May 2018: new general maps with significantly more curated content

[Full resolution overview page]

What has not changed: for the various zoom levels, different map sources are used, while the map size stays in the same order of magnitude at least.

Also, the maps are NO vector maps still, as those cause massive performance issues at low zoom levels. The overview maps as raster maps are way faster here - vector maps have their unique strengths for high level of detail in higher zoom levels. However, now only ONE map format, MBTiles, is offered, which can be used by all major geo apps.

As usual for OAM, buttons for fast install in Orux and Locus are provided. Both apps are able to integrate world maps, using very different mechanisms, however. Pls. see the resp. help in the apps.

So, what has changed, and why ? The pot. random display of labels (e.g. for settlements) is a massive problem in the rendering tools available. Hence I took explicit control (with quite some scripting) of the selected objects in the generation process of the world maps.

Currently, this information has been processed this way:

  • The capitals of countries, states and provinces of many countries are shown in 3 different colours, in English and local language (if significantly different).
  • The size of the settlement labels increases by population, if provided in the OSM data set (hopefully correctly!), otherwise a minimum assumption is made for the categories city, town and village. Meanwhile the population size categories are available in Christian's OAM maps as "PopCat" tags. They can be used by themes to select (restrict) the settlement names to be displayed. An adaption of the Elevate theme is on my list for 2018, but maybe Tobias is faster :-)
  • Islands and archipelagos, in particular the remote ones, are hard to spot on maps - here is remedy by highlighting them, from zoom level 3 up.
  • Triggered by an OAM forum discussion about visibility of peaks, and with the help of Max' algorithm to select, 100s of important peaks are highlighted.
  • Also the major ocean deeps are shown.

The intent behind all that is to have essential information at a finger tip, fully OFFLINE. A sort of companion for Wikipedia, which is available offline as well, by Kiwix and Aard2, which I highly recommend.

Yet, for those who are not interested in this additional level of details, I created a version (with "min" added to the map name) that shows only the background maps up to zoom level 7, and above only the settlement and capital names on top of the OAM background.

Release notes (2018-07-27)

  • Province capitals for more countries have been added, amended, corrected.
  • For countries with many small provinces the first appearance of their province capitals has been raised to zoom level 8 or 9 (see the Balcans, Levante and SE Asia).

List of sources and features:

  • ZL1 & 2 background map: + (hill shading)
    Range +/- 85 degree, with continents and major oceans named in English. Continent colours represent vegetation, sea colours show the depth. At ZL 2: major golfs, bays and seas are named in addition.
  • ZL3 background map: + (hill shading)
    Range +/-85 degree, in addition all countries names, and some major cities (yet only a few capitals). Different vegetation coloring, no sea depth indication. Most country borders are visible. Remote islands are added in italic with light greenish background.
  • ZL4 background map:
    Range +/-85 degree, topographic coloring of elevation; borders are shown; all country names are displayed with white border.
  • ZL5 background map: + (hill shading)
    Range +/-85 degree, vegetation coloring similar to L4, sea depths are color coded. Many base map names in local language (only). All country capitals and those of regions/states are highlighted by halos: red for countries, orange for dependencies and regions resp. yellow for provinces. Major highways are visible. The 40 most isolated peaks of the world (list from Wikipedia) are displayed with brownish background, as well as the deepest points in the ocean/sea beds.
  • ZL6 background map: + (hill shading)
    Range +/-85 degree, province capitals of some large countries appear. On the backgound map which shows the administrative structures, major cities and major secondary roads become visible. The 125 most prominent peaks of the world (list from Wikipedia) are shown in addition.
  • ZL7 background map: + (hill shading)
    Range 72 N/57 S (which is the range for all higher zooms, too), vegetation coloring similar to L5, sea depths are color coded. Many settlements names are shown in local language. For countries with a reasonable "density" of provinces, their capitals are highlighted. The high points of all countries are included, too.
  • ZL8-10+: vector maps from with adapted Elevate theme
    Content is the well known OAM/Elevate background content. Settlement display is fundamentally different, though: for each tile (fraction of a square degree) only the few largest settlements are displayed, with biggest one visible on the top. This means that villages may be shown in regions like northern Canada or Siberia, while cities of 100,000 do not find space in metro areas. Province capitals for smaller countries are finally visible.
  • Additional peaks are shown, with isolations of 100+/50+/35+/15+ km at zoom levels 8/9/10/11 respectively. The lists of peaks by isolation are created by a program based on Max Berger's work, which is using the elevation data set from Jonathan de Ferranti.
  • All country capitals (red halo) are shown from ZL 5+, state/province capitals are highlighted in yellow (for US and CA incl. state's postal codes), region and dependent territories are shown with orange halo in italic (the latter include the country they belong to). For a number of states the list of province capitals may not be complete, as OSM lacks quality in this respect; the gaps will be amended over time.
  • Settlement, peak, island and ocean deep names are extracted and selected as described above from OSM data by using the OSMOSIS toolset and additional scripting. Those names are then rendered using Maperitive, and the result is overlayed to the backgound maps using MOBAC.

  • Author: Michael Bechtold (license: CC-BY-SA)

Questions? – Need help? – Suggestions?