[OSM-talk] New Google Maps style - interesting cartographic innovation

Michał Brzozowski www.haxor at gmail.com
Sun Aug 7 12:28:53 UTC 2016

On Sun, Aug 7, 2016 at 8:53 AM, Maarten Deen <mdeen at xs4all.nl> wrote:
>So it's a heatmap for POI's?

A thresholded heatmap, maybe. But really the area thingy seen on zooms
lower than buildings is a concave hull on slightly expanded outlines
of "interesting" buildings (as I said the ones which contain most of
given POIs). The area only includes most concentrated areas, so lone
interesting buildings don't count toward it.
Therefore, it's a hybrid of a point-in-polygon, spatial buffer,
concave hull and a heatmap.

>I still don't see the innovation.

The notion that something is not innovative just because it uses
familiar methods is fundamentally wrong. A solution consists of a
method (like an algorithm) and its application, that is a problem it
solves. If you apply an existing algorithm in a new and meaningful
way, that also is innovative. In fact, if the former were true, we
would have to dismiss half of science papers, if not more.

The classical heatmap on some random OSM hacker's website serves a
different purpose - analysis. It hasn't been used on general purpose
maps in a context of presenting "interesting" places automatically.
Still, if anybody can give an example of anybody doing similar thing
as Google did, I stand to be corrected.

The bottom line is that we don't live in a vacuum and it's beneficial
to look for fresh or unusual ideas wherever they come from. No need to
perpetuate an echo chamber.


More information about the talk mailing list