Map Updates 27. May — New easy/simple Layout

Donations via bank transfer and forum:

Well it took me longer than anticipated, but now it is not only possible to donate and acquire membership with Paypal/credit card, but also by good old bank transfer. See the details here:

So if you don't have Paypal / credit card, or stay away from using it due to ethical/political decisions (which I do support as I see ebay as an completly bad and capitalistic organisation) you can wire me money too (and thereby cut off ebay comissions, however causing me a bit more handwork, and taking a few days till you get your account data).

I hope to put up a support forum for members in the next weeks too. I am waiting for a plugin to move from alpha to at least beta stage, that will transfer the user names to phpBB forums. So once this is available, I'll set up a forum based on phpBB software.

Depending on what you want to report, that will be easier to communicate (as stuff like picture or video embedding will be possible).

On the outlook for the longer future I will also setup some video tutorials. Not sure yet if I make the available to everyone, or just members (might decide on a per tutorial basis too).

BTW: there is a new Basecamp beta version. However I have not tested it yet...



New Layout

Often people, especially first time users complain that the layout of the openmtbmap maps is to complicated to understand, therefore I put in a lot of effort to make it easier. This has resulted in the simple Layout.

For this map update I have introduced a new fifth layout. It's intention is to show more ore less (except mtb specific information and oneway arrows) no more information than standard topographic maps. So additional information like whether a cycleway runs parallel to a road, or mtb:scale:uphill information is not shown. The line width is equal to the classic layout. It is intended for GPS use - especially for hikers that don't need the additional bicycle related information that gets hidden. I hope that Garmin does not create a need to change around a lot of stuff again, in order for the layouts to not take too much time to maintain - therefore before I implemented the new layout, I finished off the changes for the Nüvi series to harmonise what the Nüvi does show, and what it does not show (basically no mtb:scale:uphill and no cycleway=lane/track/opposite except if correctly indicated with left/right -- though not both).

The new easy layout (I wanted to call it simple, but needed a 4letter word, so it became easy) munges together tracktype and sac_scale information, in order to make room to use the green color for mtb:scale classified ways (and thereby having no blue ways anymore -- only water stays blue).
 I'm actually thinking about if the color choice for tracktype/sac_scale/mtb:scale shouldn't be the default for all layouts - as it makes the map easier to understand, and only few information is lost (of course for all other layouts, I would only change the colors, but keep all additional lines for cycleways/mtb:scale:uphill and so inside).

It would be nice if you could post comments on how you like the color choice of the simple layout. (for those that have no account, it's a good time to get one, as you get the possiblity to download an exclusive Europemap too, I will not base my decision on other sources as I do value the opinion of those who donated more)

I did already put some effort to harmonize the layout of difficulties, so that the same pattern independant of color, should more or less always resemble the same difficulty and made a better separation for mtb:scale=0 (taking more factors into account whether the way is really for mtbiking or not).


Other changes:

On the autorouting side I removed the higher priority for sac_scale=hiking, I have no clue whether this is good or not. Hiking routes are still preferred for autorouting.

On the rendering side, I did go back to normal mkgmap branch, because I found that the locator branch does not produce a better address index than the normal branch, but on the other hand takes twice as much time for processing the data. I might try out the locator branch ones it evolves in future.

As noted on the layout section, the decision on what is shown and what is not shown on the Nüvi series, got harmonised.



Sorry my work on the VeloMap got cut short the last 2 weeks. I hope to build a Europemap for the Velomap too, and update the homepage (so for people who got a VeloMap membership, to download the Openmtbmap Europemap too). I'll try to make up on this soon (though the Velomap is clearly second priority, I do try to keep it to the same level as the openmtbmap so don't despair if the Velomaps is what interests you.

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