[OSM-talk] CJK fallback fonts - testing needed

deng dongpo dongpo.deng at gmail.com
Mon Jan 13 03:40:30 UTC 2014

Hi Paul and Hans

For traditional Chinese characters, the Droid Fallback font looks better
than current OSM version.

I'd like to contiune Hans's opinions. Current OSM only uses "zh" tag to
display Chinese characters. It seems not enough. The areas where people use
Chinese are consist of China, Taiwan, Hong-Kong, Macau, Singapore,
Malaysia, and even Indonesia. Besides the difference between traditional
and simplized Chinese characters, the use of Chinese is often very
different. Thus, in Wikipedia, we can see that a Chinese wiki page has five
different language types, including zh-cn, zh-hk, zh-mo, zh-sg, and zh-tw.
The display of languages on the map is a political thing. It sometimes
becomes a problem. For example, the controvertial areas. A couple of months
ago, a Taiwanese mapper persisted in adding Senkaku Islands[1] on Taiwanses
place name "釣魚台". The chage caused that Chinese and Janpanese mappers
competatively re-name the island. I think most mappers don't like to such
kind of "mapping" happen again.



[1] http://www.openstreetmap.org/node/1788110205

On Sun, Jan 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM, Hans Schmidt <z0idberg at gmx.de> wrote:

> Hello,
> thanks for the test! Although it looks better than the first one, to be
> honest, it is still completely unsuitable for Japanese (if you want to
> have a “real” map): It is clearly a Chinese font, which is really
> different in some characters than a Japanese person would expect. This
> is also true for Taiwan, which is a little bit different. Korea also
> uses different characters, but because Korean usually uses Hangul, this
> is not so much of a problem.
> Therefore the only solution would be to render Japanese text (either the
> name:ja tag everywhere or the name tag in Japan) with a Japanese font.
> In essence, use 4 fonts (Chinese mainland, this can be the current one,
> Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean) and select them based on the language and
> area.
> But the problem for East Asia in OSM does not only lie in the fonts: The
> entire OSM rendering is completely European centered. For Japan (and the
> other east Asian countries; I guess also for other regions like India,
> Middle East etc) being usuable in OSM, the entire rendering for this
> countries should be rewritten from scratch. For example, in Japan and
> Korea the street crossings have names, in contrast to the street. The
> houses are arranged in house blocks and city blocks, which have to be
> shown. Also, for example, buddhist temples show a 卍 on the map, hot
> springs show a ♨. Some shops should be much more prominently displayed
> (for example the ubiquitious convenience stores) etc. I am not well
> versed with other regions of the world, but I guess they have similar
> problems.
> Keeping all that in mind, at some point I come to the conclusion that
> the only real possibilty for OSM to be used in these countries is to let
> the different countries create their own tile servers. They know best
> what should be displayed and until OSM does not offer a way to
> incorporate these changes on the main map (which is nonetheless the best
> way and a method for that should be persued, I think!), OSM in this
> countries will not be used in any way.
> As to your original question (Sorry for the long off topic text):
> Actually I cannot see much of a difference. The problems making it
> rather unreadable are the followings:
> 1. The fonts are too small: This works for latin text, and would work
> for CJK text if used on a higher resolution screen, but for currently
> used computer screens (and the rendering in the tiles), it is too small.
> Well, I am not a native CJK speaker, so this might be different for
> other people, but for me, it is too small and unreadlable.
> 2. Connected to the first issue: The hinting and anti-aliasing of the
> characters is bad. If you have such a small rendering of the font,
> rather use a nicely hinted bitmap font. I have created a comparision of
> this issue: First MS Mincho 11 pt with a 70% zoom in MS Word (where
> bitmap fonts are used), second MS Mincho with 11 pt and 200% zoom (no
> bitmap fonts at this zoom), afterwards shrinking it to 35%. Admitely,
> rather a bad method, but you can clearly see the difference.
> http://abload.de/img/comparisonidqpu.png
> 3. The white shadow makes it at some points even more difficult, but I
> cannot say that for sure.
> This is connected to the Chinese characters, Korean works relatively
> fine I guess (although I don't speak Korean).
> By the way, there is also a DroidSansJapanese font with Japanese
> characters.
> Am 12.01.2014 14:19, schrieb Paul Norman:
> > Right now the main OpenStreetMap.org stylesheet uses Unifont as a
> > fallback font to render Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) characters,
> > as well as any other characters not present in the DejaVu font. Unifont
> > is mainly designed to support all characters, and is not designed to
> > look good.
> >
> > I'm looking at Droid Sans Fallback, a free font developed for Android,
> > and evaluating if it would be a better fallback font than Unifont.
> > Because I don't read Chinese, Japanese or Korean, I could use help.
> >
> > I have prepared a demo at http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html with
> > three layers: conventional OSM.org, tiles without any fallback font, and
> > tiles using Droid Fallback as a fallback font.
> >
> > What I would like is for people to look at the difference between the
> > conventional OSM.org and Droid Fallback tiles and see which is easier to
> > read for the CJK glyphs. The tiles without any fallback font can be used
> > to find areas where DejaVu doesn't have glyphs and the fallback font is
> > being used.
> >
> > Some examples
> >
> > Japanese cities:
> http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html#9/35.443/138.247
> >
> > Japanese train stations:
> > http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html#16/36.415/139.325
> >
> > Korean cities: http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html#9/37.25/127.22
> >
> > Chinese tourist attraction:
> > http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html#15/39.94/116.48
> >
> > Please keep in mind that
> >
> > - My server is not nearly as powerful as tile.osm.org, so renders slower
> >   and has less cached data
> > - Only Asia is loaded on my server
> > - The data is a couple of days old and isn't being updated
> >
> > I would like some feedback on if Unifont or Droid Sans Fallback looks
> > better. Please keep in mind that I don't read the languages being
> rendered.
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
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