Mapnik Lowzoom TIles - proof of concept

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Mapnik Lowzoom TIles - proof of concept

Frederik Ramm
Hi,

    one thing I particularly liked about the now-deceased Tiles@Home
style was the lowzoom tiles which, in contrast to our rather bland
Mapnik tiles

http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=52.3&lon=7.8&zoom=5&layers=M

or those beefed up by terrain colouring

http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=52.3&lon=7.8&zoom=5&layers=Q

actually showed real OpenStreetMap data.

There's nothing keeping one from applying the Tiles@Home lowzoom process
to a slight variation of our standard Mapnik style however, and out
comes this (for zoom levels 0-8; from z9 on, the standard Mapnik style
looks fine):

http://fred.dev.openstreetmap.org/lowzoom/

I guess it's always a question of what audience a map is for, and my
lowzoom tiles above look funny in areas where landcover has partially
been imported; but for the mapper to get an idea of where there is data
and where not, I quite like it. I think that if one applied a little
more bitmap processing and maybe included, like t@h did, the boundaries
on the lower zoom renderings, that could be a nice alternative to what
we have. I'd like to have the roads a bit more prominent against the
landcover perhaps.

This is just a proof of concept and I'm not updating these tiles at the
moment, but it would be quite easy to set this up on our main tileserver
and keep it updated, and it wouldn't use a lot of resources.

(Technical details: Took normal OSM Mapnik style and separated it in one
style drawing only labels for z0-z8 (transparent background), and
another style drawing everything but labels on z9; rendered world-wide
set of no-label tiles on z9; produced z0-z8 tiles by
bitmap-scaling/compositing appropriate number of z9 tiles and overlaying
the label-only tile. All sources - hacky, Perl-y - available on request.)

Bye
Frederik

--
Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail [hidden email]  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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