Water should be better recognizable - difference to forest color too low #1781

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tob2 opened this Issue Aug 23, 2015 · 72 comments

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tob2 commented Aug 23, 2015

I think the water should be more bluish - currently it is not that well visible. Compare Mapnik's rendering with the others at http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/#11/47.6345/9.5654&num=4&mt0=mapnik&mt1=google-map&mt2=bing-map&mt3=nokia-map

That's especially visible if the lake is embedded in a forest; the small lakes are easily visible in the Google map and hardly visible in Mapnik (I mean those lakes: http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/#14/47.6138/9.6337&num=4&mt0=mapnik&mt1=google-map&mt2=bing-map&mt3=nokia-map)

Even more prominent is http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/#9/47.6714/11.1721&num=4&mt0=mapnik&mt1=google-map&mt2=bing-map&mt3=nokia-map (for additional comparison, some other OSM variants: http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/#9/47.6529/11.0403&num=4&mt0=mapnik&mt1=public_transport&mt2=geofabrik-de&mt3=mapnik-humanitarian )

I think that's mostly visible for lower zoom levels (<~10), especially since zoom levels >=13 have a tree-symbol rendering.

Another item - besides the more bluish color, which makes the lakes more visible and nicer looking is Google's shading of the edge of the water: It is slightly darker, making it stand out more and also making it look more 3D-link. Close zoom-in example which makes the shade most visible: http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/#18/47.6429/9.5038&num=4&mt0=mapnik&mt1=google-map&mt2=bing-map&mt3=nokia-map - while the first link above shows how much nicer it looks. (Google adds this edge shading only for lakes which are larger than a certain pixel size; for low zoom, only big lakes have it, when zooming in also smaller lakes get it.)

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imagico Aug 23, 2015

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Contrast between water and wood/forest is a valid concern. This has been discussed in #1242, it is no worse than it was for wood before but still it is unsatisfactory, especially for river lines (which are frequently less visible than streams since the latter have a bright casing).

Note comparisons to other map styles without a serious landcover depiction are of limited use here - in Google & co. general land coloring essentially only serves aesthetic purposes and is not meant to transport significant information. This style is different in that regard.

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imagico commented Aug 23, 2015

Contrast between water and wood/forest is a valid concern. This has been discussed in #1242, it is no worse than it was for wood before but still it is unsatisfactory, especially for river lines (which are frequently less visible than streams since the latter have a bright casing).

Note comparisons to other map styles without a serious landcover depiction are of limited use here - in Google & co. general land coloring essentially only serves aesthetic purposes and is not meant to transport significant information. This style is different in that regard.

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matkoniecz Aug 23, 2015

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Yes, lakes, canals and rivers may be well hidden. See for example http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/54.2137/21.7272

selection_002

Note that there are also other blue features - transport-related labels/icons (like bus stops) and motorways (with #319 motorways on low zoom levels are very hard to notice and look like rivers that may be fixed by #1736 what would give more space for water colour changes).

see also http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=11/41.2700/-111.8000

selection_003

see also http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=60.638889&mlon=28.565278&zoom=16#map=10/61.5799/28.2610

selection_002

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matkoniecz commented Aug 23, 2015

Yes, lakes, canals and rivers may be well hidden. See for example http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/54.2137/21.7272

selection_002

Note that there are also other blue features - transport-related labels/icons (like bus stops) and motorways (with #319 motorways on low zoom levels are very hard to notice and look like rivers that may be fixed by #1736 what would give more space for water colour changes).

see also http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=11/41.2700/-111.8000

selection_003

see also http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=60.638889&mlon=28.565278&zoom=16#map=10/61.5799/28.2610

selection_002

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Gazer75 Aug 24, 2015

Maybe giving both lakes and riverbanks a white outline like streams? Doing it for river would not work to well as those can be inside the riverbanks and it would look weird.

@tob2
Even better example are these areas: http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/#11/70.0354/28.6550&num=4&mt0=mapnik&mt1=google-map&mt2=bing-map&mt3=nokia-map
http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/#11/63.2033/9.9384&num=4&mt0=mapnik&mt1=google-map&mt2=bing-map&mt3=nokia-map

It's quite noticeable in areas where we have imported landcover data in Norway.

Gazer75 commented Aug 24, 2015

Maybe giving both lakes and riverbanks a white outline like streams? Doing it for river would not work to well as those can be inside the riverbanks and it would look weird.

@tob2
Even better example are these areas: http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/#11/70.0354/28.6550&num=4&mt0=mapnik&mt1=google-map&mt2=bing-map&mt3=nokia-map
http://tools.geofabrik.de/mc/#11/63.2033/9.9384&num=4&mt0=mapnik&mt1=google-map&mt2=bing-map&mt3=nokia-map

It's quite noticeable in areas where we have imported landcover data in Norway.

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kocio-pl Jul 26, 2016

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I made some basic test with Here color (#99cdfe), because it's the most contrasting one I've found on other maps, so we know the limits of modification:

  1. Blue line in the forest:
    t gb4avv

  2. Lines and areas in the farmland:
    thzwm6aq

  3. Lines and areas in the grass and trees:
    jjeccavi

  4. Warsaw (water areas and lines)
    z9
    ma dfpx_
    z10
    djswvgq8
    z11
    fvna11gz
    z12
    0f5lprxc

What do you think about it?

[EDIT:] The oceans:
8ytjvl1l

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kocio-pl commented Jul 26, 2016

I made some basic test with Here color (#99cdfe), because it's the most contrasting one I've found on other maps, so we know the limits of modification:

  1. Blue line in the forest:
    t gb4avv

  2. Lines and areas in the farmland:
    thzwm6aq

  3. Lines and areas in the grass and trees:
    jjeccavi

  4. Warsaw (water areas and lines)
    z9
    ma dfpx_
    z10
    djswvgq8
    z11
    fvna11gz
    z12
    0f5lprxc

What do you think about it?

[EDIT:] The oceans:
8ytjvl1l

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kdudzik Jul 26, 2016

For me it's a clear improvement, I'm looking forward to it.
Could you provide screenshots of wetlands, whole continents/islands or examples in the referenced tickets like #2098? Maybe the label color needs adjustment too.

kdudzik commented Jul 26, 2016

For me it's a clear improvement, I'm looking forward to it.
Could you provide screenshots of wetlands, whole continents/islands or examples in the referenced tickets like #2098? Maybe the label color needs adjustment too.

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matthijsmelissen Jul 26, 2016

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Looks great to me, much more pleasant.

Maybe we can move the color slightly more towards blue? I have the impression the contrast to the landuse is even too big now.

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matthijsmelissen commented Jul 26, 2016

Looks great to me, much more pleasant.

Maybe we can move the color slightly more towards blue? I have the impression the contrast to the landuse is even too big now.

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matthijsmelissen Jul 26, 2016

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Towards white, I meant.

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matthijsmelissen commented Jul 26, 2016

Towards white, I meant.

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imagico Jul 26, 2016

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Water color needs to look good in a lot of different scenarios and in a lot of different combinations. I did some tests some time ago and found that it probably looks best if you differentiate rivers/streams, lakes and ocean. This however would require reordering the water layers which in return depends on #1982.

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imagico commented Jul 26, 2016

Water color needs to look good in a lot of different scenarios and in a lot of different combinations. I did some tests some time ago and found that it probably looks best if you differentiate rivers/streams, lakes and ocean. This however would require reordering the water layers which in return depends on #1982.

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wmyrda Jul 26, 2016

I also vote for this change and adding contrast to the rivers. With current implementation it is hardly possible to see rivers. Example in the area http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/49.6382/22.5560 For those that wonder where it is hidden there it is http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/283049525

wmyrda commented Jul 26, 2016

I also vote for this change and adding contrast to the rivers. With current implementation it is hardly possible to see rivers. Example in the area http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/49.6382/22.5560 For those that wonder where it is hidden there it is http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/283049525

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kocio-pl Jul 26, 2016

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I understand how much testing is needed, because water color is so essential to the map. I started with what I already have on my database and also because this is my hometown, so I can find some places more easily, but it's just a starting point. Please provide some interesting cases around the world to check - and also other shades of blue. I will test as much as possible so we could at least exclude some of them and continue with just a few candidates.

Labels and other water related features (like ferry lines) are the next big thing to test, but we should have some promising water colors first, so I think this is of lower priority for now.

@imagico That's great, could you share some details about what you have found? If reordering the water layers is not too hard, this would be very interesting approach to test. But if it is hard, I would try to improve what we have now with just one universal color, because even this would be a clear progress.

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kocio-pl commented Jul 26, 2016

I understand how much testing is needed, because water color is so essential to the map. I started with what I already have on my database and also because this is my hometown, so I can find some places more easily, but it's just a starting point. Please provide some interesting cases around the world to check - and also other shades of blue. I will test as much as possible so we could at least exclude some of them and continue with just a few candidates.

Labels and other water related features (like ferry lines) are the next big thing to test, but we should have some promising water colors first, so I think this is of lower priority for now.

@imagico That's great, could you share some details about what you have found? If reordering the water layers is not too hard, this would be very interesting approach to test. But if it is hard, I would try to improve what we have now with just one universal color, because even this would be a clear progress.

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imagico Jul 26, 2016

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Changing the layer order is not hard but requires water polygons and has some further effects w.r.t. landcover rendering that would need to be considered. So the order in which things need to be changed is

  1. water polygons
  2. changing layer order
  3. changing water color
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imagico commented Jul 26, 2016

Changing the layer order is not hard but requires water polygons and has some further effects w.r.t. landcover rendering that would need to be considered. So the order in which things need to be changed is

  1. water polygons
  2. changing layer order
  3. changing water color
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kocio-pl Jul 26, 2016

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Sure, I meant the whole change - how close/far are we now with 1?

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kocio-pl commented Jul 26, 2016

Sure, I meant the whole change - how close/far are we now with 1?

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matthijsmelissen Jul 26, 2016

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I'm not sure if having different colors for rivers and sea would look good in coastal/delta areas. In fact, I highly doubt is.

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matthijsmelissen commented Jul 26, 2016

I'm not sure if having different colors for rivers and sea would look good in coastal/delta areas. In fact, I highly doubt is.

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imagico Jul 26, 2016

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Well, it depends on consistent mapping of course which is currently often not the case, Hen-and-egg problem.

To get an idea of the concept look at the swiss topographic maps:

https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=en&X=263820.00&Y=768660.00&zoom=7

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imagico commented Jul 26, 2016

Well, it depends on consistent mapping of course which is currently often not the case, Hen-and-egg problem.

To get an idea of the concept look at the swiss topographic maps:

https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=en&X=263820.00&Y=768660.00&zoom=7

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kocio-pl Jul 26, 2016

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Light blue (#c6e3ff):
frh5ismw
q48vp1aw
c9 0rrgz

[EDIT:] Also Finland lakes+forest:
tgmxocju

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kocio-pl commented Jul 26, 2016

Light blue (#c6e3ff):
frh5ismw
q48vp1aw
c9 0rrgz

[EDIT:] Also Finland lakes+forest:
tgmxocju

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Looks pretty as far as I'm concerned.

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matthijsmelissen commented Jul 26, 2016

Looks pretty as far as I'm concerned.

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rmikke Jul 26, 2016

@kocio-pl could you also show Finland with #99cdfe ?

rmikke commented Jul 26, 2016

@kocio-pl could you also show Finland with #99cdfe ?

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Sure:
tvbz6rrq

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kocio-pl commented Jul 26, 2016

Sure:
tvbz6rrq

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kocio-pl Jul 27, 2016

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Light blue (#c6e3ff) - more interesting places with remarks, as the color seems to be worth investigating (it fits better our current palette than Here water-color):

  1. Water under ground looks pretty good, it's also different than playgrounds when they're near each other, however we may try to tweak playground color to be a bit more green (less dominating, less similar to water-blue, more similar to other leisure-greens):
    8qdyjezk

  2. Perfect pastel combination with land color, sand and secondary roads, also no need to fine tune admin borders and ferry line:
    avh3uggr

  3. In park the contrast is bit too low - water areas are OK (dark borders would help a lot), but lines are hard to spot (I have no idea what could be done here, but I guess park is pretty safe place and we don't need to make user more aware of it). I also see no big problem with transportation blue (parking) and water labels (however making them bit darker is possible):
    xezomaw3

  4. In the farmland this color is just more acceptable than Here water-color (not that aggresive, yet visible):
    ir0gd7zd

  5. On a scrub it works as good as with the forest (even the lines are perfectly visible):
    jdqaqsc

  6. Works nicely:
    1l7p7ljr

  7. Water lines on residential grey have too low contrast, however after they get wider on higher zoom levels, the problem is slowly going away:
    wrk0gflp

  8. On a grass area water lines are just visible and I find it to be a border case - it is better than on residential and park area, but bit less than on farmland, and much less than on scrub and forest area.
    rrx_qh_d

Do you have any comments or rendering requests?

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kocio-pl commented Jul 27, 2016

Light blue (#c6e3ff) - more interesting places with remarks, as the color seems to be worth investigating (it fits better our current palette than Here water-color):

  1. Water under ground looks pretty good, it's also different than playgrounds when they're near each other, however we may try to tweak playground color to be a bit more green (less dominating, less similar to water-blue, more similar to other leisure-greens):
    8qdyjezk

  2. Perfect pastel combination with land color, sand and secondary roads, also no need to fine tune admin borders and ferry line:
    avh3uggr

  3. In park the contrast is bit too low - water areas are OK (dark borders would help a lot), but lines are hard to spot (I have no idea what could be done here, but I guess park is pretty safe place and we don't need to make user more aware of it). I also see no big problem with transportation blue (parking) and water labels (however making them bit darker is possible):
    xezomaw3

  4. In the farmland this color is just more acceptable than Here water-color (not that aggresive, yet visible):
    ir0gd7zd

  5. On a scrub it works as good as with the forest (even the lines are perfectly visible):
    jdqaqsc

  6. Works nicely:
    1l7p7ljr

  7. Water lines on residential grey have too low contrast, however after they get wider on higher zoom levels, the problem is slowly going away:
    wrk0gflp

  8. On a grass area water lines are just visible and I find it to be a border case - it is better than on residential and park area, but bit less than on farmland, and much less than on scrub and forest area.
    rrx_qh_d

Do you have any comments or rendering requests?

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mboeringa Jul 27, 2016

Do you have any comments or rendering requests?

Maybe you could make another example of a typical "Dutch" scene like this one?:
http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/52.2556/4.9789

Do you have any comments or rendering requests?

Maybe you could make another example of a typical "Dutch" scene like this one?:
http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/52.2556/4.9789

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kocio-pl Jul 27, 2016

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It looks more or less like a grass example to me - you can see there are some water lines, but you have to trace them, because the whole pattern is not clear:
hphhx0h8

One solution may be to make blue a bit darker, so it looks equally good on light (park, grass) and dark (forest, scrub) areas. Current color is so dark, that it doesn't work on dark areas, this one may be too light to be clear on light areas, so I guess there is a sane middle ground between them.

The other one would be to make some outline around (maybe dark, maybe white), but I don't know how to achieve it yet.

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kocio-pl commented Jul 27, 2016

It looks more or less like a grass example to me - you can see there are some water lines, but you have to trace them, because the whole pattern is not clear:
hphhx0h8

One solution may be to make blue a bit darker, so it looks equally good on light (park, grass) and dark (forest, scrub) areas. Current color is so dark, that it doesn't work on dark areas, this one may be too light to be clear on light areas, so I guess there is a sane middle ground between them.

The other one would be to make some outline around (maybe dark, maybe white), but I don't know how to achieve it yet.

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mboeringa Jul 27, 2016

The other one would be to make some outline around (maybe dark, maybe white), but I don't know how to achieve it yet.

Is this just a false perceptual impression, or do the water features already have a light(er) coloured outline? If I look at especially the last example, I really get the feeling they do... Also when looking at this example posted by you, there must be an outline??
https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/5439713/17122231/fdaab984-52d9-11e6-8eba-a38d570ff1e8.png

This remark by @Gazer75 also suggests the current features already have one:

Maybe giving both lakes and riverbanks a white outline like streams?

Maybe it is actually better to remove this lighter outline for streams using the suggested lighter color? I don't think it works well here.

Anyway, as regards the "Dutch" example and in general. It is really had to get a single water colour that works on all backgrounds. The alternative is to give a more distinct saturated color to the linear representations, as some others already pointed out and visible in many topographic maps. The first suggested saturated color shown in this thread is close to what's needed.

mboeringa commented Jul 27, 2016

The other one would be to make some outline around (maybe dark, maybe white), but I don't know how to achieve it yet.

Is this just a false perceptual impression, or do the water features already have a light(er) coloured outline? If I look at especially the last example, I really get the feeling they do... Also when looking at this example posted by you, there must be an outline??
https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/5439713/17122231/fdaab984-52d9-11e6-8eba-a38d570ff1e8.png

This remark by @Gazer75 also suggests the current features already have one:

Maybe giving both lakes and riverbanks a white outline like streams?

Maybe it is actually better to remove this lighter outline for streams using the suggested lighter color? I don't think it works well here.

Anyway, as regards the "Dutch" example and in general. It is really had to get a single water colour that works on all backgrounds. The alternative is to give a more distinct saturated color to the linear representations, as some others already pointed out and visible in many topographic maps. The first suggested saturated color shown in this thread is close to what's needed.

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wmyrda Jul 27, 2016

Personally I like original proposition more than lighter #c6e3ff color /just my 2 cents/

wmyrda commented Jul 27, 2016

Personally I like original proposition more than lighter #c6e3ff color /just my 2 cents/

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rmikke Jul 31, 2016

OK, so I prefer #99cdfe over #c6e3ff.
It looks a bit worse in Finland an world examples, but it's still good, while #c6e3ff is barely visible on residential and looks dull on park and grass.

rmikke commented Jul 31, 2016

OK, so I prefer #99cdfe over #c6e3ff.
It looks a bit worse in Finland an world examples, but it's still good, while #c6e3ff is barely visible on residential and looks dull on park and grass.

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Gazer75 Jul 31, 2016

I like #99cdfe best, but fear it might make rivers and streams disappear in woodlands.

Try https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/63.5378/11.2581 with it and see.

Gazer75 commented Jul 31, 2016

I like #99cdfe best, but fear it might make rivers and streams disappear in woodlands.

Try https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/63.5378/11.2581 with it and see.

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daganzdaanda Aug 1, 2016

do the water features already have a light(er) coloured outline?

Yep, see

#water-lines-casing {

As you said, it could be worth a try to remove that and make the lines darker / more saturated instead. Would be interesting to see a water-line and a water-area interacting if that's changed.

daganzdaanda commented Aug 1, 2016

do the water features already have a light(er) coloured outline?

Yep, see

#water-lines-casing {

As you said, it could be worth a try to remove that and make the lines darker / more saturated instead. Would be interesting to see a water-line and a water-area interacting if that's changed.

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rmikke Aug 1, 2016

Why not have darker borders on higher zoom and darker everything on lower?
I imagine it so that if water is wide enough to have borders, then you see darker borders and lighter interior, otherwise only borders.

rmikke commented Aug 1, 2016

Why not have darker borders on higher zoom and darker everything on lower?
I imagine it so that if water is wide enough to have borders, then you see darker borders and lighter interior, otherwise only borders.

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matthijsmelissen Aug 4, 2016

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I think any of the proposed alternatives would be better than what we have now, so I'd be really happy to see a PR!

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matthijsmelissen commented Aug 4, 2016

I think any of the proposed alternatives would be better than what we have now, so I'd be really happy to see a PR!

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PR is easy, but testing is crucial for such important feature, so I plan to spend some more time playing with colors before that.

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kocio-pl commented Aug 4, 2016

PR is easy, but testing is crucial for such important feature, so I plan to spend some more time playing with colors before that.

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mboeringa Aug 5, 2016

PR is easy, but testing is crucial for such important feature, so I plan to spend some more time playing with colors before that.

I do think the outline should be part of that further testing, and tests whether removing it for line features is feasible (compared to keeping it):

Yep, see

#water-lines-casing {

PR is easy, but testing is crucial for such important feature, so I plan to spend some more time playing with colors before that.

I do think the outline should be part of that further testing, and tests whether removing it for line features is feasible (compared to keeping it):

Yep, see

#water-lines-casing {

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wmyrda Aug 18, 2016

I find today's kocio proposal a huge improvement over present implementation. I doubt one could find anything better in the timely fashion therefore I would say it would be best just to implement it and afterwards perhaps look for the different color if you still find it necessary as IMHO it would take ages to find anything remotely good for all that kinds of scenarios.

wmyrda commented Aug 18, 2016

I find today's kocio proposal a huge improvement over present implementation. I doubt one could find anything better in the timely fashion therefore I would say it would be best just to implement it and afterwards perhaps look for the different color if you still find it necessary as IMHO it would take ages to find anything remotely good for all that kinds of scenarios.

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pnorman Aug 18, 2016

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@pnorman what do you think?

I haven't really been following. I'm not happy with the current water colour but haven't tried out alternatives.

Like you, I find #c6e3ff nice. I favour it over #addeff. I find that one a bit bright, although it seems okay on the larger water areas.


A request for everyone: When stating you like a particular colour, specify the hex value. Otherwise it can get confusing very quickly with the number of colours we're trying.

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pnorman commented Aug 18, 2016

@pnorman what do you think?

I haven't really been following. I'm not happy with the current water colour but haven't tried out alternatives.

Like you, I find #c6e3ff nice. I favour it over #addeff. I find that one a bit bright, although it seems okay on the larger water areas.


A request for everyone: When stating you like a particular colour, specify the hex value. Otherwise it can get confusing very quickly with the number of colours we're trying.

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rmikke Aug 18, 2016

Well, #addeff seems to best so far and better then current color.

2016-08-18 22:19 GMT+02:00 wmyrda notifications@github.com:

I find today's kocio proposal a huge improvement over present
implementation. I doubt one could find anything better in the timely
fashion therefore I would say it would be best just to implement it and
afterwards perhaps look for the different color if you still find it
necessary as IMHO it would take ages to find anything remotely good for all
that kinds of scenarios.


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rmikke commented Aug 18, 2016

Well, #addeff seems to best so far and better then current color.

2016-08-18 22:19 GMT+02:00 wmyrda notifications@github.com:

I find today's kocio proposal a huge improvement over present
implementation. I doubt one could find anything better in the timely
fashion therefore I would say it would be best just to implement it and
afterwards perhaps look for the different color if you still find it
necessary as IMHO it would take ages to find anything remotely good for all
that kinds of scenarios.


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jojo4u Aug 19, 2016

Try a darker outline, like the Swiss Topo Maps from imagico's comment

jojo4u commented Aug 19, 2016

Try a darker outline, like the Swiss Topo Maps from imagico's comment

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EdHarvey Aug 19, 2016

I find #c6e3ff is too unsaturated. When displayed over grass or woodland, and surrounded with the outline, it loses even more apparent saturation and becomes difficult to visually trace and could even be confused with unclassified roads.

#addeff would get my vote, but it's a bit strident.

May I suggest a middle-ground compromise? #baddff

I find #c6e3ff is too unsaturated. When displayed over grass or woodland, and surrounded with the outline, it loses even more apparent saturation and becomes difficult to visually trace and could even be confused with unclassified roads.

#addeff would get my vote, but it's a bit strident.

May I suggest a middle-ground compromise? #baddff

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imagico Aug 19, 2016

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As i have pointed out in #2270 i regard the approach currently taken here as fairly problematic and do not feel i can productively contribute in that discussion. But since a larger number of people are likely to be reading and participating in the discussion here now i find it important to point out alternative approaches to this. So here are my views on the subject.

  • the water color is one of the most important aspects of the style covering over half of the map area. Since the standard map style is essentially the public face of OSM in many aspects choice of the water color is a defining element of the corporate design of OpenStreetMap and changing it has potentially a higher impact than the change in road colors which was probably the biggest change previously.
  • in the discussion so far i have seen no clear goals being stated for a color change except for increasing contrast with wood color. Given the high impact of such a change this should in my opinion be given a bit more consideration - i.e. what the aims are of rendering waterbodies in the map and how these aims weight relative to each other. Looking at the considerations and research @matkoniecz did on the road color matter could serve as an example here.
  • what has been shown so far in terms of suggestions to me boils down to more or less random picks of possible colors, mostly borrowing from other map styles (without any analysis if and why those colors work in those other styles) and collecting opinions on these based on a few select sample areas. Most of these suggestions clearly will not work without significant other changes to the style or without creating new issues at least as problematic as the similarity with wood color.
  • since the water color interacts with nearly everything else in the style at some point you can be sure a radical change in color will lead to serious problems in some situations and will require secondary changes to address these. IMO discussing the merits of specific fundamentally different water colors is only of use if these requirements for other changes are pointed out and are considered in the discussion from the beginning.

But to not just talk about how things should be done but actually give an example - you can find a possible take to this issue along the lines of what i already suggested above at

https://github.com/imagico/openstreetmap-carto/tree/water-colors2

I do not regard this as ready but more a proof of concept - not only due to the required water polygons and layer reordering but also because despite being a relatively modest change overall this IMO requires other changes to work, in particular the stream rendering at z13/14, rivers rendering at z8/9 and also the glacier color probably. There is also likely some room for tuning the colors although options for that are limited - i already considered a significant number of constraints when selecting these.

This suggestion is not meant to preclude any bolder changes but you should not fool yourselves that such a change is as simple as changing a color. Just because something looks fresh and interesting in a few test renders it does not necessarily work for the huge number of users of this style all around the world.

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imagico commented Aug 19, 2016

As i have pointed out in #2270 i regard the approach currently taken here as fairly problematic and do not feel i can productively contribute in that discussion. But since a larger number of people are likely to be reading and participating in the discussion here now i find it important to point out alternative approaches to this. So here are my views on the subject.

  • the water color is one of the most important aspects of the style covering over half of the map area. Since the standard map style is essentially the public face of OSM in many aspects choice of the water color is a defining element of the corporate design of OpenStreetMap and changing it has potentially a higher impact than the change in road colors which was probably the biggest change previously.
  • in the discussion so far i have seen no clear goals being stated for a color change except for increasing contrast with wood color. Given the high impact of such a change this should in my opinion be given a bit more consideration - i.e. what the aims are of rendering waterbodies in the map and how these aims weight relative to each other. Looking at the considerations and research @matkoniecz did on the road color matter could serve as an example here.
  • what has been shown so far in terms of suggestions to me boils down to more or less random picks of possible colors, mostly borrowing from other map styles (without any analysis if and why those colors work in those other styles) and collecting opinions on these based on a few select sample areas. Most of these suggestions clearly will not work without significant other changes to the style or without creating new issues at least as problematic as the similarity with wood color.
  • since the water color interacts with nearly everything else in the style at some point you can be sure a radical change in color will lead to serious problems in some situations and will require secondary changes to address these. IMO discussing the merits of specific fundamentally different water colors is only of use if these requirements for other changes are pointed out and are considered in the discussion from the beginning.

But to not just talk about how things should be done but actually give an example - you can find a possible take to this issue along the lines of what i already suggested above at

https://github.com/imagico/openstreetmap-carto/tree/water-colors2

I do not regard this as ready but more a proof of concept - not only due to the required water polygons and layer reordering but also because despite being a relatively modest change overall this IMO requires other changes to work, in particular the stream rendering at z13/14, rivers rendering at z8/9 and also the glacier color probably. There is also likely some room for tuning the colors although options for that are limited - i already considered a significant number of constraints when selecting these.

This suggestion is not meant to preclude any bolder changes but you should not fool yourselves that such a change is as simple as changing a color. Just because something looks fresh and interesting in a few test renders it does not necessarily work for the huge number of users of this style all around the world.

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kocio-pl Aug 19, 2016

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I realize how big and important task it is and I also think this is just a proof of concept, which requires a second look (thanks for doing it!). It was just interesting and easy for me to move this stalled issue forward. Consider a forest/water contrast problem to be just a trigger - some problems and goals are easier to see when you start messing around.

I'm happy that you've started a branch and plan to test it. I think you could file new, more general ticket regarding water color problems, because this one is just a narrow case.

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kocio-pl commented Aug 19, 2016

I realize how big and important task it is and I also think this is just a proof of concept, which requires a second look (thanks for doing it!). It was just interesting and easy for me to move this stalled issue forward. Consider a forest/water contrast problem to be just a trigger - some problems and goals are easier to see when you start messing around.

I'm happy that you've started a branch and plan to test it. I think you could file new, more general ticket regarding water color problems, because this one is just a narrow case.

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Rough testing of water-colors2 (with just dark and light extremes) shows that current proposition is too dark for me: Dutch landscape is great, but Finnish one has the same contrast as currently (still it looks more like a water, so it's better anyway):
dpcxguf9
ne3mzi8t
5ejqhhg1

With lightening 5% the contrast is good in both cases, so it makes sense to test it more:
nddyhs8h
usceur5j
tf1igm6t

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kocio-pl commented Aug 20, 2016

Rough testing of water-colors2 (with just dark and light extremes) shows that current proposition is too dark for me: Dutch landscape is great, but Finnish one has the same contrast as currently (still it looks more like a water, so it's better anyway):
dpcxguf9
ne3mzi8t
5ejqhhg1

With lightening 5% the contrast is good in both cases, so it makes sense to test it more:
nddyhs8h
usceur5j
tf1igm6t

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kocio-pl Aug 20, 2016

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By the way - here is the example of the river/sea junction (with all water types 5% lighter), you can also see the lake:

fu qgafn
p65zw9re

[EDIT:] Oceans could have the same color as the river (still 5% lighter version):
f7uynkg6
4v_0hzvq

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kocio-pl commented Aug 20, 2016

By the way - here is the example of the river/sea junction (with all water types 5% lighter), you can also see the lake:

fu qgafn
p65zw9re

[EDIT:] Oceans could have the same color as the river (still 5% lighter version):
f7uynkg6
4v_0hzvq

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imagico Aug 21, 2016

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I made some small tuning to the colors originally chosen in my suggestion - with the effect that the changed inland water color is now on the same brightness level as the old one and this way does not purely depend on proper color reproduction and perception to be distinguished from wood. Here the deltaE towards wood.

color hex deltaE to wood
current water #b5d0d0 27.5
water-color #aad3df 33.6
ocean-color #b9d3dc 32.4
river-color #97c9d8 35.2

I would strongly suggest not to assess colors from just a few examples, especially not streams at z13 (which as indicated would require changes for these colors to work well) and not in very poorly mapped areas (like most of Finland w.r.t. wood and water).

A reasonable demo area for low zoom inland water & wood testing would be here:

http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=10/48.3567/-74.9968

although the complete lack of river mapping in that area also limits practical relevance. The reason why many of these areas are badly readable in the map is not only the choice of color but also because of poor mapping.

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imagico commented Aug 21, 2016

I made some small tuning to the colors originally chosen in my suggestion - with the effect that the changed inland water color is now on the same brightness level as the old one and this way does not purely depend on proper color reproduction and perception to be distinguished from wood. Here the deltaE towards wood.

color hex deltaE to wood
current water #b5d0d0 27.5
water-color #aad3df 33.6
ocean-color #b9d3dc 32.4
river-color #97c9d8 35.2

I would strongly suggest not to assess colors from just a few examples, especially not streams at z13 (which as indicated would require changes for these colors to work well) and not in very poorly mapped areas (like most of Finland w.r.t. wood and water).

A reasonable demo area for low zoom inland water & wood testing would be here:

http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=10/48.3567/-74.9968

although the complete lack of river mapping in that area also limits practical relevance. The reason why many of these areas are badly readable in the map is not only the choice of color but also because of poor mapping.

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wmyrda Aug 21, 2016

Idea to differentiate color of water based on the size is quite a fine one and I agree that could help readability. What I find crazy is to say that poor mapping is the cause to water appear badly on z13. I have never heard statement that has is so crazy and has no bases in the facts whatsoever.
Now, first of all regardless of how the area is mapped it's differences comparing to the other surrounding colors remain the same if it is rectangles and strait lines we look at. Secondly streams at z13 (when they first appear) in woodlands are as wide as roads which is carto behaving badly not the mapper drawing it bad. Their color should be more distinguishable and they should be thinner because current carto look is just crap http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/49.6606/22.5975 and yes they are drawn perfectly as they are placed in reality. Not only streams look bad even rivers. I wonder how long will it take you to find Wiar river in that example which is hardly visible on the map when most of the area surrounding it is mapped (woodland, farmlands, meadows ) and even its riverbanks are.

wmyrda commented Aug 21, 2016

Idea to differentiate color of water based on the size is quite a fine one and I agree that could help readability. What I find crazy is to say that poor mapping is the cause to water appear badly on z13. I have never heard statement that has is so crazy and has no bases in the facts whatsoever.
Now, first of all regardless of how the area is mapped it's differences comparing to the other surrounding colors remain the same if it is rectangles and strait lines we look at. Secondly streams at z13 (when they first appear) in woodlands are as wide as roads which is carto behaving badly not the mapper drawing it bad. Their color should be more distinguishable and they should be thinner because current carto look is just crap http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/49.6606/22.5975 and yes they are drawn perfectly as they are placed in reality. Not only streams look bad even rivers. I wonder how long will it take you to find Wiar river in that example which is hardly visible on the map when most of the area surrounding it is mapped (woodland, farmlands, meadows ) and even its riverbanks are.

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imagico Aug 21, 2016

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What I find crazy is to say that poor mapping is the cause to water appear badly on z13.

I don't think anyone said anything in that direction here.

What i said regarding z13 is that you should not assess colors to be used for water features in general (at all zoom levels and at least for all waterways) from the appearance of streams at z13. If a color looks good in general but poorly for streams at z13 stream rendering should be changed, not the color.

Poor mapping is a problem for evaluating wood and water interaction at low zooms on a larger scale because most remaining densely wooded flatland areas on earth are pretty remote.

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imagico commented Aug 21, 2016

What I find crazy is to say that poor mapping is the cause to water appear badly on z13.

I don't think anyone said anything in that direction here.

What i said regarding z13 is that you should not assess colors to be used for water features in general (at all zoom levels and at least for all waterways) from the appearance of streams at z13. If a color looks good in general but poorly for streams at z13 stream rendering should be changed, not the color.

Poor mapping is a problem for evaluating wood and water interaction at low zooms on a larger scale because most remaining densely wooded flatland areas on earth are pretty remote.

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kocio-pl Aug 28, 2016

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Some basic testing with updated water-colors2:

  1. World (oceans):
    kjg2drdu

  2. Gdansk - river/sea junction
    sy2yydmp

  3. Gdansk area - water in the forest
    kjf_6r_f

  4. Gdansk area - river and stream in the forest
    m7abvgi8

[EDIT:] I still don't see the need for 3 distinct water colors, I prefer having just one. After using water color for oceans it looks like water color is now (almost?) the same as with my 5%-lighter-original-water-colors2-river version (it's getting hard to name it clearly...):

5% lighter river color from original proposition - used for the oceans
4v_0hzvq

Current proposition water color - used for the oceans
fw 9z4xq

So I would like to test more #aad3df as a uniform water color (not just water-color, as in current proposition), because I guess this could be an acceptable compromise, at least for @imagico and me.

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kocio-pl commented Aug 28, 2016

Some basic testing with updated water-colors2:

  1. World (oceans):
    kjg2drdu

  2. Gdansk - river/sea junction
    sy2yydmp

  3. Gdansk area - water in the forest
    kjf_6r_f

  4. Gdansk area - river and stream in the forest
    m7abvgi8

[EDIT:] I still don't see the need for 3 distinct water colors, I prefer having just one. After using water color for oceans it looks like water color is now (almost?) the same as with my 5%-lighter-original-water-colors2-river version (it's getting hard to name it clearly...):

5% lighter river color from original proposition - used for the oceans
4v_0hzvq

Current proposition water color - used for the oceans
fw 9z4xq

So I would like to test more #aad3df as a uniform water color (not just water-color, as in current proposition), because I guess this could be an acceptable compromise, at least for @imagico and me.

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#aad3df for lines is barely visible on scrub, and it looks quite good in the forest - not a big difference anyway:

Before
rxtwwfzu

After
f4xfd1jk

Water areas in a forest look better (good enough for me), let's visit Quebec at z11 then:

Before
7zrj_mfj

After
y_8ekqeq

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kocio-pl commented Aug 28, 2016

#aad3df for lines is barely visible on scrub, and it looks quite good in the forest - not a big difference anyway:

Before
rxtwwfzu

After
f4xfd1jk

Water areas in a forest look better (good enough for me), let's visit Quebec at z11 then:

Before
7zrj_mfj

After
y_8ekqeq

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imagico Aug 28, 2016

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Note the choice of using three different colors does not primarily come from a mapper feedback motivation (although this would be a highly desirable side effect of course). It resulted from the realization that with a single water color it is probably not possible to get well readable and harmonic results without other major color changes under the huge variety of situations that exists practically. I think by differentiating colors this is probably achievable although without doubt there will remain situations where it does not look that great. Even the suggested river-color is already a compromise balancing different requirements.

I would particularly suggest to look at z8-z10 in well mapped areas.

The Gdansk - river/sea junction sample shown by the way is not a typical river mouth example since the water area is tagged natural=water without water=river or water=canal so it is rendered in water-color and not river-color.

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imagico commented Aug 28, 2016

Note the choice of using three different colors does not primarily come from a mapper feedback motivation (although this would be a highly desirable side effect of course). It resulted from the realization that with a single water color it is probably not possible to get well readable and harmonic results without other major color changes under the huge variety of situations that exists practically. I think by differentiating colors this is probably achievable although without doubt there will remain situations where it does not look that great. Even the suggested river-color is already a compromise balancing different requirements.

I would particularly suggest to look at z8-z10 in well mapped areas.

The Gdansk - river/sea junction sample shown by the way is not a typical river mouth example since the water area is tagged natural=water without water=river or water=canal so it is rendered in water-color and not river-color.

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I don't believe three colors will solve our problems with rendering water:

  1. Oceans/seas don't need anything special, since they are large and hence probably play well with all the other land features.
  2. Other water areas and lines may be present on all the possible backgrounds. If for example rivers would be more frequently located inside the forest, while the lakes and ponds would be highly related to the grass, than it would make a lot of sense to fine tune them differently, according to their usual environment. But I think they both need to be equally universal, because they have no "usual" context we could tune them to.

However there is one case where I would like to make rivers more visible: mid zooms. It would be good to make some areas less saturated, but the space will be dominated by roads, railway lines (transportation) and borders (political and administrative features). Rendering rivers thicker and with stronger color (natural features) would make this style more neutral and universal.

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kocio-pl commented Aug 31, 2016

I don't believe three colors will solve our problems with rendering water:

  1. Oceans/seas don't need anything special, since they are large and hence probably play well with all the other land features.
  2. Other water areas and lines may be present on all the possible backgrounds. If for example rivers would be more frequently located inside the forest, while the lakes and ponds would be highly related to the grass, than it would make a lot of sense to fine tune them differently, according to their usual environment. But I think they both need to be equally universal, because they have no "usual" context we could tune them to.

However there is one case where I would like to make rivers more visible: mid zooms. It would be good to make some areas less saturated, but the space will be dominated by roads, railway lines (transportation) and borders (political and administrative features). Rendering rivers thicker and with stronger color (natural features) would make this style more neutral and universal.

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After some break I'm still pretty happy with #aad3df for all the water, except on a scrub. But since it's not making visibility of water on scrub worse at least, I would go this way - it'll be much easier to fix scrub (some other day) than water.

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kocio-pl commented Sep 20, 2016

After some break I'm still pretty happy with #aad3df for all the water, except on a scrub. But since it's not making visibility of water on scrub worse at least, I would go this way - it'll be much easier to fix scrub (some other day) than water.

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verdy-p Sep 23, 2016

Why not using lighter water color on the edge, becoming darker inside ?
This has been done for natural parks (using darker green on adge, becoming transparent in the inner).

Typical maps also render different shades of blue, with darker blue for higher water depths, becoming bluish and nearly white on the coast.

This requires however computing several inner buffer polygons to fill them with distinct shades of blue, but the code is similar to natural parks (e.g. on the French Openstreetmap tiles for the green border, that I suggested years ago and that was implemented first there, then slightly improved by debugging buffers and adjusting the levels of transparencies)

You don't need a very large buffer, only what is sufficient to distinguish other strokes drawn on water such as admin borders, or bridges crossing a lake, or to contrast it better when a stream or canal is narrowed by a track or path: this water stream needs to be lighter.

Interest: no more contrasting color between the mouth river and ocean/sea/lake: this is the same water, the division is artificial unless it is marked by an additional visible admin boundary which will contrast by itself on both sides.

verdy-p commented Sep 23, 2016

Why not using lighter water color on the edge, becoming darker inside ?
This has been done for natural parks (using darker green on adge, becoming transparent in the inner).

Typical maps also render different shades of blue, with darker blue for higher water depths, becoming bluish and nearly white on the coast.

This requires however computing several inner buffer polygons to fill them with distinct shades of blue, but the code is similar to natural parks (e.g. on the French Openstreetmap tiles for the green border, that I suggested years ago and that was implemented first there, then slightly improved by debugging buffers and adjusting the levels of transparencies)

You don't need a very large buffer, only what is sufficient to distinguish other strokes drawn on water such as admin borders, or bridges crossing a lake, or to contrast it better when a stream or canal is narrowed by a track or path: this water stream needs to be lighter.

Interest: no more contrasting color between the mouth river and ocean/sea/lake: this is the same water, the division is artificial unless it is marked by an additional visible admin boundary which will contrast by itself on both sides.

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Could you prepare such code, so I could test this solution?

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kocio-pl commented Sep 23, 2016

Could you prepare such code, so I could test this solution?

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Interest: no more contrasting color between the mouth river and ocean/sea/lake: this is the same water, the division is artificial unless it is marked by an additional visible admin boundary which will contrast by itself on both sides.

Actually no, both ecologically and physically there is a huge difference even if there is not always a sharp boundary. This is no different from any other mapping - be it urban landuse (division between commercial and industrial), roads (primary, secondary, tertiary) or natural landcovers (heath vs. meadow/grassland). Feature classification and the level of arbitrariness involved in it is a central part of cartographic design.

The concept of rendering all water features indiscriminately in uniform color is something rather rare in map design in general, mostly limited to web maps and often motivated by low data quality. But OSM does not need to do this since we have this distinction made in our tagging system.

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imagico commented Sep 23, 2016

Interest: no more contrasting color between the mouth river and ocean/sea/lake: this is the same water, the division is artificial unless it is marked by an additional visible admin boundary which will contrast by itself on both sides.

Actually no, both ecologically and physically there is a huge difference even if there is not always a sharp boundary. This is no different from any other mapping - be it urban landuse (division between commercial and industrial), roads (primary, secondary, tertiary) or natural landcovers (heath vs. meadow/grassland). Feature classification and the level of arbitrariness involved in it is a central part of cartographic design.

The concept of rendering all water features indiscriminately in uniform color is something rather rare in map design in general, mostly limited to web maps and often motivated by low data quality. But OSM does not need to do this since we have this distinction made in our tagging system.

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verdy-p Sep 23, 2016

Actually no, both ecologically and physically there is a huge difference

You're wrong on the artififial boudary on river mouths. Actually the ecosystems are based on salinitity level and water depth, but there's NO ecological or physical bump for almost all river mouths and the waters are not separted by a cutting vertical plane but by horizontal planes (whose relative heights varies with tide or meteorology).

What I suggested had the benefit that it would simulate correctly at least the gradual variation of water depth, and would increase a bit the contrast for small water streams (the smallest they are, in fact the more likely they can be dried, but we could also take into account the "intermittent=yes" tag for the color (when the surface is not rendered, for lower zoom the stream is usually drawn as a dashed line, with a contrasting dark color, but this is another thing, here we are speaking about water surfaces).

Note that there should not be huge contrast between large parts of a river and a narrower part (of an upper stream or on some narrow sections). For exceptionnaly narrow sections, these are usually canyons, that have shaped lands on both sides and we sould see the cliffs, tagged drawn and tagged separately.

On large rivers with large areas with very low water depth and frequent natural dams appearing (rocks, trees...) we can also tag these as wet lands, which already have a visual distinction. We also already have a visual distinction for beaches (along seas, rivers or lakes)

And could have also distinctions for low-water sand banks (there are frequently emerging at low tide, or low river regimes), using a much lighter blue, privided they are tagged with relevant polygons.

The concept of rendering all water features indiscriminately in uniform color is something rather rare in map design in general

You're wrong. most maps that are doing it are low resolution maps that simplify things a lot and do not represent rivers as surfaces, but only as strokes (independantly of their effective width). These simplifications are made on old road maps for drivers on very large scales, where cities themselves are not placed exactly and exact road shapes are highly simplified. On traditional maps, there was no color at all, or no distinction of color on this classification criteria.

For ecological maps, the sea/river distinction is not sufficient to be meaningful: we need the water depth and need tag for the type of gound forming the waterbed, and for natural species. This requires much higher precision that CANNOT be reached by existing water=, waterway=, or natural=coastline objects.

I've NEVER seen any map showing a river mouth with contrasting color between what is considered "sea" and what is considered "river", give that this limit is extremely fuzzy and highly variable during time (in fact the river waters are extending far after the coastline and have physical/geological effects on almost all the continental plateau, because they carry lots of sediments and there are differences of water temperature and salinity: it's difficult to determine where a river really ends far away within the sea but it's clearly NOT finishing on the "coastline" determined by mean high water tides).

River mouths have always been very fuzzy to delimit EVERYWHERE, except when there are human constructions (dams, or salt barriers) that we will tag and make contrasting on both side, so there's no real need to separate two blue colors on this criteria.

IF one wants to be more accurate, we could use waterdepth data (just like we have it for lands).

verdy-p commented Sep 23, 2016

Actually no, both ecologically and physically there is a huge difference

You're wrong on the artififial boudary on river mouths. Actually the ecosystems are based on salinitity level and water depth, but there's NO ecological or physical bump for almost all river mouths and the waters are not separted by a cutting vertical plane but by horizontal planes (whose relative heights varies with tide or meteorology).

What I suggested had the benefit that it would simulate correctly at least the gradual variation of water depth, and would increase a bit the contrast for small water streams (the smallest they are, in fact the more likely they can be dried, but we could also take into account the "intermittent=yes" tag for the color (when the surface is not rendered, for lower zoom the stream is usually drawn as a dashed line, with a contrasting dark color, but this is another thing, here we are speaking about water surfaces).

Note that there should not be huge contrast between large parts of a river and a narrower part (of an upper stream or on some narrow sections). For exceptionnaly narrow sections, these are usually canyons, that have shaped lands on both sides and we sould see the cliffs, tagged drawn and tagged separately.

On large rivers with large areas with very low water depth and frequent natural dams appearing (rocks, trees...) we can also tag these as wet lands, which already have a visual distinction. We also already have a visual distinction for beaches (along seas, rivers or lakes)

And could have also distinctions for low-water sand banks (there are frequently emerging at low tide, or low river regimes), using a much lighter blue, privided they are tagged with relevant polygons.

The concept of rendering all water features indiscriminately in uniform color is something rather rare in map design in general

You're wrong. most maps that are doing it are low resolution maps that simplify things a lot and do not represent rivers as surfaces, but only as strokes (independantly of their effective width). These simplifications are made on old road maps for drivers on very large scales, where cities themselves are not placed exactly and exact road shapes are highly simplified. On traditional maps, there was no color at all, or no distinction of color on this classification criteria.

For ecological maps, the sea/river distinction is not sufficient to be meaningful: we need the water depth and need tag for the type of gound forming the waterbed, and for natural species. This requires much higher precision that CANNOT be reached by existing water=, waterway=, or natural=coastline objects.

I've NEVER seen any map showing a river mouth with contrasting color between what is considered "sea" and what is considered "river", give that this limit is extremely fuzzy and highly variable during time (in fact the river waters are extending far after the coastline and have physical/geological effects on almost all the continental plateau, because they carry lots of sediments and there are differences of water temperature and salinity: it's difficult to determine where a river really ends far away within the sea but it's clearly NOT finishing on the "coastline" determined by mean high water tides).

River mouths have always been very fuzzy to delimit EVERYWHERE, except when there are human constructions (dams, or salt barriers) that we will tag and make contrasting on both side, so there's no real need to separate two blue colors on this criteria.

IF one wants to be more accurate, we could use waterdepth data (just like we have it for lands).

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I've NEVER seen any map showing a river mouth with contrasting color between what is considered "sea" and what is considered "river"

Then let me introduce you to some:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~225607~5506430
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~205800~3002585
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/onc/txu-pclmaps-oclc-8322829_r_24.jpg
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~217928~5503987:Northern-South-America-
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~225504~5506200:Congo-and-Angola,-Plate-91,-V--IV
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239309~5511726:Schleswig-Holstein,-Mecklenburg-und
http://www.imagico.de/map/pict/water_diercke.png

and as already pointed to above:

https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=en&X=263820.00&Y=768660.00&zoom=7

Most of these examples are older for obvious copyright reasons but most of the renowned atlas publishers (like Bartholomew, Andree, Diercke) have maintained the general concept to date.

IF one wants to be more accurate [...]

This is not about being more accurate, this is about producing a map that - in line with the goals of this project - is well readable for the general user and provides useful feedback for the mapper.

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imagico commented Sep 23, 2016

I've NEVER seen any map showing a river mouth with contrasting color between what is considered "sea" and what is considered "river"

Then let me introduce you to some:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~225607~5506430
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~205800~3002585
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/onc/txu-pclmaps-oclc-8322829_r_24.jpg
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~217928~5503987:Northern-South-America-
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~225504~5506200:Congo-and-Angola,-Plate-91,-V--IV
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239309~5511726:Schleswig-Holstein,-Mecklenburg-und
http://www.imagico.de/map/pict/water_diercke.png

and as already pointed to above:

https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=en&X=263820.00&Y=768660.00&zoom=7

Most of these examples are older for obvious copyright reasons but most of the renowned atlas publishers (like Bartholomew, Andree, Diercke) have maintained the general concept to date.

IF one wants to be more accurate [...]

This is not about being more accurate, this is about producing a map that - in line with the goals of this project - is well readable for the general user and provides useful feedback for the mapper.

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verdy-p Sep 23, 2016

All your examples are NOT differenciating rivers and sea, what they differentiate is the water DEPTH (that's why seas also have variable shades of blue).

Of course we could get this but we need to map these submarine areas and not just a single flat sea surface. This will require many polygons or integrating a submarine data model.

For now we've not mapped any submarine areas (and we are extremely fuzzy about the real sea/river limits, everywhere in the world).

verdy-p commented Sep 23, 2016

All your examples are NOT differenciating rivers and sea, what they differentiate is the water DEPTH (that's why seas also have variable shades of blue).

Of course we could get this but we need to map these submarine areas and not just a single flat sea surface. This will require many polygons or integrating a submarine data model.

For now we've not mapped any submarine areas (and we are extremely fuzzy about the real sea/river limits, everywhere in the world).

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All your examples are NOT differenciating rivers and sea

Then i suggest you look again more closely. In some cases this is somewhat subtle - partly due to the age of the map and the resulting decay of colors in print. But the ONC and Diercke maps are very obvious.

For now we've not mapped any submarine areas

This style renders tidal flats and reefs and with the layer reordering suggested as part of the color change it would also render the submarine parts of beaches and shoals in a distinct form.

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imagico commented Sep 23, 2016

All your examples are NOT differenciating rivers and sea

Then i suggest you look again more closely. In some cases this is somewhat subtle - partly due to the age of the map and the resulting decay of colors in print. But the ONC and Diercke maps are very obvious.

For now we've not mapped any submarine areas

This style renders tidal flats and reefs and with the layer reordering suggested as part of the color change it would also render the submarine parts of beaches and shoals in a distinct form.

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SK53 Sep 23, 2016

Hmm, not sure that the statement about depth is true. This is Klingnauer Stausee on the Aare just before junction with the Rhine. Note how colour of river is darker above the bridge at Klingnau and below the dam https://s.geo.admin.ch/6e8247f278. This is the same colour difference seen where the Brienzer Ache enters the Bodensee. The two water bodies are very different in depth (note the wetland vegetation on the Klingnauerstausee & depth contours and spot depths in Bodensee).

Can I add another data point to differences in colour too? Ordnance Survey 1:25k maps appear to use #d3e9f6 for tidal waters and #dce8f6 for inland waters. See this spot.

Onto the issue under discussion. I can see that many of the colours discussed may offer improvements; and I personally prefer the slightly more muted ones (having only just read the discussion it's a bit to hard to backtrack & pick out exact colour values).

One point I miss, although it has been referred to in context of current stream rendering, is a casing for other water bodies. Yes, I know that this is difficult to impossible because of riverbank & or natural=water for rivers, but I suspect many rendering problems might be resolved if casings could be used. It's a long time since I last looked at the issue. See also #71

SK53 commented Sep 23, 2016

Hmm, not sure that the statement about depth is true. This is Klingnauer Stausee on the Aare just before junction with the Rhine. Note how colour of river is darker above the bridge at Klingnau and below the dam https://s.geo.admin.ch/6e8247f278. This is the same colour difference seen where the Brienzer Ache enters the Bodensee. The two water bodies are very different in depth (note the wetland vegetation on the Klingnauerstausee & depth contours and spot depths in Bodensee).

Can I add another data point to differences in colour too? Ordnance Survey 1:25k maps appear to use #d3e9f6 for tidal waters and #dce8f6 for inland waters. See this spot.

Onto the issue under discussion. I can see that many of the colours discussed may offer improvements; and I personally prefer the slightly more muted ones (having only just read the discussion it's a bit to hard to backtrack & pick out exact colour values).

One point I miss, although it has been referred to in context of current stream rendering, is a casing for other water bodies. Yes, I know that this is difficult to impossible because of riverbank & or natural=water for rivers, but I suspect many rendering problems might be resolved if casings could be used. It's a long time since I last looked at the issue. See also #71

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Can I add another data point to differences in colour too? Ordnance Survey 1:25k maps appear to use #d3e9f6 for tidal waters and #dce8f6 for inland waters. See this spot.

Yes, in general use of different colors seems relatively rare in large scale topographic maps, partly because these have historically often been produced with a very limited set of colors. But on British maps such differences are made in some cases - also on this older map for example:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~250031~5516745:Sheet-7--Newcastle-upon-Tyne-

One point I miss, although it has been referred to in context of current stream rendering, is a casing for other water bodies.

Yes, this is a possibility. What right now is being used for streams is a bright halo which emphasizes them especially against darker backgrounds. The more common technique for rendering water features is a dark and more saturated outline often combined with a relatively bright fill color.

In general this approach takes more space on the map than a solid color rendering. For roads for example the outlining is limited to the higher zooms because of that.

In addition - and i think this is the most serious issue - this is problematic at coarse scales relative to the level of detail of mapping without elaborate geometry preprocessing. You can observe this with the glaciers for example which are rendered with an outline in this style like here

http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=8/-49.440/-73.650

where appearance varies a lot depending on the level of detail of mapping - and also latitude with the Mercator projection.

Andy's Landscape style starts with outline rendering of water areas at z9 with - if i may say - fairly ugly results:

http://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=9&lat=47.99728&lon=7.37371&layers=00B00

The Outdoors style starts at z12 which is more reasonable for lakes at intermediate latitudes but is also too early for narrow riverbanks and low latitudes. The OpenTopoMap starts rendering at z8 but with a lot of trickery with way_area filtering and fading and likewise not with convincing results. All of these show outlines only for inland water and not at the coast.

In my opinion outline rendering is - if you have neither consistent importance rating data for rivers nor can do quality geometry processing - not something that can be used with good results.

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imagico commented Sep 23, 2016

Can I add another data point to differences in colour too? Ordnance Survey 1:25k maps appear to use #d3e9f6 for tidal waters and #dce8f6 for inland waters. See this spot.

Yes, in general use of different colors seems relatively rare in large scale topographic maps, partly because these have historically often been produced with a very limited set of colors. But on British maps such differences are made in some cases - also on this older map for example:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~250031~5516745:Sheet-7--Newcastle-upon-Tyne-

One point I miss, although it has been referred to in context of current stream rendering, is a casing for other water bodies.

Yes, this is a possibility. What right now is being used for streams is a bright halo which emphasizes them especially against darker backgrounds. The more common technique for rendering water features is a dark and more saturated outline often combined with a relatively bright fill color.

In general this approach takes more space on the map than a solid color rendering. For roads for example the outlining is limited to the higher zooms because of that.

In addition - and i think this is the most serious issue - this is problematic at coarse scales relative to the level of detail of mapping without elaborate geometry preprocessing. You can observe this with the glaciers for example which are rendered with an outline in this style like here

http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=8/-49.440/-73.650

where appearance varies a lot depending on the level of detail of mapping - and also latitude with the Mercator projection.

Andy's Landscape style starts with outline rendering of water areas at z9 with - if i may say - fairly ugly results:

http://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=9&lat=47.99728&lon=7.37371&layers=00B00

The Outdoors style starts at z12 which is more reasonable for lakes at intermediate latitudes but is also too early for narrow riverbanks and low latitudes. The OpenTopoMap starts rendering at z8 but with a lot of trickery with way_area filtering and fading and likewise not with convincing results. All of these show outlines only for inland water and not at the coast.

In my opinion outline rendering is - if you have neither consistent importance rating data for rivers nor can do quality geometry processing - not something that can be used with good results.

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SK53 Sep 23, 2016

@imagico Many thanks for the clear exposition, and the many examples of doing this with OSM data.

SK53 commented Sep 23, 2016

@imagico Many thanks for the clear exposition, and the many examples of doing this with OSM data.

@imagico imagico added the water label Dec 6, 2016

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matthijsmelissen Dec 11, 2016

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@kocio-pl Do you have a branch on Github in which I can test this? It would be nice to be able to test the effect of work like #2194 and #2454 in combination with the work here.

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matthijsmelissen commented Dec 11, 2016

@kocio-pl Do you have a branch on Github in which I can test this? It would be nice to be able to test the effect of work like #2194 and #2454 in combination with the work here.

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My proposition is technically very simple, so you don't need a branch. 😃 I've just tried to change the color of water.

In general I think of #aad3df for all the water and I'm happy with it.

For midzoom I was rendering water as saturate(darken(#aad3df,30%),30%), but for me that works good only for lines - for water areas I'm not so sure, but that was just a quick proof of concept.

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kocio-pl commented Dec 11, 2016

My proposition is technically very simple, so you don't need a branch. 😃 I've just tried to change the color of water.

In general I think of #aad3df for all the water and I'm happy with it.

For midzoom I was rendering water as saturate(darken(#aad3df,30%),30%), but for me that works good only for lines - for water areas I'm not so sure, but that was just a quick proof of concept.

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matthijsmelissen Dec 11, 2016

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My proposition is technically very simple

I know, but still I noticed that having branches ready is very convenient when comparing the interaction of different proposals. This makes it very easy to merge in the new blue colours when working on something else.

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matthijsmelissen commented Dec 11, 2016

My proposition is technically very simple

I know, but still I noticed that having branches ready is very convenient when comparing the interaction of different proposals. This makes it very easy to merge in the new blue colours when working on something else.

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OK, no problem then, because they are here already:

General water color change (notice also the change of general water labels - 10% darker):
https://github.com/kocio-pl/openstreetmap-carto/tree/water

My changes for midzoom:
https://github.com/kocio-pl/openstreetmap-carto/tree/midzoom

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kocio-pl commented Dec 11, 2016

OK, no problem then, because they are here already:

General water color change (notice also the change of general water labels - 10% darker):
https://github.com/kocio-pl/openstreetmap-carto/tree/water

My changes for midzoom:
https://github.com/kocio-pl/openstreetmap-carto/tree/midzoom

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kocio-pl Jul 31, 2017

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Resolved by #2654.

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kocio-pl commented Jul 31, 2017

Resolved by #2654.

@kocio-pl kocio-pl closed this Jul 31, 2017

kocio-pl referenced this issue Sep 1, 2017

Improve mid-zoom levels and water color
This PR changes the following:
* Landcover in z<12 is now less bright.
* Built-up landcover areas are now rendered more prominently in z<12.
* Unimportant roads are now white rather than gray.
* Water is now a brighter blue (thakns @kocio-pl).
* Low/midzoom roads are now rendered with bright halos.

This should improve the legibility and esthetics of the map. In particular:
* Roads, esp. primary roads, are now better legible on zooms 8-11
* Water areas are easier to recognize
* Minor roads on mid-zoom levels are rendered more clearly
* Residential areas are more prominent and easier to recognize
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