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Poor man's rendering

Posted by hajo on 12 December 2013 in English (English)

The problem

I noticed that the standard/default osm-map does not show a lot of things that are in the map-database.

* Shops - only a few are rendered so far: bakery, florist, hairdresser, clothes, bikes, DIY and supermarket
* Ambulance-stations
* Emergency-Phones (but regular phones are shown)
* Bike-Parking
* Benches, waste-baskets
* Flagposts
* Fountains / Artwork
* Rocks / Boulders (e.g. with memorials / engravings on them) * Clocks / sundials
* ...

Other users also noticed, and there are various entries under questions:
* shop appears only in edit mode
* Store Name Not Visible On Map
* more icons going to be available for additional types of shop...
* ...

The usual "answers" / excuses go something like * "we cannot show everything",
* "icons are missing", * "you can make your own map if you like". etc.
I think that is not the way to get ahead...

The standard map has to be at least as useful to the average map-user as google-maps, to get any traction.
Maperitive and Tilemill might be fine, but I don't want my own nice map, I want nice maps for everyone.
Also, I don't see the average map-user, looking for a shoe-shop / ambulance-station / emergency-phone etc. saying "great map, I can do the missing stuff myself" :)

I rather suspect the average map-user does not want a map-construction-set, he wants to see his shop / POI / whatever NOW. If he doesn't find what he need, NOW, on the STANDARD-MAP, he wil most likely go back to googlemaps / bingmaps / mapquest / whatever --> another wasted good first impression.

The ability to do your own maps with OSM is a bonus, but not the most frequent use-case.

Telling people about special-purpose maps, or "you need an account" etc. is also the wrong way to show them how great OSM is.
For the average map-user, if something is not reachable from the frontpage, with max. 2-3 clicks, it effectively doesn't exist.

The goal

So, I have been looking for a workaround, not just for arguments sake, but to also show what actually can be done.


Mislabeling shops that don't show up on the map would be an easy way to show that they could be rendered (i.e. there is space enough on the map to write icon and text).
A standard-icon (cart, bag) shouldn't be a big problem too - iD-editor uses a bag-icon.
However, it is a problem to find out the correct spot/person/forum/mailinglist etc. to set things in motion...

* Weiterstadt - a building with 3 shops.
Most of the other shops in that area are occuping a whole building, so they don't have a problem to put their name on the map.
This building has a computershop, a shoe- and a kitchen-shop (ComputerMax, Sioux, Plana). These shop-types don't have their own icons yet.
Just across the street, you can see another shoe-shop and kitchen-shop ("Schuhcenter", Küchen-Keie), and to the west, another electronic/computershop (MediaMarkt).
I would consider it quite unfair to show those other shops on the map, (just because they are located in their own building, which is supported by the rendering), and not the 3 shops in a common building.
So, here we see them, as "supermarkets".
For contrast, there is yet another computershop "Maxs-Master", just across from ComputerMax, where normally, all you can see is "9".
With some tweaking, (put name of shop into addr:housename, and remove addr:housenumber) we can at least show the name of the shop on the map.

Important stuff

  • Ambulance-stations
  • Emergency-Phones

I really fail to see why these are not rendered,
e.g. just use the red cross from hospitals, and the icon for regular phones.


Other stuff

Artwork, Fountains, Flagposts, Clocks/sundials (Tourist), Bike-Parking (Bikers), Benches, Waste-baskets (Pedestrians), Vending-machines, Grit-bins (everyone needs stuff:)

This is were I get into rendering stuff, using the poor man's way.
As shown above, with the current rendering, we can put text onto the map that is in the tag "addr:housename".

My showcase is Alter Friedhof DA - the old graveyard of Darmstadt (which now has quite some more details than most graveyards :)

I have been using:
* Bike-Parking "ofo"
* Benches "="
* Waste-baskets "u" or "µ"
* Emergency-Phone "("
* Flagposts "F"
* Artworks "@" (e.g. dry fountains - during winter, the difference can be hard to tell) * Fountains "f" or "\!/" (for the splashy kind)
* Clocks / sundials "Q"
* Vending-machines "V" or "Z" (cigarettes)
* grit-bins "#"

Also plain "address-markers" for the layout of the graveyard, i.e. as "place=locality".


Location: Woogsviertel, Darmstadt, Regierungsbezirk Darmstadt, Hesse, 64287, Germany