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Zooming in and out over various large lakes in Italy, I either never see a lake name (eg Lake Garda), or it makes a brief appearance only if one zooms into the centre of the lake (eg Lake Bolsena) so that no shorelines can be seen. It would be nice for the lake name to appear when looking at shoreline (towns etc) if the view includes enough water.

asked 03 Jul '14, 10:32

David%20Duffy's gravatar image

David Duffy
accept rate: 0%

OSM is just a database and many different maps and services are made of it. Maps are generated based on OSM data and map style which is set of rules describing how data will be displayed. And creating a map style that reflects lots of conflicting requirements is hard.

Unfortunately, because there are an infinite number of possible tags, every feature can't be displayed and still have the map look legible, so not every "please can the standard map render X" request can be accommodated. So as result only small but the most important part of the data is used in generating map.

Obviously, sometimes authors of the map style missed some important tags, there is a beter way to do things that was missed or nobody had time to improve/update map style.

The stylesheet used by the "standard" style on is here: In case of reasonable ideas (like this one) it is possible to make change to map style (it is quite easy but not trivial) and propose including it. It is also possible to (after checking whatever it was not already suggested) request it at and wait till somebody else will do the necessary work.

(based on answer to )

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answered 03 Jul '14, 17:01

Mateusz%20Konieczny's gravatar image

Mateusz Koni...
accept rate: 0%

edited 03 Jul '14, 17:02


Interestingly some lakes are rendered. But the humanitarian layer seems to be the only one which renders Lake Garda and other lakes. I can't find any pattern. Maybe its just because the humanitarian layer is less cluttered or has different priorities? However it seems worth to create a ticket for this because lakes are important map features.

(03 Jul '14, 17:13) scai ♦

It seems that according to labels on natural=water will be rendered from zoom level 15 on default layer. Humanitarian layer is smarter and labels may be rendered from z10, depending on area - see

(03 Jul '14, 17:36) Mateusz Koni...

see on this topic (created by David-Duffy)

(04 Jul '14, 04:58) Mateusz Koni...

I looked at the tags with Potlatch2. Garda as a polygon and the Italian name for it. Bolsena as a polygon and it's names in lots of languages BUT neither as a lake tag or an English name. They do turn up in a map search. I am not quite sure whats going on so I won't edit it. I noticed one polygon was last worked on three month ago.

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answered 03 Jul '14, 12:41

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%


No, it's a general behaviour - I just picked those two out as motivating examples. I get the same problems with the US Great Lakes, or Oneida Lake (near Syracuse NY) which is only labelled as "New York Barge Canal" on the standard view when the scale reads "1 km", but not when zoomed further out. This polygon is tagged "Lake" with the correct name "Oneida Lake", which is how Bing's view labels it when zoomed further out viewed in iD.

For smaller bodies of water it is not a problem (the label appears at an appropriate level of zoom), but with these larger ones it is slightly frustrating in terms of orienting oneself...I have no idea how much work it would be add this in, as g*e and Bing do.

(03 Jul '14, 14:14) David Duffy

@andy mackey The lake has a lake tag. It is tagged as natural=water, water=lake and the last change has been 11 days ago. You probably looked at the wrong object.

(03 Jul '14, 17:10) scai ♦

OK Tks. perhaps I looked one of the bank relations which was that old and didn't have lake tag. Doing a nominatim search did show water and lake tags when I looked at that.

(04 Jul '14, 13:10) andy mackey
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question asked: 03 Jul '14, 10:32

question was seen: 4,541 times

last updated: 04 Jul '14, 13:10

NOTICE: is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum