I'm new to this so bear with me.

Last night I fixed up a bunch of junctions to improve routing when using sites like bikeroutetoaster. Along the way I found some multi-use paths and trails that were segmented. In particular, the Mesa Trail in Boulder, CO is around 7 miles long and it was broken into multiple pieces. I joined the pieces back together into one 7-mile long trail, thinking that was the right thing to do. But now I wonder if that will limit the placement of labels and make it less clear which trail segments are actually the Mesa Trail (there are numerous side trails and connectors). Should I go back and split the trail at major junctions so it gets rendered with better labels?

For example, on the southern section of the trail, there is no "Mesa Trail" label between its junction with the Shanahan South Fork trail and the trailhead on Eldorado Springs Drive.

asked 17 May '11, 17:29

wallnut's gravatar image

wallnut
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edited 17 May '11, 17:32


Different rendering systems have different behaviour when it comes to repeating the label down the length of a road, and they will repeat the label on long ways (or at least all good rendering software will do this) Unfortunately you can also influence behaviour by splitting a road into separate ways, in a manner which is otherwise unnecessary. You should not do this. It's bad practice.

We say "tagging for the renderer" is bad, but that applies equally to other mapping decisions regarding the arrangement of ways and nodes. That doesn't mean you shouldn't give consideration to renderers, routing systems, and other uses, when entering data. It just means you shouldn't contort things to try to trick a renderer into behaving properly.

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answered 17 May '11, 17:59

Harry%20Wood's gravatar image

Harry Wood
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accept rate: 13%

Thanks for the answer & the link. I'll leave it alone.

(17 May '11, 18:32) wallnut

As Harry already has mentioned with other words, "Don't map for the renderers", and the number of labels may not depend on the number of segments in a road anyway. For example if you look at http://www.openstreetmap.org/ Osmarender tends to put one single or just a few names on a complicated road, while Mapnik puts more names one it, but both are using the same OSM database. (You switch map at the "+" in the upper right corner.)

A valid reason for breaking one road into multiple segments is that there are different speed limits, lighting, surface etc etc along the road. Another reason may be that a part of the road is used as a border for something, and they share the same segment.

There may also be other reasons to split a way into segments. See I want to create a very long way - how do I download OSM data for such a big area? in the FAQ.

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answered 17 May '11, 18:20

gnurk's gravatar image

gnurk
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accept rate: 15%

Thanks - that's a good list of exceptions. In this case I don't think any of them apply so I'll leave it as one big trail.

(17 May '11, 18:35) wallnut
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question asked: 17 May '11, 17:29

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last updated: 17 May '11, 18:35

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