[OSM-talk] OSM.org rendering and features [was Re: The Proposed Great Colour Shift]

Daniel Koć daniel at xn--ko-wla.pl
Thu Aug 20 23:51:53 UTC 2015

W dniu 20.08.2015 17:53, Andy Townsend napisał(a):
> On 20/08/2015 16:25, Ben Laenen wrote:
>> Thing is that UK won't ever be happy with another colour scheme and 
>> the rest of the world won't ever be happy with a UK scheme.
> ... and then in the UK we can start arguing about and "English" style
> vs a "Scottish" one and then a "Yorkshire" one vs "Surrey" :)

I wanted to start my own topic one day, but I feel that you have touched 
very important and general problem related to rendering, which is 
amplified by current changes authored by Mateusz.

We have very uncomfortable situation with rendering styles on our main 
website: out of 5 styles available only 2 are general, and only one - 
default one - is to some reasonable extent an OSM community effort 
(technically it's open, in practice not much people are active there, it 
is rather detached from other parts of OSM and is rather conservative 
socially). HOT is kind of a special task force and community in itself, 
as far as I understand, so I don't count it as a general style.

Goals of default style are also non-uniform:


which makes it even harder to deal with.

It was just a matter of time if someone will try to make some bigger 
changes, which will result in explosion. And here we are...


My point is: we - as an OSM community - need more styling options, 
because default osm-carto style is unable to effectively take all the 
responsibilities and expectations.

There are many solutions to consider. All of them have their strengths 
and weaknesses, in short they can be:

1. osm-carto-devel, which can be visually less elegant, but more 
intended for the mappers to see their work. However it means double the 
resources we use today, so this may be hard to achieve.

2. Layers like http://osm24.eu/ (POIs with opening hours) or 
http://osmapa.pl/w/area/ (highway:area=* test rendering), which are much 
lighter than full style - however they don't blend with underlying style 

3. Vector tiles, which allow having plenty of styles available and high 
personalization, but on the other hand deserve additional infrastructure 
(I guess less than with osm-carto-devel?) and are probably much slower 
to render, because it's done on the client side.

I believe 3. is the future. We won't be able to serve every possible 
style in any other way - be it UK, US, but also with local names in 
every language etc. It will also allow people to learn styling and 
enhance our collective skills in this regard. But maybe we could also 
use other styling options in the meantime.

I also think about adding additional features, like support for umap ( 
http://umap.osm.ch ), which can help some users to create their own 
small maps based on OSM, and indoor or even 3D viewer included on the 
main website (think about multi-level malls and railway stations - they 
are unreadable today).

I don't know how many resources we have to extend current situation, but 
rendering maps is simply too important for the people to live with just 
one general purpose style influenced by the community.

"The train is always on time / The trick is to be ready to put your bags 
down" [A. Cohen]

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