I have a question on the way OpenStreetMap shows town and city population size. In my experience in using various maps, town and city populations are shown by font sizes, with small hamlets’ names using very small fonts and large cities using a large font, with in between population centers font sizes increasing with their population. OpenStreetMap only uses this format as a suggestion. For instance, a small hamlet in western Pennsylvania called Stockdale (40.083348, -79.850456), population around 500, uses the same size font as nearby Washington, PA (40.175, -80.250555) with a population of nearly 14,000. Much larger towns within just a few miles of Stockdale with double or quadruple its population (or more) are shown in extremely small fonts, if they are named at all. And I could give at least 20 more examples of wrong font size/population errors just within my 25-mile surrounding area, with this type of error endemic. I can’t find any way to fix this type of error. Isn’t accuracy important with your maps?
Of course it is. Keep in mind, though, that OSM is almost exclusively handled by volunteers. We aren’t Google. We depend on individuals to notice issues and make fixes.
As for your examples, the reason those two places are rendered with the same font is because they’re currently tagged as the same type of object: place=town. In the case of Stockdale, someone changed it from place=village to place=town a few years ago, which shouldn’t have happened based on its very small population. If you’d like to help us out, you could change Stockdale back to place=village (place=hamlet would be too low based on OSM definitions) and fix other place types you’ve noticed that aren’t correct.
Of course I’d like to help. Accuracy IS important and why I originally posted. Which brings me back to my original question:
So, if you could point me to the instructions on changing the town back to village, I’d appreciate it. Also, it seems to me that the OSM definitions you linked to seem kind of nebulous and open to misinterpretation. Wouldn’t it be preferable to actually categorize population center font sizes to actual hard populations (i.e. town=1,000 to 10,000 persons) as shown in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_hierarchy instead?
Oops. My bad. I just found the proposed changes that are attempting to do the above, an approach I wholeheartedly support. However, I still can’t find instructions on how to actually change the object tag back from place=town to place=village. Guidance would be appreciated, as I don’t want to experiment and risk adding misinformation to the map. Also, would someone please define the now depreciated term “Rank” as applied to population size for me.
There are two things you (or anyone else) can or should do.
- The data: Verify and correct that places are well classified and have the real population tagged (tag “population” and tag “place”).
Stockdale has its population tagged, but its border is mapped as borough, and the node element representing the locality is mappes as town.
Those inconsistencies needs to be solved.
- The rendering. Rendering OSM data is a complex process and lots of decisions and must be taken in order to show the data elements in a map (what and how to show and what not). For the web site the standard layer, the rendering is done with CartoCSS stylesheets (rules to convert data into graphical elements). Rendering problems can be posted here. This is informational only, as it seems to me that the problem you detected is related to the data, and not to the rendering.
My advice is that you should contact the USA community.
@FitBoyAwe, I fail to understand what this has to do with the question of the OP.