[OSM-talk] Labling places with Labels

Tapio Sokura oh2kku at iki.fi
Fri Mar 3 14:59:28 GMT 2006

Erik Johansson wrote:
> 1. OpenStreetMap
> I would just creat nodes and giving them the appropriate tags/attributes e.g.
> * name=Birghstone;class=village;zoomvisibility=9
> * name=Newposrt;class=city

At least for cities/towns, I'd like to see a way to order them, so you 
can easily distinguish a large city from a small city. One way of doing 
this would be using the approximate population of the city as an 
attribute. This way when zoomed way out, you wouldn't necessarily have 
all of the cities in the area cluttering up the map, just the largest ones.

Another nice thing with using population is that we don't have to agree 
on what is a large city and what is an average city. One could say, for 
example, that a large city is a city with a population of over 1 
million. But it wouldn't work well everywhere, because what is a very 
large city in Finland (over 100k population), is peanuts in many other 
countries of the world.

Also in my opinion, in the map data itself, you don't want to fix the 
level of zoom a certain map object has to have in order to be visible on 
the map that gets drawn. Or have any other strictly "presentation layer" 
stuff there, e.g. "road color = green". Instead the focus should be on 
the data itself, and let the software that actually draws the map decide 
what should be drawn, when and how, based on the data and other 
parameters, like user preferences and neighboring map content. E.g. if 
there are many large cities very close together on a map, just show the 
biggest one, if they can't comfortably fit the screen at the same time. 
If one needs a dumbed down version of map data ("draw this city with 
this symbol, draw this road 3 pixels wide and blue") for a particular 
mapping product, you can always write a dedicated relatively simple 
piece of software for doing that.

One useful attribute for cities might be "capital", i.e. have some way 
of defining a city as the capital of a country.


More information about the talk mailing list