On the State of the Topo Layer

Posted by Martinawa on 3 December 2019 in English (English)

Hi everyone. I'm Martinawa, owner of Adaria, and recently I've been involved in a project regarding the topography of my country, eventually uploading into the topo layer the a contour map on the whole country. I'm not here to talk about my work, though, but the topo layer itself.

I've been enjoying my time with the topo layer in Adaria, and I have the feeling that working on a topo map for the OGF Topo Layer is a very intensive but satisfying work. Sadly it's work that often goes unnoticed by many mappers, either because they don't pay attention to the layer itself, or because topo edits don't show up on the OGF edit history (as they are actually not edits on OGF themselves), and I think it's a shame that many topo layers go completely unnoticed because they only cover small terriories. (As an example, I didn't know until today that there was a topo layer map of Udilugbulgidhu's Hesperis

I'd like to suggest the admins (and to an extent to the whole of the community), that this layer should have a little bit more of a presence into the OGF world, as it can become an essential tool for worldbuilding if well used. For example, keeping a kind of "history list", with the edits made in the topo layer would be useful for those looking for inspiration, and also a chance for the users who made their topos to feature them and get feedback.

I know that user Luciano has been for now the go-to source for everything about the topo layer, but it's a shame that there's only one person to go to when wanting to ask about how to make such a thing. I'm of course willing to collaborate into making the Topo section of the OGF map a more comprehensive and motivating place for people to start adventuring themselves, but I'm sure more people could give their insights in topography if that part of the map was to be "easier to notice".

Happy Mapping,


Location: -22,576, 131,230

Comment from zhenkang on 3 December 2019 at 02:12

One possible suggestion is to use mulitmaps for wiki articles your countries and places and switching them to topo layer by default. Here is what Udi did:

Featured map articles can also show such topo layers as well. Probably you can nominate Hesperis topo layer for featured map as well?

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Comment from Alessa on 3 December 2019 at 13:23

It is very interesting that you have brought this up at this time. I have been working diligently over the last couple of months off-site on a topo map of Mauretia and fully understand how hard of a job it is to do. It is incredibly time-consuming for a long-term payoff. I agree that the topo layer should get more visibility, but I also caution that we do need more thorough documentation before encouraging broader usage. For example, there is nothing that suggests even little details like optimal distance between nodes. I don't think learning JOSM is nearly as difficult as most people make it out to be (I just think most people aren't patient enough to experiment and read the documentation out there). Even so, this is not a beginner-level task and should not be promoted as such.

I applaud you for bringing it up and working hard on making Adaria realistic in this way.

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