[OSM-talk] The Proposed Great Colour Shift

Paweł Paprota ppawel at fastmail.fm
Thu Aug 20 08:53:45 UTC 2015

I'm taking bets on whether this thread will have more replies than the
"abandoned railroads" (100+ and still going strong!) and win the prize
for the Biggest Waste of Time in OSM for 2015.



On Thu, Aug 20, 2015, at 03:16, Jóhannes Birgir Jensson wrote:
> For those that did not check on Mateusz Konieczny diary entries[1], 
> postings to this mailing list and github discussions then the Proposed 
> Great Colour Shift might come as a surprise if it is implemented.
> According to the github discussion there is an "overwhelming consensus" 
> [2] on moving from current rainbow colour scheme for roads to a 
> red-yellow only scheme. I am unsure of where this overwhelming consensus 
> formed because I never saw it on this mailing list nor on talk-dev nor 
> on announcements, I admit to be an infrequent IRC user but I didn't see 
> this overwhelming consensus there and so far no one has been able to 
> tell me where it formed or where I can find it.
> The design goal seems straight forward, to discontinue green and blue 
> for roads and move to red and reddish. For this to happen the decision 
> was made to shift current primary, secondary and tertiary colours 
> "upwards" so primary is now the colour of secondary and secondary the 
> colour of tertiary. Leaving tertiary white.
> Tertiary instead gets to be wider than residential and unclassified 
> roads, but to be able to spot that you need to have it next to them to 
> see which is the wider one.
> This one simple change of bleaching tertiary however is something I find 
> to be a great hindrance to mapping efforts, particularly in rural areas 
> where the roads are isolated and panning over the map, wether in iD or 
> using default tiles. Currently it is easy to spot tertiary roads snaking 
> through valleys and over vast desert plains, they are yellow and the non 
> tertiary roads are white. Tertiary is significant there as it denotes 
> the roads between the villages and towns that are often unpaved but 
> still the most important, even the only, road. Lesser white colours 
> imply the roads not being between larger settlements although they could 
> lead to hamlets. The guidelines for mapping in Africa state thus.
> Removing the colour from tertiary makes all mapping that much harder to 
> verify and quality check. Currently it is easy to see if a tertiary road 
> is broken with a white unclassified bridge, not so in the proposed Great 
> Colour Shift.
> Mateusz has been forthcoming with all changes and done sterling work in 
> displaying different areas and how they will look. But he acknowledges 
> that this change is not beneficial everywhere on the map and now has a 
> disclaimer:
> "Among potential problems are that it is now harder to recognise road 
> type of given road, especially in situation where there is no 
> possibility to compare it with other road types.
> Such significant change will be confusing for current users of this
> style.
> UK color coding of roads is well known for many people, for them a new 
> style - even assuming that it would be intuitive for them - will be less 
> useful.)"
> The question really arises if this change is beneficial or not for the 
> project. Many hours have gone into it and doing CartoCSS on all these 
> zoom levels is not trivial. But this is a major shift on the front page 
> of our website, a blow to those who use the default tiles through uMap 
> or similarly and depend on the UK rainbow road style and makes life 
> harder for mappers to visually confirm the type of road.
> Should this be a new, alternative style instead?
> [1] http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Mateusz%20Konieczny/diary/35586
> [2] 
> https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/pull/1736#issuecomment-130592532
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