28.07.2021 OpenMTBMap – New Map Layouts finally online – Big Improvement for easy and hiking Layout

After many weeks of trial and error - and trying out a lot of changes both on desktop and in real life hiking and mtbiking - finally the rework of the map layout is finished. I have made sure to make the map layouts much easier to comprehend, more harmonic to look at - and more congruent in consistency of the colors. I will write another post in a few days about the new easy layout for the VeloMap. The VeloMap so far did not have an easy layout - so I created an easy layout (besides the race bicycle layout) for the VeloMap too.

So e.g. before while mtb trails were green, mtb routes were brown. At 500m zoom scale (Basecamp, normal detail) the map had become too cluttered in Europe's densely populated areas. For some polygons there were some problems that they overlapped other areas (e.g. parks) and in general some areas just stuck out way too much even though their importance to hiking or mtbiking was not given (sport fields). I had differentiated building colors too much - and had different shades of grey for government buildings, museums and so on vs normal buildings. While this gave a lot of information - it is not actually needed and make the map a bit harder to read.

I have now reworked all layouts to focus on the essential things - while still providing the awesome level of detail only given by openmtbmaps for planning your trip. Meaning highly differentiated difficulty for mtbiking or hiking, and much more important information quickly visible. Yes some other maps may on first view still be more pleasing to the eye, but transport way way less information. I worked especially a lot on creating a new easy layout - leaving out information that some people though is too much - like symbols for street parallel cycleways, or mtb:scale:uphill. The easy layout however still features mtb:scale difficulty coloring for mtb trails. If you want to skip that too - use the otherwise very identical hiking layout. I now also included mtb routes into the hiking layout. a) for hikers not liking to be among mtbikers to avoid those ways, b) for mtbikers wanting a more standard topographical map but still see mtb routes (though less prominent than hiking routes).

 

Oh - and as feedburner is shutting down - I have changed the newsletter from feedburner to follow.it service. Sorry for the mass newsletter some weeks ago packing many old newsletters - that was a bug that happened in transition.

 

Finally in a couple of weeks, I will also publish a layout that is Fenix 5/6  64 colour proof. I still have to do quite some tests on the Fenix layout however - before I can publish that one. It will come for both VeloMap and OpenMTBMap.

 

And last but not least - I again rendered newly all contourlines - why? Well after the last update I noticed that ALOS world 3d updated their altitude data to a newer version, now with nearly worldwide coverage (instead of stopping at 60° North) and viewfinderpanoramas has uploaded a new Greenland dataset (also largely based on ALOS world 3d plus Arctic DEM). As it's too much of a hassle to look at which countries were affected by this (mainly outside Europe) - I recreated all contourlines. The next map update will feature the new contourlines. New Asia continent 20m contourlines will also be included.

 

 

Enough of the talk - here are some before and after screenshots:

Old Wide layout at 500m - vs new wide layout 500m - Notice that there are much less trails and roads shown. They now appear one zoom step closer in at 300m (instead of 700m before). Also notice now the green MTB routes (and red hiking routes). Trails with MTB difficulty information - or part of a hiking or mtb route are now shown up to 700m (instead of 1.5km before). While before most road trails started to be shown at 700m - which is now reduced to 300m)

I've also changed the forest colours a bit (a bit more dominant now).

 


 

Old easy layout 500m - the old easy layout had no mtb:scale trail difficulty information.:

new easy layout 500m:

vs the new hiking layout - Hiking routes are now shown dominantly in black, while mtb routes are quite thin in brown. MTB trail difficulty can be looked at by clicking on the trail itself - it's still part of the name.

 

 

Bern - old 1500m zoomscale - easy layout

vs new 1500m zoomscale easy layout. Note that for the easy and hiking layout I also made the street colors of important streets/highways more similar to google maps / english style - but trying to still keep them high contrast.  Using google maps colors directly would be to low contrast for Garmin GPS devices. The mtb routes in green are much easier to see now than before - and because the street colours are more homogenous - it's easier to see the cities (well also because I reduced the detail level of what is shown quite a bit here). When I had used that detail level in 2009 it was appropriate - but now with higher DPI monitors and garmin GPS devices displays - it makes sense to reduce the details a bit.

 

 

At the closest zoomed in - 200m or closer - the changes are the smallest - but still quite visible - Notice no more different shades of grey for houses. Toned down the sports fields and car parking areas.  First old, then New:

 

 

 

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