Recent diary entries
I'm sure many of you have noticed, I no longer post my monthly challenges. I'm sorry about that, to those who miss them. In fact, I had hoped the community would take up the torch and run with it, but it hasn't really happened. The closest has been what niels20020 did with the Weekly Word concept - it has been a nice effort and some great results.
This challenge is different. First of all, it's an invitation for collaboration in my country, Ardisphere, rather than a challenge for you own work. It's also quite detailed and difficult. It's for ADVANCED mappers only, and especially for those obsessed with railroads.
Some of you are quite good and knowledgeable about railroads. I'm not. I enjoy thinking about and mapping railroads, but I am not any kind of technical expert.
As you know, I have been placing contours on parts of the Ardisphere. Once contours are in place, I can start to think about very realistic railroads and highways (i.e. "engineered" to match slope, terrain, etc.).
I built one a few months ago, but it was "over-engineered" and was quite baroque and implausible, and it required some excessive modifications to the contours to make it "fit." I have deleted this draft (you might still see it on some lower-number zooms on the TOPO layer, which seems to update rather inconsistently.
Your challenge, should you wish to try, is to design a contour-realistic railroad for this stretch (see map).
Actually, I'm not very well-educated about what realistic standards would be for a 1910's era railroad through this kind of terrain. So that's part of the challenge, too.
In fact, this whole challenge is Thilo's idea, more than mine, which he suggested after providing much-needed criticism of the original railroad draft I built.
1) Research what realistic standards would be for a 1910's era railroad (freight and/or passenger, if those are different). There needs to be thought about curve radii, maximum grades (inclines), maximum tunnel length, maximum cutting depths, maximum bridge lengths and heights, etc.
2) Use the TOPO layer imagery in JOSM to design the railroad (if you don't know how to use the imagery layer, I suppose part of the challenge would be to figure it out - as I said, this is an ADVANCED challenge).
3) As you draw the railroad, record elevation, incline, etc on the ways and nodes. You are free to download some of the other railroads in the Comala region that I've built to see how I do this. I recommend the Comala-Yahuas stretch, which I'm pretty happy with.
4) DO NOT UPLOAD your work - this could create problems both because there may be more than one person working on it, and because I may be working in the region on other things, and conflicts are difficult and unpleasant to deal with. SAVE your work, and upload the OSM file somewhere online so that Thilo and I can look at it in JOSM.
5) Results will be announced in September. Prizes: a) satisfaction knowing you're the best railroad designer in OGF-land; b) a certificate of recognition from the Ferrocarriles Federales (S.A.-Ardesfera) Oficina de Ingenieria, dated 1912, and signed by Presidente Selenio Quiroga.
Moving forward, I will be posting my Monthly Mapper's Challenges in my Bliki, rather than in the diaries. I'd like to see the diaries move in the direction of just being a place for community-wide announcements and technical issues, rather than a place for "brags" and "requests for feedback" etc.
My very brief summary of my own work on last month's challenge: I didn't do it. I thought about it. Does that count?
The problem, of course, is that I decided I wanted to have the Topo layer complete before beginning work on Comala. That became an impossibly huge project, as my contour-drawing mania started to encompass the surrounding region.
Anyway, Comala will eventually be mapped, and it will have no motorways.
How did everyone else do?
Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #12 - March, 2017 - Ghosts on the Map
This month's challenge is a more manageable scale. It comes from Thilo.
He suggested "mapping things that aren't there anymore."
This is a common enough aspect of urban geography. This article (Los Angeles Times) is a good introduction to the issue in the context of North American urbanism. In Europe, you can find the outlines of ancient Roman amphitheaters, for example.
Some users have done this already, in OGF. There's joschi81's former railway station converted into a concert hall, in Tarott. I placed a "former railroad right-of-way" when I mapped the area surrounding the Irhoborin Refugee Settlement in Duvar, which can just barely be made out on the map (look for "Rail Street").
So this month's challenge is to map something that isn't there anymore. Use your imagination, think about the history of your territory, and go for it.
Since I'm working on Comala, I think I might place a small, abandoned pre-Colonial city "under" the modern Ardispherian city. I was planning on approaching the city at least semi-historically (not at rigorously as user Pawl has been doing, but a similar concept). So I will draw a plan and place some buildings for the pre-Colonial city in a layer for Comala, which rather than uploading, I'll just keep for reference as I develop the city.
This is still work-in-progress (Thilo just uploaded new, incomplete version), but it is way too cool not to share. Totally cool.
Many times before, I and other mappers have observed the seemingly excessive popularity of motorways in our world. People seem to like to build them, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it's not always terribly realistic (who's paying for all these motorways?), and I have come to realize that drawing motorways ''first'', as a kind of "skeleton" for one's territory, is a fundamentally backwards approach to geofiction - in real life, motorways come closer to ''last'' than ''first'' - if they come at all.
So I had this idea. There are some major cities in the world that simply don't have motorways. I'm not talking about poor cities, either.
One favorite personal example is Winnipeg, in Canada (http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/49.8837/-97.1729) - a city which I visited frequently during a certain period of my life, although I've never lived there.
The city has at least 500,000 residents, but the only motorway is the ring-road, and even that is not fully limited-access for much of its length. There is not single kilometer of limited access highway within that ring road.
Looking at the map, Warsaw, Poland (http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/52.2254/20.9659) is another interesting example. There appear to be several motorway "approaches" to the city (maybe only one?), but nothing to the center.
Vancouver, Canada (http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/49.2475/-123.1645) also lacks any kind of motorway access to the core city, although they abound in the suburbs.
And Edinburgh, Scotland (http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/55.9512/-3.2394), seems to well-developed suburban motorways, but nothing that enters the city proper.
San Francisco, California (http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/37.7859/-122.4410), my "birth city", has the 80/280 complex south of Market, but the 1 and 101 never properly connect through the city, meaning that travel ''through'' the city is only possible on surface streets - a hassle I remember my parents coping with many times when I was quite young, as we went back and forth from Marin to Palo Alto. My earliest childhood memory is probably being stuck in traffic in a Volkswagen Beetle on Van Ness Avenue on a fog-shrouded morning.
Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #11 - February, 2017 - Another day, but not another motorway
This month's challenge is to plan and ''begin'' to build a city that, for whatever historical or political reasons, lacks motorways. Obviously, a single month, as we've learned, is not enough time to fully build a major city. But it's enough time to take the first steps.
I'll set it up as follows:
- advanced: a major world city, 1000000+, with no motorways
- medium: a large city, 500000+, with no motorways
- small: a smaller city, 100000+, with no motorways
I think for this challenge for myself, I'll finally return to the Ardisphere. I have one major small city, Comala, Departamento de Páramos (the capital of the Departamento http://opengeofiction.net/#map=12/-21.9314/121.4801), which is in a very incomplete stage of development. Sufficiently incomplete that I never drew any motorways for it. I think I'll leave it that way.
Given that Comala is only a little over 100000 inhabitants, that means I'll be doing the ''small'' challenge.
To be clear, this challenge doesn't say "no motorways at all," rather, it says "no motorways to/through the center." Realistically, in any relatively prosperous country, suburbs will still contain some motorways, either radially (Warsaw), peripherally (San Francisco/Vancouver), or as a ring-road (Winnipeg).
Everyone is upset about Discord. I think it's great to see the community engaged and discussing things, but we need to be adults. No ad hominem attacks, please - especially in diary entry titles.
All discussion about Discord will be restricted to this diary entry. New diary entries on the topic will be shut down. I will post a transcript of two other diary entries (now removed) as first comments, below.
Let's try to respect each other. Happy mapping.
I hope everyone is enjoying their new year, so far.
I did a lot of work for last month's challenge, trying to fix some mistakes in Mahhal, mostly related to climate and population density. I started big, by moving Tárrases to a new, lower latitude at the northwest end of the Mahhalian Archipelago. This was a giant step, from a data standpoint, since the island is quite detailed. It required changing the coordinates on almost 400,000 nodes. Probably it was single largest edit ever on OGF. JOSM made it all go smoothly, however.
After that big start, I worked pretty consistently on trying to clean up various aspects of Mahhal to improve climate realism - rearranging coastlines, moving some towns, downgrading cities, updating wiki articles. Grading my own efforts, I'd give myself a "B." How did everyone else do on the challenge?
This month, for the new year, I'm going to return to something I tried before, but in a different way.
Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #10 - January, 2017 - Give and Take
Back in July, 2016, I gave a challenge to map something in a "blue" country. That actually didn't go so well, at least from my perspective, as it exposed some of the major issues we have with "blue" territories in general, especially Commonia. Those problems have still not been resolved.
However, recently I have been impressed with some innovations by other users in the area of trying to improve collaboration. PColumbus73 made a collaboration page for Drevet modelled on (but improving upon) the old collaboration page I'd made for Ardisphere. And Mstr made a page "offering mapping services". These are really great ideas. What I hope to achieve with this challenge is to encourage this, further.
The challenge is to collaborate somewhere, with someone. It could be in a purple country. It could be in someone's privately owned country, like a neighbor or someone you already know that you work well with. I've done this a number of times with various individual users.
I don't actually want to suggest collaborating in a "blue" country this time, to keep it different from the previous challenge, although if it's specifically working with another user, then a well-thought-out collaboration in a place like Gobrassanya could qualify.
Anyway, the main goal is to map something significant in a territory that isn't "yours," working with the person who controls that territory. Alternately, you can invite people to map in your territory, too. I may try something like this with Tárrases, where there is so much mapped, it would provide a fairly controlled environment for some interesting collaboration.
Enjoy your 2017 and happy mapping.
Is anyone else having problems with the JOSM Reverter plugin? I use this tool quite a bit, and it's very useful. Recently I have been getting an error, and when I attempt a reversion, I get the typical JOSM message: "no changes to upload". I guess this may be the first time I attempted the use the reverter since JOSM upgrade to version 11223. But I tried to use it with an older version of JOSM and got the same problem. Any thoughts?
I guess last month's challenge was a little bit lame - and of course, because of my travels I did not participate. If anyone did something interesting with coastlines, I'd be interested to see - sorry if I missed it.
As most of you know, I've been agonizing over Mahhal's verisimilitude quite a bit - mainly climate, but also sociological factors, population, etc. I'll post some more detailed thoughts about that later, probably to my newly-redeveloped "bliki" rather than to my diaries here - I'm going to try to keep my diary entries to more "community focused" things, like these monthly challenges.
Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #9 - December, 2016 - Oops
This month's challenge is about mistakes. We all have made many mistakes, in OGF. Maybe because we were still learning. Maybe because we ran with an idea we later regret. Maybe because we just got bored with the way things were working out in an area, and we left it unfinished. A lot of times, we just kind of move on to other projects, because of the amount of time we invested in that "mistake" makes us hesitate to delete it or start over. We feel regret, but we don't do anything about it.
So let's "clean up" some big mistake. Frankly, there are whole countries that might be charitably classified as mistakes. If you are really confident that you have made no mistakes, then I envy you, but I still hope you accept this challenge - you can clean up someone else's mistake (with their permission, of course, or for stuff abandoned by past users). Please don't invest in Commonia, however, since that large territory is slated for major changes, and investing energy there is probably a bad idea.
I am going to to spend this month "fixing" Mahhal. I have already shared my worries about the climate situation, and I've really appreciated the feedback, especially Aiki's map. Now I'm going to try to adapt to that, moving and deleting population centers, rearranging islands, re-thinking mountain ranges, etc. I've already taken the huge, tentative step of moving Tárrases, as well as rearranging the Jessitim and Nellappe prefectures so that the Central Sea opens northward. If I include the need to draw and/or re-draw the topo maps for the region, I'm sure I have more than enough work for the month.
I could just as easily have picked my great city, Villa Constitución, which I also intend to completely re-work. But that will be for some future date.
What mistake will you fix, for this month's challenge? I'm looking forward to seeing lots of great work.
I'm going to try to keep this simple.
I recently asked for feedback on Tárrases. The main criticism that "holds weight" is the latitude problem - the country seems too temperate for its almost-Antarctic latitude (64° S).
This criticism applies not just to Tárrases but to all of Mahhal.
I have attempted to mitigate concerns about latitude with a "just so" story about a warm Harda Current and some geothermal heating of inland bodies of water (a la Iceland, essentially). But the story might not be geophysically plausible.
I am not willing to make Mahhal a more "arctic" country (i.e. more sparsely populated, colder, less agricultural, etc.). I have a strong pre-existing imaginative vision for the country that dates to my childhood.
So I have a question for the community.
Does Mahhal's current climate (temperate rainforest, like Southeast Alaska, coastal British Columbia, southern Chile, or southern Norway), population (pretty high: 20-30 million), etc., violate verisimilitude? Is the latitude problem a "dealbreaker"?
Please vote simply yes or no.
If the majority votes yes, then Mahhal will either be moved (a la Karolia) or, more likely, deleted, to be replaced with some other country that will match verisimilitude.
I'm happy to comply with the community consensus on this matter. But I'd like to have a record of community support for the plan before putting any more work into it.
Thanks and happy mapping.
Edit: to clarify, I do not want to be compared to other countries. Of course there are countries with worse verisimilitude issues (perhaps most countries in OGF!), but my goal is to view verisimilitude objectively and set an example without hypocrisy. This is important since as a volunteer admin, I should be enforcing the rule with others.
I was very impressed by the quality and detail of recent feedback given to other users, e.g. Myrcia, so I decided to throw myself out there, too.
As many know, my current project this past half year or so has been the city-state of Tárrases. I don't feel that it is complete, but it has definitely reached a point where I feel somewhat happy with the progress I have been making.
- 198.6 sq km land area
- 390,000 proposed population
- ~6900 named objects
- ~29000 buildings
- ~1030 km of tagged highways
- ~276 km of tagged waterways (including irrigation ditches)
Also worth exploring - the topo view:
So take a look, and please give some constructive criticism, or any ideas, suggestions or observations. I want to hear them. I may not always follow all advice (I'm somewhat stubborn), but I still would be happy to hear it.
I am back from my travels, and will be mapping again. I also hope to do some work on developing a user "forum" environment for the wiki.
I visited friends and relatives in 5 US states in 2 weeks, including California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Alaska. As is to be expected, all that traveling has got me thinking of some ideas for things to map. My time in my erstwhile home in Southeast Alaska, especially, has inspired me about Mahhal (which basically has its real-world origins in my time living there), so maybe I'll be doing some work on that.
First step: I need to increase the fjord and lake and island density. A lot.
Here's a nice lake and some mountains seen during a day-trip down to a Native American settlement:
Here's the head of fjord where my uncle's house is:
Here's a nice view into Ketchikan from the ferry.
More later. Happy mapping.
I did some good work on rural zones of Tárrases during October's challenge, but compared to some other users' work, I really didn't do that much. Nevertheless, I'm pleased with how things are progressing. I placed some more of my "blue rice" (a fictional cold-climate rice cultivar) terraces and some greenhouses for trunk farms, and plenty of mountain roads and tracks.
Tárrases is currently fully covered in landuses and buildings, but I intend to expand the built-up areas over time with more historically-oriented growth. There are currently about 6800 named objects and over 30,000 building=* tags in the city state.
For the month of November, I will be offline for much of the time. I will be traveling internationally for the first time since my cancer two years ago. I will be in the U.S. visiting relatives and friends in California, Minnesota and Alaska.
So I decided to choose a challenge that is NOT something I want to work on. It's time to work on coastlines, mappers! Start your editing tools...
Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #8 - November, 2016 - Après nous, le déluge
I think everyone needs to have basic coastline editing and maintenance skills, and frankly, even well-mapped countries often have pretty poorly done coastlines. People are afraid to work on coastlines because of the render issues (i.e. the "floods" that sometimes happen). But working on coastlines is a great way to build editing skills, and if lots of people develop these skills, our world will be better, and drier!
Coastlines need a lot of detail. Some fairly well mapped coastline areas in OGF include these locations:
Tropical Islands: http://opengeofiction.net/#map=11/16.1194/71.9374
Coastal Bays and Barrier Islands: http://opengeofiction.net/#map=12/-24.4395/124.2085
River Deltas: http://opengeofiction.net/#map=10/52.6335/70.4546
So the challenge is to work on coastlines. Some discussion of coastline maintenance issues can be found here: http://wiki.opengeofiction.net/wiki/index.php/OGF:Coastline_Maintenance
Here are some things to work on for this challenge.
Level 1. Clean up your own coastline. Lots of mappers have errors in their coastlines. You can find if you have errors on the coastline error page: http://tile.opengeofiction.net/util/coastline_info.html
Level 2. Clean up your neighbor's coastline, or blue territory coastlines. Errors in coastlines are one area where it is permissible in OGF to edit in other users' territory, because coastline integrity is important. If your neighbor is inactive or abandoned, take the time and responsibly attempt to repair any problems. If your neighbor is active but neglecting a coastline problem, collaborate with him/her to fix the issue.
Level 3. Make your coastline more interesting, detailed and realistic.
I would love to see the coastline error page "clean" when I come back from the U.S. It would be an OGF milestone.
Enjoy your Novemeber. I, too, will work on improving my coastline when I have time, but I will not be mapping much this month.
I actually gave up on my own last challenge, #6, after about a week. I completely quit, and decided not to do it.
I had several reasons.
- I've been really busy outside of OGF, which prevented me from focusing on the project. I still wanted to spend some of my free time editing, but I wanted to be more "free" to just do what occurred to me, and I felt constrained by my own project.
- I decided I wasn't ready to make bus routes for Tárrases, because I want the bus routes to follow where people live, so I want to be closer to finished on where the inhabited areas and neighborhoods are first
- I also wasn't ready technically, because I wanted to be able to make a nice multimaps bus-routes map, and I wasn't ready to do the work to get my scripts working on my new Linux system
Anyway, I know several other users made great and interesting progress on this "public transport" challenge. I've seen some great work on the map and in the wiki. Post your results here or with your own diary entry or in the wiki.
Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #7 - October, 2016 - COUNTRY ROADS
It took me a while to decide what kind of challenge to make next. I always want to make a challenge that is something I want to work on too - even if I end up giving up on it, as happened last month.
I asked some other people for some brainstorms for good challenges, and this new challenge is one suggested by Thilo.
The main point is, most of us here at OGF are very focused on cities. So the idea, this month, is to avoid city work, and focus on countryside, villages, hamlets, and small towns.
In fact, I've already been doing this challenge a lot - a great deal of work in Ardisphere is countryside and small towns, and Tárrases too. But this month, I want to focus even more.
There are areas of OSM that are so well mapped, each farm has a name and every building in the rural area is mapped. Northern Spain's Basque Country is a favorite example of mine - I'm sure there are many others.
- Advanced challenge: choose an area and map not just landuse but every single road, track, path, fence, tree row and building in the countryside. Try to include the livestock, too, if you can get them to stand still (but how should they be tagged?).
- Easier challenge: choose an area and map full coverage for landuses and focus on country roads (i.e. no motorways, trunks, primaries, etc.).
I will be doing the advanced challenge in the rural parts of Tárrases, while also continuing to fill out the urban areas. I have already done landuses, but I need to refine detail, and I very much need to add many more country roads (really, in Tárrases, these are mountain tracks, since the island is very mountainous). Adding roads in Tárrases is fun but also a lot of work, because my goal is to make the roads "topographically realistic." The results are fantastic, however, especially in the Topo Layer. I want to cover the island in one-lane mountain tracks, paths, hiking trails and livestock runs. These are often quite dense in the real world, even where population density is low - take a look at the trail density in this area in Greece.
Happy mapping and enjoy your northern hemisphere autumn / southern hemisphere spring.
For my challenge last month, "What's in a name?" (August 2016), I added about 1600 names to my city state of Tárrases, advancing from about 2800 names to a current total of 4400.
I fell far short of my revised objective of 10000 names. I feel sad because of that, but... I was very busy outside of OGF, with "real life," so that's my excuse. I will continue working on it.
This challenge did not seem to be very popular. I guess for a lot of people, names are not an important part of their geofictional undertakings. Certainly the popularity of maps with unnamed streets and other features in our world indicates that for many, names are an afterthought.
I know a few people worked on it, though. Feel free to post your results in the comments, below, or with your own diary.
Thinking about Public Transportation
One of my main interests in geofiction is in the area of public transportation infrastructure: trains, subways, buses, etc. It has always been fascinating to me. But after a few efforts in that direction with my metropolis at Villa Constitución, I have mostly been intentionally avoiding placing public transportation infrastructure, because I feel like to do it correctly, it needs to be built "in response to" the pre-existing geography. It doesn't make sense to make a detailed, elaborate subway system, as I did in Villa Constitución, when the city itself is really just the skeleton of a city, without well-conceived history or neighborhoods or topography, etc.
The advantage of using the OSM route relation infrastructure is clear if you examine a well-built route. Let's look at a more-or-less random example from RUTA-VC, such as VC's Commuter Rail Line N31, which connects the downtown to the south coast islands in a great arc:
You can use OSM route relations for highways, too, as in Ardisphere's RN 31, which runs the length of the country along its eastern border:
Anyway, I think route relations are very cool, and fun to build, and they can help you to be organized in your approach. They can be used for riverboat and ferry networks, too, and I eventually plan to build those.
However, at this point I plan to eventually delete almost all of VC's public transit, and start over, after some big changes to the city itself, including a more organic and historically oriented pattern of growth.
In my work on Tárrases, however, I think I'm about ready to start building some public transit in detail. Tárrases, being a smallish city (about 400,000 inhabitants), will only have a limited, recently built tram (light rail) system with 2-3 lines maximum. Most of the public transit will be buses (maybe 20-30 routes), along with a taxi-van system (like the Mexican "pesero" system - shared taxis that run on fixed routes).
I want to build a nice, detailed, multimap-based route map, as I did for RUTA-VC.
Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #6 - September, 2016 - GETTING AROUND
The challenge this month is to focus on public transit - subways, commuter rail, buses, etc. But not just in the wiki! Lots of people have done great work in the wiki for public transit, but that's not the focus of this challenge.
The OSM platform we use for OGF has a lot of excellent tagging options for public transit (see here). So let's try to use them to get well-defined routes, with stops and everything. I am going to try build the route system on the OGF map and use the results to create a semi-automatically-generated bus-route multimap for Tárrases.
- Advanced challenge - Build a complete system for a city, including route relations for all the routes. Try to build a multimap of your public transit system, or, if you're more comfortable with drawing programs (I'm not), make an image map instead.
- Easier challenge - Build a couple of routes of a system
Happy mapping for September!
A somewhat different topic than usual.
If anyone is looking for mapping inspiration, or just out of curiosity, there is a twitter account called @unchartedatlas. It is a "bot" which produces imaginary maps "randomly" - obviously the design of the algorithm is probably pretty complex - the creator discusses it here. Some of the maps aren't very realistic, but others are remarkable.
Tárrases is open for business!
The tiny city-state, in an ambiguous relationship with its giant, undemocratic neighbor Mahhal, has a history of laissez-faire capitalism and open borders. Because of this, it is a popular place for international brands seeking to get a foothold in Mahhal, and in any event there are almost no barriers to entry to the small domestic market for any international brand, manufacturer, franchise or retail chain.
The country's surprisingly well-educated, cosmopolitan workforce typically receives below-market wages due to the country's isolated location, uncertain political future, and cold, damp antarctic climate, with 20-hour-long winter nights. This is a capitalist paradise!
I have completed my landuse and landcover relations for Tárrases, and so I'm ready to get down to the business of business.
If you want to place your retail or manufacturing business in Tárrases, here's how to do it. I want to make it easy.
- 1) One-time application, on a "per user" basis rather than on a "per-business" basis. Essentially, I will approve you as a user and then trust you to place whatever you wish in the country. That said, if you place something without prior permission, it will be removed and I'll be less likely to approve you in the future.
- 2) Please place businesses logically. The ENTIRE COUNTRY is now "zoned". Retail businesses should be in commercially-zoned areas (landuse=commercial), although small retail chains like petrol stations, restaurants or convenience stores may be placed in residentially-zoned areas (landuse=residential); manufacturing or trading operations (warehouses) belong in industrially-zoned areas (landuse=industrial); if the spot you want is not zoned correctly, please consult with me first
- 3) For retail businesses of all kinds, place NODES - do not tag the buildings. Most of Tárrases is very high density, and most businesses share buildings with other businesses or apartments - even the little convenience store on the corner has an apartment on the second floor - so tagging the building doesn't make sense
- 4) For insdustrial operations, create a multipolygon relation, tagged man_made=works or other appropriate tag, around the building(s) and parking areas surrounding. However, if you're not comfortable working with relations, go ahead and place a node in a central location to your business complex, and I'll build the relation later.
- 5) You may "share" existing buildings (best idea) or make new ones as long as they fit with the character of their area.
- 6) Pay attention to the topography of an area when placing new buildings (see the TopoMap). Tárrases is VERY mountainous, and flat land is hard to find in some neighborhoods. Therefore do not make new roads (even service roads).
- 7) There are no rules about language - I want the country to have a cosmopolitan feel, so the more languages on businesses and signs, the better.
- 8) Save edits frequently and work in small areas (in e.g. JOSM), since this new approach will mean we'll all be overlapping some in our edits.
- 9) If you add multiple locations of a single brand, please add the business name to my work-in-progress business names listing.
If you're interested in placing businesses in Tárrases, send me a message
I have followed up with some additional thought about this challenge in my bliki.
For my challenge last month, "Let's do something blue," I think I did pretty well. Mostly, I'm proud of the Irhoborin Refugee Settlement, in Duvar, Commonia. I also did some work on administrative divisions in various blue countries, and I laid down a first draft for the Kshang Native Lands Area in Rhododactylia - but that last still needs a LOT of work.
How did you do? I saw some people doing some great stuff in blue areas this past month.
Actually, the main thing I worked on this past month has been my little city-state of Tárrases. I will post about that separately, at some point.
Thinking about names
I wasn't sure what to make as a challenge this month. So I decided to just think about what I would be working on.
For me, names on a map are important. Nothing is more disappointing for me than to see an area that looks well-mapped, realistic, and interesting, only to zoom in and find that most of the streets and other objects have no names attached to them. It detracts from the realism of the map, and makes the whole thing feel more like a kind abstract art that happens to be map-like. I know names are not interesting to everyone - if names are not your thing, then this challenge is not for you.
I try very hard to name things on my maps as I build them, but I'm certainly not perfect in this respect. Sometimes my names can become repetitive or unimaginative - but sometimes names in the real-world are repetitive and unimaginative, too. How many places bear the name "Washington" in the US? 100s if not 1000s. How many places bear the name "Santa María" in Latin America? How many places bear the name "Gwangju" in Korea?
Anyway, the challenge this month is to try to increase the number of names on your map, and improve the quality, consistency and "story" behind your naming schemes, whether based on real-world languages or your own invented language.
"Name Density" - toward an objective measure of map quality
I have been trying to develop a concept of "name density" - the number of named objects per square kilometer. Here is an example.
I downloaded a typical, well-mapped area of OSM, in the northeast corner of the Basque Country in Spain. It's a small area, but it's a rectangle that's roughly 16.31 sq km, including about 10% water, with both urban and rural features.
I used osmfilter's statistics function, and very interestingly I got 1631 names. That means exactly 100 names/sq km.
That was such a suspcious first result that I grabbed an .osm file I have of Mexico City, Delegación Cuauhtemoc, the neighborhood where I used to live. It's a bit bigger, being 44.56 sq km, all urban. It has few open areas at all compared to the first area I did, but the quality of the mapping is also much less thorough.
I used the statistics function on this file and got 2793 names per sq km, or a name density of about 63 names/sq km.
After that, I got carried away, and I spent several hours doing a bunch of different areas. I also looked at some OGF locations. Here is a screenshot of the spreadsheet I made.
Obviously, the quality of mapping might also influence the name density of these areas. My current home in Ilsan, Korea, is a good example of this. There are probably a million residents in the enclosed area that I downloaded, yet the OSM mapping quality is notably sparse.
More importantly, however, is to remember that an urban area will obviously have a higher name density than a rural area. It might be more interesting to come up with a ratio of population density to name density. This would actually be a kind of indicator of map completeness and map quality. But it's beyond my current ability to do this, because it means getting downloaded OSM areas that match known population figures with some precision. I think it's an interesting goal.
For now, let's keep things simpler than that.
Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #5 - August, 2016 - WHAT'S IN A NAME?
As you can see, the last area I did in my spreadsheet was my current obsession, the city state of Tárrases. The result that I got, at 29 names/km sq, is about in line with what I would expect for this stage in my work there. I was not disappointed at all. But it gave me an idea for a goal for my challenge for this month.
The total land area of Tárrases is 203 km sq. My goal for this challenge is to raise the city-state's name density to 100 names/sq km. That means there need to be about 20,000 named objects on the map. I'm going to have to put in a lot of little shops and restaurants!
If you want to attempt this challenge, choose some area (whatever size you're comfortable working with), and try for a "real world" level of name density - whatever is appropriate for the type of mapping style and type of area (rural or urban) you're working on.
Happy mapping, and happy August
I have posted a rant on my Bliki.
I'm not going to work on blue countries for a while.