[Talk-us] Another state route shield renderer and tutorial

Minh Nguyen minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us
Wed Jul 27 07:12:08 UTC 2016

A couple days ago, I posted a diary entry about rendering state-specific 
highway shields using Mapbox tools. It's a topic of special interest to 
the U.S. community, so I figured I'd give the talk-us list a heads-up 
since not everyone reads the diaries regularly:


The diary entry begins with a summary of the arguments for pictographic 
shield rendering and the challenges facing renderers that attempt to 
differentiate between each state's design. I also argued against using 
regular expressions to select state route shields.

I developed a demonstration vector renderer, called Interstate, that 
differentiates between the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana state route 
shields, despite ambiguous `ref=SR 123` tagging in both Ohio and Indiana:


Though Interstate is only a proof of concept design-wise, it runs on 
production servers and mainstream software. The second half of the diary 
entry walks you through the steps to create your own, prettier version 
of Interstate using free Mapbox tools.

(Full disclosure: I work at Mapbox. But my motivation for posting the 
tutorial is to nudge the community away from relying on regular 
expressions to select shields and towards eventually using route 
relations for that purpose.)

For now, I continue to point people to 
<http://elrond.aperiodic.net/shields/> when I want to show them what 
route relations are good for, but Interstate is another option when the 
issue of way `ref` formats comes up.

minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us

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