Histor style: overhaul based on standard style?

Posted by Squizie3 on 20 January 2020 in English (English)

First off: I really want to express my thankfulness on Histor's work on it's own Histor style map. But that being said, I also want to open a debate on the style itself and which direction it could go, which might be controversial: what about a complete overhaul of the Histor style based on the current standard mapnik style? Back in the days, I assume Histor style used to be a derivative of the then standard mapnik style, but with extra features such as ports, railroad differentiation, i.e. all things the standard map style lacks. But then the standard style had a complete redesign, and the Histor style didn't follow and kept the old style. And now, Histor is editing the style to fix the problems the old style had, and which is exactly the reason why mapnik itself changed to its new style too. But the problem with that is, with all respect, the current Histor style seems a bit... amateurish. And that's normal, because the new standard mapnik style probably took a ton of work by a lot of different people to get at the point it is now.

I really think it would be better to go back to the essence of what Histor style was all about: the standard style + all extra features it lacks. Currently, this project has really evolved into a completely different style, in stead of an improved standard style. All work on changing the colour of roads, matching landuses with that, etc. is in a sense really reinventing the wheel. And because making a map that's pleasant to the eye is really a very hard task this will still need a lot of work, all to end up with a map that's just "different" than the standard map, but not "better". And at this point, I think we're still at "worse", which means a lot of people won't use the Histor style as their de facto standard style. If started over with the current standard style as a base, every change on the Histor style will make the map better than the standard map, while now changes only try to catch up with it. This will make it possible for everyone who knows about the existence of Histor style to use it as their de facto standard, because there are no drawbacks in comparison to the original standard style and only real improvements exist.

So I'd really like to open a debate on this. Either Histor style could be kept as it is now, with gradual improvements being made by Histor, or a more thorough redesign using the standard style could be considered. And I know, Histor, you spent lots of time in creating your style and it is still a really useful tool I really want to thank you for. This is absolutely not meant to discredit you, I just want to open a debate to make your style possibly even more useful for more people. And I also know that doing a complete overhaul might be a big undertaking, which you might not want to take up. But luckily, this is just a debate to see what the opinions are.

So please everyone give your opinions about the idea, and Histor, still a big thank you for your work till now and let us know if such an overhaul project would be something you could support or not.



Comment from histor on 20 January 2020 at 10:49

My intention for this style was the poorness of the standard-style six years ago with missing different markings for railways (hi-speed main, commuter, subway - and now in planing freight), the missing of a tidalland-tag, no shipping and harbour units and some missing symbols. We have the tag "man-made=pipeline", but the standard-style did not render this. Generally the histor-style has an eye for public transportation and more industrial features.

Meanwhile the old tagging "natural=marsh''" for wetland is obsolete and the wetland-tagging generally has changed. This is to update in the histor-style also.

We can think about bus-line (so as tram-lines) in an other colour. Long distance shipping-lines shall have an other character as local ferries.

The colours of the street: 'I think, the "green" for the trunks was disappering in the woods, the "light brown" of the secondaries" between the farmland. If the new colours are too bright may be a point of discussion. But please have in mind the difference between strrets on a white land with nothing else as streets or streets in mapped landscapes or towns. If someones town is too yellow may ask themselfe, if all this streets must be secondaries.

Last point: the shields with the street-number will be made smaller. Now it is 10-point, but I think, 7 will be better.

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Comment from Squizie3 on 20 January 2020 at 11:30

Yes but wouldn't it be a good idea to do the same as a few years ago: start of the standard style (the current one) and add those different markings (hsr, commuter, freight, harbor-related stuff, really keeping everything extra from the current histor style that's still missing from the standard style) in stead of just trying to change the current histor style, so really starting over. Because all those things you've added are indeed very usefull ones, but it would be better if that's based on the current standard map in stead of the previous one. The result will be way better I think.

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Comment from Toadwart on 20 January 2020 at 13:07

In any case, could you give us a quick overview on how a style is made, where it is stored and if it would make sense for some more of us to give it a try as well?

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Comment from Rustem Pasha on 20 January 2020 at 13:51

It would be interesting to base custom OGF style on TopoLayer. First of all, this is the layer where roads are the thinest. It's actually a big advantage which dramatically increases the visual values of interchanges. Limited presence of natural objects also makes it natural base for a style which purpose is transport or industry mapping.

I have also one general comment. Colors of current histor-style are too bright and intense. I don't want to evaluate the aesthetics but looking at it is pretty tiring when someone me for example) uses relatively bright and old screen. Of course I can change the brightness but it means I would have to do it only for watching maps in histor-style.

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Comment from histor on 20 January 2020 at 14:03

@Toadwart: see [] ande if you follow the links, you can spend some hours

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Comment from Toadwart on 20 January 2020 at 14:25

A tiny little bit more detail would be helpful. One might think changing the rendering rules would just need a simple text editor.

But looking at the link I would say: "No thanks!" It looks like days required to set things up and by no means worth it. If that's what you intended to say, fine. I just thought it would be much much easier than that.

Why do I need to set up a server when I would only want to supply the rendering rules. Will it not be on the server of OGF in the end?

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Comment from admin on 20 January 2020 at 14:44

The admin team are already discussing a custom "OGF style", based upon the standard osmcarto style.

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Comment from niski on 20 January 2020 at 14:59

well, i'm kind of hyped for the "OGF style", if it will get released

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Comment from histor on 20 January 2020 at 15:30

@Toadwart: Mapnik is the renderer - taking all collected nodes, ways, areas to draw the map. You give the rules for a so called "style" for every sort of output - motorway in tunnel, on bridge, normal and this for different zoom-levels. The same for trunks, primary and so on for all thinkable other objects. Language is the abstract XML. If you are interested - the older versions are open source (therefore my link). OGF run at a server operated by thilo and the renderer is only the last part of all. In the OGF-server (seen as a black box) are to put all edits of all OGF-user, so there is a map of the whole world like in a OSM-server.

It was not in my mind, to be unpolite to you.

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Comment from Toadwart on 20 January 2020 at 15:46

No offence taken.

But knowing only part of the whole thing I'm just getting confused with that piece in the middle with overwhelming detail, which I thought I would not need to use myself. I had used Maperitive once which created tiles locally so I was able to look at maps which I didn't upload to any server. But that simply converted an osm file to a bunch of png's using a rule set. No server needed in that case.

So far I understand there is a server collecting all info about the nodes and so on. The thing we upload to. When I use the website in the "VIEW" tab, I see tiles which are a huge collection of png files if i remember correctly. I have 4 choices which png's to view.

The "missing part" inbetween is, how to get from the nodes to the png's? I ignore the Roantra layer, which leaves 3 options, all of which convert the nodes into png's. The basic task is the same, so I guess they use the same engine. But they do this differently so they must have different rules, which must be stored at some place, and this place should be capable of storing a hypothetical fifth ruleset created by me.

Did I understand that correctly?

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Comment from wangi on 20 January 2020 at 15:50

Pretty much; however it's not simple and it has a load of pre-requisites.

These are the default rules:

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Comment from Squizie3 on 20 January 2020 at 16:20

Well, that OGF style seems promising. How concrete is this idea? And can we help or give input on it? Feel free to share more details, we're all ears!

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Comment from Toadwart on 20 January 2020 at 16:21

So I guess I would have to copy that to start with the existing carto rules and then change it step by step to adapt it to my ideas. The trouble would be to merge the changes when the carto style updates (if I want to) and also I would need some place to test it.

These are the two issues I see, the first seems solvable, but I guess the second one makes it too much effort for me. Probably I would need that server to do that.

Anyway. What is the purpose of the planned ogf-style? At the moment I am quite fine with the carto style. I guess, that would remain in place as an option in any case? Are we at any point asked for a wish list or do you already know what will be in it. Then I would put ski slopes and neutral (i.e. fictitious) religous symbols on that list.

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Comment from iiEarth on 21 January 2020 at 18:30

I actually use histor style a lot. Not necessarily while editing, but when viewing a map a few minutes after an edit, I switch to histor style because it shows the edits slightly faster than the standard layer. I also use histor style because of its unique icons and representations of objects which may not be visible on the standard layer.

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