[OSM-talk] The Proposed Great Colour Shift

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Thu Aug 20 09:39:04 UTC 2015


That discussion is only a waste of time because people hope that a
consensus will magically appear. The subject of the discussion is
absolutely something which deserves air-time. I am not talking about the
specific case of abandoned railways, but about who has the right to
decide what data has no place in OSM and order its deletion. 

What was that famous line in Animal Farm again? 


On 2015-08-20 10:53, Paweł Paprota wrote: 

> 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.
> Paweł
> On Thu, Aug 20, 2015, at 03:16, Jóhannes Birgir Jensson wrote: 
>> For those that did not check on Mateusz Konieczny diary entries[1 [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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[1] http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Mateusz%20Konieczny/diary/35586
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