I'll see what I can do and how it
looks on the map.

> Better yet, two routes of the same network could share a vertically
> stretched shield, like on printed maps.

I'm resistant to this idea.  Part of our goal for this rendering was to
make the map look like what's actually on the road signs.  With only a
couple exceptions that I know of[0], concurrencies are always signed with
separate sheilds for each route.

> Ohio's and Kentucky's shields look perfect. How about replacing the
> words "INDIANA" and "ILLINOIS" with slightly larger "I N" and "I L"
> for readability? [2]
> [2] http://elrond.aperiodic.net/shields/?zoom=15&lat=38.68386&lon=-87.53913&layers=B0

Hm.  Again, I'd prefer to match the reference signs as much as possible
and leave it up to context to distinguish similar signs.  (Maine and
Massachusetts are close neighbors, for example, and have identical plain
rectangular shields.  And quite a few states use plain circular shields.)
I did increase the size of the text on those two states.  The 'L's in
Illinois are a little more obvious now, though "Indiana" is still
completely unreadable.  I'll think about just putting the initials in
(though it still might be a challenge to make it readable).

[0] The US 1/US 9 concurrency in New Jersey is signed as US 1-9, and the
    MD 2/MD 4 concurrency in Maryland is signed as MD 2-4.

...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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