[Talk-us] Elevation in local units

Steve Friedl steve at unixwiz.net
Wed Mar 25 01:53:32 UTC 2015


Hi all,

 

I appreciated being able to join my first Mappy Hour yesterday, though
without mic/camera. I'm quite enamoured with this project and hope to fit
in with the goals and the vibe.

 

One thing we talked about, and I'd like to explore more formally, is how to
deal with elevation in local units.

 

I lead hikes in the local Santa Ana Mountains, and there is not a single
person who hikes here, not even those from Europe or those who personally
invented the metric system, who thinks of peak  elevations in meters. The
guides and the maps are all in feet, the surveying markers are in feet, as
are the topo maps.

 

This is just a fact of life even if we all [including me] agree that
Americans are foolish for not adopting the metric system.

 

An obvious thought is to enter the elevation including the units, so Sierra
Peak would show as "3045 feet" rather than "928", but this won't work.

 

The wiki page for the "ele" key defines the tag as meters, so it's
reasonable to expect that some software out there relies on this, and it
would have no provisions to convert anything on the fly because it ought to
expect numeric meters.

 

But even with this aside, that still doesn't solve the rendering problem: I
believe that page tiles are rendered as images, so it's got to pick
*something* for the text, and I don't think there's any way of having a user
preference to show these things in local units.

 

My suspicion is that there is no easy fix here, but I think a discussion is
in order. I've added a section to the key:ele page that touches on this, not
so much to propose a solution, but to let others with this same issue know
that it's seen as an issue.

 

Ref: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:ele#Local_Units

 

Is this kind of thing suitable for the key:ele page?

 

Steve

 

--- 

Stephen J Friedl  | Security Consultant | UNIX Wizard | 714 345-4571

 <mailto:steve at unixwiz.net> steve at unixwiz.net | Southern California |
Windows Guy |  unixwiz.net

 

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