[OSM-talk] Actually using OpenStreetMap and the usability of the current maps

Andy Robinson (blackadder-lists) ajrlists at googlemail.com
Mon Jul 28 23:31:09 BST 2008

Inge Wallin wrote:
>Sent: 28 July 2008 1:33 PM
>To: talk at openstreetmap.org
>Subject: Re: [OSM-talk]Actually using OpenStreetMap and the usability of
>the current maps


>Two things.  First: YES, please make it easier to create suitable adapted
>maps.  Second: My point wasn't to make it perfect for *me*, but to make the
>default maps more usable for its intended purpose. That purpose is not
>anywhere -- that I could find.

It doesn't really need to be stated if you are coming to the table with your
mind on "the project". For me the default rendering shows me where and what
I have mapped so that I know where to map on my next trip out. That's what
the project is about and thus to me that's what the renderings do.

Accepted though that if you arrive at the website and never go any further
than browse the map you might get put off that it is either incomplete or
doesn't show you what you want in the format that you want. But then I hope
I can give visitors enough credit for checking for themselves to see what
the project is about rather than simply dismissing it as a crap map and
moving on. Sadly we do still see evidence of this negative attitude from all
sorts of directions and education is still needed although starting to
reduce somewhat as the project has taken hold outside of neogeography over
the last year.

>> We could waste an enormous amount of time trying to discuss which kinds
>> of default maps we should offer and how they should be styled, and we'll
>> probably never reach results. I hope that, in the long run,
>> OpenStreetMap will *not* offer *any* maps, just map data from which
>> loads and loads of third parties create whatever maps they need.
>Now, that's a bit pessimistic, isn't it?  "never get results"? Heck, we
>very nice results already. I was just talking about making it even better
>than it already is.

I too hope that OSM never becomes a portal for viewing online maps. That's
not what OSM is as a project, nor its aims. I'll be quite happy to see all
OSM hosted maps disappear if a plethora of brilliant third parties start
making cool maps from OSM data, that's what we should be encouraging, not
faffing around with styles here and there on our default maps. That's just
diverting effort from the core. If we can get more third party projects like
the cycle map to take off then we simply won't need to have these
discussions within OSM.



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