OpenStreetMap

CJK fallback fonts - testing needed

Posted by pnorman on 13 January 2014 in English (English)

Right now the main OpenStreetMap.org stylesheet uses Unifont as a fallback font to render Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) characters, as well as any other characters not present in the DejaVu font. Unifont is mainly designed to support all characters, and is not designed to look good.

I'm looking at Droid Sans Fallback, a free font developed for Android, and evaluating if it would be a better fallback font than Unifont. Because I don't read Chinese, Japanese or Korean, I could use help.

I have prepared a demo at http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html with three layers: conventional OSM.org, tiles without any fallback font, and tiles using Droid Fallback as a fallback font.

What I would like is for people to look at the difference between the conventional OSM.org and Droid Fallback tiles and see which is easier to read for the CJK glyphs. The tiles without any fallback font can be used to find areas where DejaVu doesn't have glyphs and the fallback font is being used.

Some examples

Japanese cities: http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html#9/35.443/138.247

Japanese train stations: http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html#16/36.415/139.325

Korean cities: http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html#9/37.25/127.22

Chinese tourist attraction: http://tile.paulnorman.ca/demo/fonts.html#15/39.94/116.48

Please keep in mind that

  • My server is not nearly as powerful as tile.osm.org, so renders slower and has less cached data
  • Only Asia is loaded on my server
  • The data is a couple of days old and isn't being updated

I would like some feedback on if Unifont or Droid Sans Fallback looks better. Please keep in mind that I don't read the languages being rendered.

Location: Downtown, New Westminster, Greater Vancouver Regional District, British Columbia, Canada

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