Oct./Nov., 2019: updated OSM/OAM base maps, and a bit more ... (Rel. 2019-2.2)

[Full resolution overview page]

These 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. Tobias' Elevate theme is using those tags already.
  • 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.
  • In addition different types of power generation stations are displayed. In particular wind turbines are excellent land/seamarks.

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 2019-10-24/2019-11-05
  • Correction: Vladivostok/Khabarovsk status
  • For capitals the font size is increased again somewhat for ZL 9 up.
  • There is a better quality source for Gall-Peters-Peters-projection for ZL 1: www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/gprojector/help/projections/GallIsographic.png; I only needed to amend better visible degrees for the grid.
  • ZL 11 maps for Europe-MENA are extended towards East up to northern Urals, then towards Astana and comprise Iran fully; the ZL11-12 maps for Europe now cover the Black Sea fully and include Nizhny Novgorod further north.
  • The selection of settlements ideally would work like a "window" of a (ZL dependent) specified size, sliding across the map and marking the requested number of largest places in the window for rendering in the map. In the past those "windows" were just adjacent; now windows are evaluated in addition that are shifted by half of their dimensions.
  • The major five circles of latitude are shown in ZL 2 to 4.
Click here for the history of release notes.
App Installation / Download, size of compressed / extracted map
Installation of the map in Orux right on your device
Installation of the map in Locus right on your device
Manual installation for any App (unzip if needed, move MBTiles map to a folder which can be handled by the resp. app:

For Apps that support additional overlays, but need an additional upper transparent layer, like Locus. Map content: ZL 11 for the continents, ZL 11 and 12 for most of Europe and ZL 11 to 13 for Germany resp. also with Alps, with transparent layer 12, 13 or 14, resp. (ZL 1-6 is always included), to be used in addition to the World ZL 1-10 map.

For Apps that support additional overlays, without need of an additional upper transparent layer, e.g. Orux or Cartograph. Map content: ZL 11 for the continents, ZL 11 and 12 for most of Europe and ZL 11 to 13 for Germany resp. also with Alps, as MBTiles (ZL 1-6 is always included), to be used in addition to the World ZL 1-10 map.

Those overlay maps (MBTiles) contain the world up to ZL 8 and then the continent/region from ZL 9 onwards up to the resp. limit.

List of sources and features:

Coverage ZL 1-9
Coverage ZL 10
Coverage ZL 11-13
  • ZL1: background from www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/gprojector/help/projections/GallIsographic.png (using Gall-Peters projection), with major oceans added in English. Lon/Lat degrees amended to grid, as app coordinates (Lat) will mislead with this projection!
    Range +/- 85 degree; with continents and major oceans named in English.
  • ZL2: background map: "Made with Natural Earth" (naturalearthdata.com) + korona.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/tiles/asterh (hill shading)
    Range +/- 85 degree; major golfs, bays and seas are named in addition.
  • ZL3 background map: Made with Natural Earth (naturalearthdata.com) + korona.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/tiles/asterh (hill shading)
    Range +/-85 degree, in addition all countries names, and some major cities (yet only a few capitals). Different vegetation colouring, no sea depth indication. Most country borders are visible. Remote islands are added in italic with light greenish background.
  • ZL4: background map: tile.opentopomap.org
    Range +/-85 degree, topographic colouring of elevation; borders are shown; all country names are displayed with white border.
  • ZL5: background map: korona.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/tiles/roads + korona.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/tiles/asterh (hill shading)
    Range +/-85 degree, vegetation colouring similar to ZL3, sea depths are colour 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: tile.openstreetmap.de/tiles/osmde + korona.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/tiles/asterh (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: korona.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/tiles/roads + korona.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/tiles/asterh (hill shading)
    Range 84 N/79 S (which is the range for all higher zooms, too), vegetation colouring similar to L5, sea depths are colour 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+: background map: vector maps from www.openandromaps.org with adapted Elevate theme
    Range 72 N/57 S. 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.
    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 toFor 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)

History of release notes:

2019-04-18 / 2019-06-08
  • Correction: incomplete capital name labels, adapt map/zoom overview to map content
  • Font sizes for countries and capitals have been reduced for ZLs 4 to 10.
  • The maps with transparent highest ZL are delivered as MBTiles now, too.
  • All maps got a map center. For W1-8..10 this is set to extreme Antartica, not to interfere with "nearest map" features of Apps. For regional maps it is set to the center fo the map scope.
  • Now all maps use the Peters/Gall projection (which has fidelity of area - just compare Greenland and Africa in the usual maps ...) for ZL 1, taken from TopPlusWebOpen (http://www.geodatenzentrum.de/geodaten, license www.govdata.de/dl-de/by-2-0).
    • 2019-03-20/23
      • Now the new release of all OAM maps is the background for the world maps (from ZL 8 up). And Natural Earth is used as the background for ZL 1 to 3.
      • Also a number of formattings and positions of names have been improved.
      • W1-8min-MBt and the overlay maps now use the Peters projection for ZL 1, taken from TopPlusWebOpen (http://www.geodatenzentrum.de/geodaten, license www.govdata.de/dl-de/by-2-0).
      2018-12-04 & -16
      • A new category of maps is being introduced: MBTiles maps that show the world up to ZL 8 and then continents resp. regions from ZL 9 onwards.
      • The Pacific maps now comprise Polynesia (east of date line) as well.
      • For China the districts are shown, as parts of the provinces.
      • For China the districts are shown, as parts of the provinces.
      • Improvement of name formatting.
      • Update and amendment of capitals.
      • At the head of the source and feature list the scope of the overview maps is shown on 3 world maps. Hint for interested parties: on the map ZL 1-9 shows the scale 3000 km nicely shows the distortion at higher latitudes.
      • Update of settlement names; about 2000/7000/24000 places added in zoom levels 8/9/10.
      • Only for (OSM-) geeks: this increase is mainly attributed to the inclusion of OSM "ways" and "relations" for the settlement selection. Because, unfortunately, settlements ("place=...") are added as ways/relations into OSM, without mapping them as "nodes" first and then reference them in the resp. way/relation.
      • Presentation of power plants refined (W = wind, S = solar, H = hydro, N = nuclear, O = oil, C = coal, P = others).
      • Add-On maps w/o transparent layer are now delivered as MBtiles, hence are usable by Orux.
      • (Wind) power plants added, visible from ZL 6 (quite well on sea).
      • Major capes added, currently up to ZL 9; more to be added over time.
      • Addon overlay maps with ZL 11 for the continents and ZL 12 for Central Europe (and neighborhoods), with and without additional transparent topmost layer
      • Ocean background fixed for ZL 9 around Revillagigedo Islands and Saint Helena.
      • Ocean background fixed for ZL 10 around Easter Island.
      • 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 Balkans, Levante and SE Asia).

Questions? – Need help? – Suggestions?