[Talk-us] Highway Shield Rendering

Minh Nguyen mxn at 1ec5.org
Tue Apr 3 17:36:49 BST 2012

Ngày 2012-04-03 5:17 AM, Phil! Gold viết:
> * 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.

The two-row option looks better to me. But you're right, it'd probably 
lead to fewer shields on the map in urban areas. I like what Stamen did 
in their Terrain map. [1] Their shield placement appears to be powered 
by Skeletron somehow. [2]

>> 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.
> [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.

True, I just brought up the idea in case map real estate becomes an 
issue with larger sign assemblies.

>> 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).

"INDIANA" and possibly others would be more legible in a wider font. 
There's still space on either side to accommodate the text. If the FHWA 
fonts don't work out, you could always resort to a bitmap font. [3] The 
FHWA fonts' distinguishing features aren't discernible at that size anyways.

There isn't anything we can do about neighboring states that use exactly 
the same shield, but at least that problem also exists on the ground. 
They asked for it! :-)

[1] https://github.com/Citytracking/Terrain/
[2] https://github.com/migurski/Skeletron/

Minh Nguyen <mxn at 1ec5.org>
AIM: trycom2000; Jabber: mxn at 1ec5.org; Blog: http://notes.1ec5.org/

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