[Talk-us] Standard (mapnik) toolchain/processes: can we teach these better?

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Mon May 26 10:07:11 UTC 2014

Am 25.05.2014 21:46, schrieb stevea:
> Thanks to the talk-us community for entertaining my grumpiness about
> this, but I truly believe there is a direct connection between asking
> OSMers to "map well" and the visual feedback (rewards? yes, I think so)
> we get by doing so.  Sure, it's great that beaches (and many other
> mapped objects, usually named polygons that describe an area, like a
> beach, shopping center or many other "things") can be easily found from
> OSM's main map via a simply-type-it-in Nominatim search: that IS good. 
> But when we see rendered labels disappearing, even when this is
> explained by the reason given, it can be disheartening.

I believe that giving positive feedback to our contributors is important
and that the "standard" map style is one of the ways we can do that.
Unluckily there is just no way that "everything" that is correctly
mapped can be displayed on a single map layer, there is work in progress
to at least partially address the issue via a "objects in the vicinity
search", but for at least for the slippy map it its current form we will
have to live with the limitations of the medium.

The standard style has, in the past, been very lenient it what it has
rendered, for example it used to render everything that had a name. The
downside of that, was that it didn't actually support "correct" tagging
(whatever that is in an OSM context) and a conscious decision of what
should be displayed on the map. Part of the work Andy has been doing is
trying to clean that up and make the whole thing a bit saner.

							 I DID "miss
> that" news/memo about this "since months" effort.  Where might I have
> learned this?
> I am (slowly, even after being an OSM volunteer for over five years)
> discovering there are ways to effect how our map looks (carto-issues bug
> reporting, the potential to enter a mapnik feature request -- where?). 
> But I do think it would be helpful if these "assumed to be known by
> everybody" facts (they aren't!) were better promulgated. Either in our
> wiki somewhere, or with a link from the main page, or some other
> relatively easily findable method.  I conscientiously read (and
> contribute to) our wiki pages, I follow talk-us, I explore code in
> github, I play around with rendering tools...yet about the machinations
> that make our map look and behave the way it does, on a day-to-day basis
> -- AND the changes that happen to it -- I seem to learn absolutely
> nothing.  Until after the fact.

As a long time OSM contributor, actually longer than myself, you are
surely aware how OSM works :-). People just "do" things. Andy in this
case, while I may believe he may have covered it in his SOTM
presentation, as the current main maintainer of the style, did exactly

So I suppose the answer to your question is that thing to follow are the
commits and discussions here
https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto I know that really
cool and web 2.0ish response which doesn't help anybody who is not in a
bubble of a certain kind.

With a different hat on: yes it is a pet peeve of mine that we don't
have a light weight way to push such information out to our contributors
and, perhaps as a consequence, haven't developed a culture of actively
informing before the fact.


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