Is our carto style different from OSM's?

Posted by Toadwart on 6 August 2020 in English (English).

The icon for the arcade in OSM: and in OGF:

It seems that the size is wrong, like squeezed to 3x3 pixels. The same for hospitals and casinos.

Isn’t our style carto supposed to be just a copy?

Comment from Luciano on 6 August 2020 at 18:30

OGF-carto is, indeed, a copy of OSM-carto. However, it is not the most up-to-date copy. It is a snapshot of at least several months ago, now. Normally Thilo was periodically updating the OGF-carto to match the OSM-carto, but this is a manual process that takes time, so it’s possible this hasn’t happened in a while.

If the change in icons was a recent change to the OSM-carto style, it won’t be showing on OGF.

Another issue has arisen recently: OSM-carto recently made major changes to how they store coastline and border shapefile information. Where before, it was stored in file directories on the render server, that information has been moved over to the database. That means that much of the customization required to get OGF to handle its local coastlines and borders (rather than defaulting to Earth’s coastlines and borders) will need to be re-coded. This is a somewhat formidable undertaking.

We might not be seeing an update to the OGF-carto in a long while, if I understand the issues correctly.

Comment from histor on 7 August 2020 at 18:59

Icons in OGF-rendering most are 16 to 16 pixel, may be sometimes up to 24 pixel - in the histor-style some are 1818 instead of 16 * 16. Why do you think, there are 33-pixel symbols?

Comment from Luciano on 8 August 2020 at 15:38


I believe Toadwart was talking about this:

Comment from histor on 8 August 2020 at 20:37

O.k. - if a “symbol” in a style has no individual description for its mapping, we get this “common symbol” - p.e. in brown for restaurants, bars, cafés or pubs or in purple for shops.

Comment from Alessa on 8 August 2020 at 21:24

I could be mistaken, Luciano (and feel free to correct me), but I believe the icons, colors, textures, and other basic information that has been updated on OSM-carto can all be forked over and brought into OGF without having to completely reconstruct the coastline using the shapefiles. Icons, for example, are easily brought over and only a few lines of code would need to be updated. The same should hold for other things like color changes. I’m not suggesting it isn’t a little bit of work to do this (there always is); I’m simply saying that I believe we could match the OSM-carto more without having to reconstruct the coastline.

Comment from Luciano on 8 August 2020 at 21:34

@Alessa - that’s a valid point.

Really that’s up to Thilo. In the past I’ve got the impression from him (and he can correct us all if I’m off base) that he wants to have OGF’s carto style to be “exactly” a replica of OSM’s. This makes updates trivial, since he can just download the new version and it’s done.

Because of the change to the database with the shapefiles, in fact this is already broken. So we can go two routes:

1) we can start doing piecemeal update, as you suggest - update those things which are easy, but with manipulations to the code (however minor they might be) that mean all future updates will also be fiddly and require effort


2) we can fix the coastline problem so we can go back to the “updates are trivial” process

I suppose a third option is to permanently fork the style and let it be frozen in time at the point when the fork occurred, letting it evolve in its own direction (or fail to, depending on the effort of the person maintaining it). Actually, this last is essentially what’s happening, for now, on my Arhet server. I have two carto styles, one a “frozen fork” dated early 2018, and another “frozen fork” dated early 2020. Neither will likely ever be updated - rather, I’ll eventually replace them if and when I figure out the new database system for storing shapefiles.

In some repects, that’s what the histor style is on OGF, too - it was a fork from osm-carto in around 2014, and since then it’s evolved independently.

In my utopian geofiction environment, there would exist an easy-to-edit “public” tool that the mappers themselves could update, fork, and maintain without having to have technical skill.

Comment from histor on 8 August 2020 at 22:59

In the histor-style in the spring 2020 I copied most of symbols from OSM in an actual design and bind in several new symbols (most for shops). But Luciano is right - this is an independent process.

For new and actual symbols you need not only the symbol itself in the symbol-file of the style, but sure there are to made changings of the code necessary in the files, in which the symbol is defined in connection with the tagging. But this code-changings are relative easy.

Comment from Alessa on 10 August 2020 at 03:38

I don’t know about how the technicalities of the new coastline would work. We’re also a quite active coastline-editing site, whereas OSM has largely fixed coastlines.

Irrespective of that, it might be beneficial to update the style in other ways to keep the site functioning and appearing as OSM does, even if there is one technical glitch still outstanding. Then again, Thilo would need to be the one to weigh in on this. I’m curious as to what he would say.

Comment from Toadwart on 10 August 2020 at 08:40

What I meant is that some icons look like the original 16x16 icon is available, but by some mistake gets scaled to 3x3.

But anyway I just wanted to make aware of it, hoping it were a simple bug, which could be easily solved. If it is indeed a bigger issue, then that’s ok as well.

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