[talk-ch] Ask for mediation - Maps and Plans

tnk at gmx.net tnk at gmx.net
Thu Sep 8 00:22:53 CEST 2011

On 06.09.2011 19:51, Stefan Keller wrote:
> By chance, there will be probably an OSM meeting in Zurich next week where young mappers and "distinguished elderly IT guys" (like Simon and I :->) sometimes meet. If you wish, I could put the issue on the "agenda" the and get some general/spectrum of opinion?

Thank you for your offer, Stefan. I appreciate your experience and opinion, but I'm not sure if a general spectrum of opinions will be of much help in this specific case. Apart from the fact that I don't particularly enjoy the feeling of my mapping around Lausanne being surveilled and micromanaged by Stéphane, it seems to me that Stéphane and I are motivated by fundamentally different visions. Stéphane seems to want to create a plan, I would like to create a map. Now I couldn't say of either one if it was "right" or "wrong", but while I would like to participate in the creation of a map, I don't care to participate in the creation of a plan.

For those of you who wonder about the difference between plan and map, the definition in the (German) Wikipedia (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karte_%28Kartografie%29) is as follows: "Von Karten spricht man immer dann, wenn ihr Maßstab zu einer Generalisierung zwingt. Lassen sich Phänomene der realen Welt nahezu ungeneralisiert und dann meist großmaßstäbig darstellen, so spricht man von Plänen (Lageplan, Bebauungsplan)." Or in my own words and in English: On a map you are working with a lower scale, so you have to generalize and stylize certain phenomena of the real world. On a plan you work with a higher scale and reproduce every little detail of an environment, very much like on a technical drawing.

I have heard that the principle of OSM was "map everything". But I believe that there needs to be more than just this one principle to ensure a healthy balance. I am motivated as much by the idea of completeness of the data as by the goal of simplicity, elegance and usability. For me, to find a building on a street or the entrance to a subway station on a place is good enough. I don't care to know about the exact location of every curbstone on the street. In fact, I don't want to know about it, because it distracts me and demands way to much attention to process all the unnecessary information. So when I am mapping, I am striving to find a balance between exactitude and stylisation. And while I am not mapping for a specific rendering style, my aim is to allow at least theoretically a simple and clean rendering of the data (and routing of course).

As I have already said, to my knowledge Stéphane has done extensive tracing of aerial images in the area around Lausanne, quite detailed inside the city, and more roughly (and certainly not up to the standard he tries to enforce upon my edits) in the area around. So if he wants to impose "his way" of mapping onto the whole area, as he has de facto done to this date, that's fine with me too. But then he'd better motivate some other mappers on the ground who are willing to follow his vision of creating a plan (in forests, parks and farmland) and provide all the paths and other details in and outside of Lausanne that he has missed so far.

Thorsten (Shernott)
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