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Map Updates 15.01.2010 and Publishing of the lines Style-File

The map updates brings no big differences. Only some small changes in POI layout (mainly cities). This time again all maps are updated.

As for the long awaited lines style-file. When I started openmtbmap.org my main intention was to push forward Mtbikers to use and participate in OSM. This is still my main intention. Currently IMHO openmtbmap are the only Garmin maps with proper Autorouting for cyclists and mtbikers as well as hikers. It took a lot of hours try & error to get autorouting work reasonably well. All other OSM interpretations that are widespread don't offer nearly as good autorouting for cyclists (be it maps from "DE:All in One, User:Radfahrer or Computerteddy). Therefore currently many non mtbikers are using the openmtbmaps because they offer best autorouting and most extensive mapping features needed for orientation. This is good in my eyes for mtbikers because normal cyclists or hikers get to see maps from a mountainbike-centric perspective and help us push trough relevant ideas and needs better in OSM.

 


The layout of the openmtbmaps is not the prettiest and difficult to understand for newcomers. In my opinion however after one has used it for some time, and remembers the map legend more or less it gives the quickest and most extensive knowledge about the properties of a way or area. This has one drawback, it takes some time and first time users will at the beginning be overwhelmed and would prefer a more traditional map layout. (for example a slightly grey map background would look nicer on a big pc monitor, but offer less contrast outside in the nature on your GPS, less flashy colors would make the map more harmonic, but in the end offer less information and be more difficult to read in sunlight). If other maps could copy the rules for autorouting many newcomers woud due to resistance to learn, or time needed for being able to understand the potential of the map layout of the openmtbmaps, use those maps. Therefore I have been hesistant to publish the lines style-file.

 

By now there are so many users of the openmtbmaps worldwide that I think it is time to opensource the lines-file, so that other people who want to invest some time to improve routing on their maps can do this and bring forward maps for other purposed based on OSM. Be it maps with autorouting destined for motorbikers, or be it maps with autorouting specialised for race cycling. Therefore I will publish the lines style-file (using some versioning software like Trac).

 

However only after mtb:scale and mtb:scale:uphill as well as incline are integrated into main JOSM presets for pathes (and best also tracks) WITHOUT the need to resort to a plugin or modified JOSM version. I personally find the plugin system for JOSM too difficult for beginners and also to error prone. Currently the in my eyes pretty useless sac:scale (useless because many people using it don't really understand the difficulty associated to the vaules) as what is labelled alpine_hiking in one region might be a lot easier than demanding_mountain_hiking on the next path. This so error prone sac:scale occupies 6 lines in the "Ways" Preset. I have not been able to convince "christeck" to implement mtb:scale / mtb:scale:uphill into JOSM (see here: http://josm.openstreetmap.de/ticket/3896 ).

So now it is your turn. If you get mtb:scale, mtb:scale:uphill and incline into the path preset (or a seperate line called mtb_ways or similar) into JOSM then I will publish the lines style-file (license: CCBYSA 3.0 by openmtbmap.org). I know this is no easy task to do, but if "christeck" notices that many people want to have mtb difficulty presets inside JOSM, I am sure he will integrate it. So your best bet if you want to have the complete style file to build maps with the same or similar features and good autorouting yourself, is to put a comment here: http://josm.openstreetmap.de/ticket/3896 and support my request to get the changes beginner mtb users of OSM need for easier tagging into OSM. If 100 people drop a comment for support of mtb features regarding JOSM in the next week (there are alone over 600 users receiving the above text in their "openmtbmap newsletter" I am sure we can move one step further in our quest to build opensource maps for mtbikers.

 

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