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Bring WMF map tile feature sets into line with OSM default feature sets
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Description

Feature summary

I would like to be able to see geographic features such as residentials areas, houses, buildings, fields, fences, &c, on higher resolution WMF maps, following roughly the pattern established by OSM as their default tile set, or by ACME Mapper, a 3rd party user of OSm maps.

Steps to reproduce

The WMF map is bereft of residential areas, houses, buildings, fields, fences, &c. No church.

OSM and ACME show residential areas, houses, buildings, fields, fences, &c

Use case(s)

I have, for instance, 67,313 Scottish Listed Buildings items, each with coordinates pointing to a building or structure. In the main, none of the buildings or structures are shown on any WMF map tile.

I wish the user, when viewing a Scottish Listed Building item having coordinates, to be able to see the building in the wikidata map.

I wish the user of other implemtations of the WMF map tiles - such as on the geohack page - to be able to see the building for which coordinates have been supplied.

I wish to be able to check, visually, that a coordinate is accurate, by reference to the WMF map tile displayed proximate with the coordinate string, such as within a wikidata P625 statement.

I wish to be able to validate that summit coordinates point to summits. Summits are not shown on WMF map tiles. (see below)

I wish to ascertain that P131 values - administrative areas - are correct for geocoded items. WMF maps do not show administrative boundaries. (see below).

I wish to be able to differentiate railways from roads - see the Victoria Falls example, below - for instance to check geocoding of stations.

The issues manifests in rural areas north and south (Shetland and Victoria Falls, below), cities north and south (Edinburgh & Lusaka, below), hinterlands such as the Ochil Hills in Scotland, or the countryside around Bergen, Norway, below. The issues manifest everywhere.

In the alternative, I want WMF to explain why it is better, or even acceptable, that at higher resolution, WMF tiles are mostly devoid of features, whilst OSM and ACME manage to render excellent and detailed tiles.

Example: Haroldswick, Shetland, zoom=16:

https://mapper.acme.com/?ll=60.78805,-0.82762&z=16

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 05.07.51.png (1×1 px, 673 KB)

https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/60.7892/-0.8299

Screenshot 2021-08-17 at 12.08.17.png (1×1 px, 669 KB)

https://maps.wikimedia.org/#16/60.7881/-0.8280

Screenshot 2021-08-17 at 12.08.05.png (1×1 px, 252 KB)

The ask is that WMF maps team analyses OSM's map default presentation in terms of which types of nodes, ways and relations are shown at which resolutions, and modify arrangements for tile import such that WMF maps show detail comparible with OSM/ACME for each resolution.

Event Timeline

Noting T288897 ... if WMF maps are to be sorted out, it is reasonable to consider whether it is now time to learn from map specialists such as OSM/ACME and implement the easily available and obviously useful map detail which they supply.

Edinburgh: Look - no castle! Mostly, no buildings. Unrecognisable. Entirely useless for my listed buildings use case.

https://maps.wikimedia.org/#16/55.9510/-3.1967

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 05.28.03.png (1×1 px, 812 KB)

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=55.95051,-3.19734&z=16

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 05.28.17.png (1×1 px, 2 MB)

Victoria Falls. The railway is one of the defining features, as it goes over the gorge from Zambia to Zimbabwe. Users can almost see it on the WMF map, if they know what they're looking for.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=-17.92786,25.84826&z=14&t=M

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 05.44.34.png (1×1 px, 1 MB)

https://maps.wikimedia.org/#14/-17.9287/25.8363

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 05.44.22.png (1×1 px, 630 KB)

Bergen, zoom 11. Wikidata has 1,000s of hills & summits. use case: show them so that we can check whether WD coordinates point to the peaks.

https://mapper.acme.com/?ll=60.31845,5.31807&z=11&t=M

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 06.00.11.png (996×1 px, 1 MB)

https://maps.wikimedia.org/#11/60.3531/5.3078

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 05.59.58.png (1×1 px, 879 KB)

Are my Scottish items with coordinates in the correct P131 area?

https://w.wiki/3unv

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 06.08.10.png (1×1 px, 1 MB)

Well to be honest, I really don't know b/c the WMF map choice is not to show admin boundaries, so I can't validate them

https://mapper.acme.com/?ll=56.19620,-3.83217&z=12&t=M

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 06.09.18.png (948×1 px, 375 KB)

https://maps.wikimedia.org/#12/56.1815/-3.8456

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 06.09.28.png (734×964 px, 100 KB)

I'll end, for now, with: as I've spend many hundreds of hours over several years curating the geocoded items for a country - Scotland - WMF might want to reciprocate by providing maps fit for purpose. The current map set is demonstrably not fit. Boundaries, buildings, landuse, peaks, please.

Eventually I do hope Wikipedia maps will use OpenMapTiles project (with some customization like no admin borders if so desired). There are a lot of efforts by numerous individuals spent on optimizing OSM data extraction, and eventually it hopefully will cover every OSM feature, possibly as extensions (there is a proposal for such arrangement as well).

If I'm going to validate scheduled monuments in Scotland (8,086 items), I need to be able to see archaeological sites.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=60.68397,-0.98057&z=16&t=M

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 06.47.55.png (862×912 px, 168 KB)

https://maps.wikimedia.org/#16/60.6852/-0.9790

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 06.48.04.png (722×832 px, 45 KB)

And I need to be able to see field boundaries b/c many features of interest, sufficiently notable to be items, are "that lump in a field over these":

https://canmore.org.uk/site/search/result?SITECOUNTRY=0&view=map
Canmore: OS maps showing blue circle features against field boundaries. (Papa Stour, Shetland)

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 07.01.34.png (1×1 px, 2 MB)

Canmore - next level of detail

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 07.04.20.png (1×2 px, 1 MB)

OSM/ACME - there be field boundaries
https://mapper.acme.com/?ll=60.32680,-1.68310&z=16&t=M

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 07.02.37.png (1×2 px, 722 KB)

Wut?
https://maps.wikimedia.org/#16/60.3268/-1.6855

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 07.02.46.png (1×2 px, 157 KB)

Styles that Wikimedia maps use, osm-bright, is supposed to display some additional elements, including buildings, but lately these elements got lost on Wikimedia maps as apparently styles aren't yet configured to work properly with new data import tool (T288731).

Some more types of elements might be considered, but I doubt that we really want to display everything that openstreetmap-carto style has, which I assume "OSM default feature sets" stands for. The latter styles are used to showcase nearly all data that OSM includes. While Wikimedia maps are most commonly used as an outline map on which markers and particular line or areas are highlighted. For the latter purpose different styles are better suiting, i.e. syles that aren't as overcrowded with information and where colours aren't as contrasting.

Alternatively you might ask for better support of different map layers with different styles, including styles with more information. Some gadgets and user scripts, such as the one you get if you click "Kaart" at the top of this Wikipedia article, already allow selection of both Wikimedia maps and tiles from openstreetmap.org.

Alternatively you might ask for better support of different map layers with different styles, including styles with more information.

Done in T215073 - two years old next month.

While Wikimedia maps are most commonly used as an outline map on which markers and particular line or areas are highlighted. For the latter purpose different styles are better suiting, i.e. syles that aren't as overcrowded with information and where colours aren't as contrasting.

That's a view, but it's a nonsense view. Maps which show what is on the ground are useful. Maps which do not are not so useful. I've set out very clearly why detail supports my use cases.

What is your use case for "syles that aren't as overcrowded with information"? Is the blank Papa Stour map sufficiently uncrowded for your taste? smh.

Screenshot 2021-08-18 at 07.02.46.png (1×2 px, 157 KB)

I'd like to remind everyone we have no Maps developers. The product is still frozen, the team is only making some changes to make the original status quo more maintainable (which next to fixing a few issues, apparently caused some additional breakages too), but it is unlikely they'll pick this specific ticket up. Please vote in the board elections for someone who cares to fund development of features like these.

Of note is that we ALSO no longer have active volunteers for any map related work on tool forge.. so .....

While Wikimedia maps are most commonly used as an outline map on which markers and particular line or areas are highlighted. For the latter purpose different styles are better suiting, i.e. syles that aren't as overcrowded with information and where colours aren't as contrasting.

That's a view, but it's a nonsense view. Maps which show what is on the ground are useful. Maps which do not are not so useful. I've set out very clearly why detail supports my use cases.

I'm referring to most maps in Wikipedia that highlight markers or some objects above Wikimedia maps, such as examples given for Maplink template. On such maps highlighted objects generally come forward better if on the background there aren't too many distracting objects or other contrasting objects. That said I don't claim that Wikimedia maps shouldn't display more objects than it currently does, it should display at least buildings and other features that were present on it recently (ticket referenced above).

Different map styles, including those with different selection of information, obviously fit for different purposes. If we'd try to create map styles that fit for all purposes, then likely it wouldn't fit for anything. Hence I'm just saying that we should first figure out what given map styles are mainly for. Your use cases are fair use cases, but some of them might be better served using entirely different map layer with different styles and information.

Can you describe any use cases, @Pikne, which are frustrated by the normal convention of showing progressively increasing amounts of information as the resolution of the map increases?

@TheDJ noted. It's up to the WMF to decide whether they're going to support users and improve the product in obvious ways such as the above; or whether they're just going to sit back and count their astronomically huge pile of money. It's really only all the users and all the editors who are currently being ill-served. it doesn't take much imagnation to see that wikimedia would be better served by appropriately detailed maps, and so the question is, why is this a backwater for WMF? I live in hope that WMF, replete with a plurality of communications managers, gets back to us on this one.

@Pikne this is not accurate -- while it does help to reduce the number of OSM features to some extent, it is still far better to include more. What we do want is not to keep small number of features, but rather style map in such a way that it doesn't get in the way of the overlayed content. Here are some sample styles OpenMapTiles has, and I think Positron style would be a better fit than the bright style.:

image.png (702×1 px, 810 KB)

One other thing that few mentioned -- current maps in Wikipedia are NOT open source. You cannot take the code and run it yourself -- Mapbox will sue you because they claimed copyright over the DATA STRUCTURE of how data is organized in the vector tiles/styles. Another reason to switch to OMT.

Can you describe any use cases, @Pikne, which are frustrated by the normal convention of showing progressively increasing amounts of information as the resolution of the map increases?

Why do you ask? As far as I can see this convention, which I don't have a problem with, is already followed on Wikimedia maps: as zoom level increases, more place names, more roads, more waterways etc. appear. Hopefully buildings and some more objects will also reappear at higher zoom levels once bug that I mentioned above gets fixed.

Now buildings and some other objects appear again on Wikimedia maps.

In relation to what to add and what to omit, see also T113912: Outline cartographic goal for style.