A Lesson in Scale

Posted by Greg_Rose on 4 September 2020 in English (English)

A good tip for beginner-intermediate mappers: pay attention to scale as you're creating.
That wonderful town you're building actually might be only the size of a football pitch...
or perhaps the magnificent Washington DC/London hybrid you've just created is a monstrosity built for giants.
Here's Kalango's Port Victoria, and the aforementioned DC/London mash-up: Note the scale in the lower left.
Now here's rw Washington DC, with its own "Ellipse", same scale: I could fit the White House, DC's ellipse and most of the acreage around the Washington Monument inside Port Victoria's Ellipse.
Here's London for good measure, same scale: The Grassy Promenade is wider than the Thames. Yeah.
I was going to shrink some of this, but maybe I'll just take all of the "royal" buildings and stuff them into the Promenade. Or something.
I mean - it's not BAD mapping per se - it's just... big. Biggie big big.

Comment from Toadwart on 4 September 2020 at 10:32

You should also pay attention to the angles of the roads in the south. That's a very common OSF sin.

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Comment from Luciano on 4 September 2020 at 14:44

Sometimes new mappers aren't aware of the "scale helper" utility on OGF:

I actually don't personally use that tool that much. One thing I do is I will have a separate "sketch" layer open in JOSM where I have "traced" some real-world feature I'm interested in imitating. I did this a while back when developing the Ohunkagan streetcar network (historical, circa 1900). I had a tracing of the Minneapolis/St-Paul streetcar network from the same era (done from an old map), and I could compare things like curves, route density, overall extent... and get the right scale.

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Comment from Greg_Rose on 4 September 2020 at 15:40

@Toadwart - Yes I noticed that. I'm not a fan of the Perspective Square in city building either. Glad to know it's not just me. I'll be doing a BUNCH of editing on the 3 main cities already here in the next few weeks.

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Comment from Greg_Rose on 4 September 2020 at 16:15

@Luciano Oh man, I am such a sucker for trams, interurbans and light rail. You've done a fantastic job with that system - that whole city is top-notch tbh. I can practically taste the Twin Cities while looking at Ohunkagan. And do I detect a hint of Seattle in those waterways and layout? Really fantastic - can't stop wandering around looking at the details you've added.

So I didn't know about the scale helper. How do I access it? I don't see an obvious link from the tile server.

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Comment from Luciano on 4 September 2020 at 16:35

@Greg_Rose - You could just bookmark the scale helper. Or use the link in the OGF:Dashboard that I made some years ago.

Thanks for the feedback on Ohunkagan. I'm approaching it "historically" - trying to map as the city grows in 20 year increments. Currently I'm doing the 1900-1920 phase, approximately. Need to expand streetcar suburbs substantially, get the elevated rail expanded, etc.

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