Detailed Toner v2 (2012) change notes

Eric gave a general overview of the changes we rolled out for Toner v2 in this post and this post. I’ll be digging into the technical details. But first, pictures!

Visual changelog for Toner 2012:

Toner v2 (2012 and 2011) uses High Road for more sophisticated roads and tucks San Francisco’s punky park mohawk under the water:

Toner changes thru time

There is a new “lite” version with toned-down contrast, better for printing out analog style or overlaying polygons client-side:

Toner changes thru time

We added reservoirs!

Toner changes thru time

And better about showing walking and biking paths through meadows and woods:

Toner changes thru time

Back in the urban grid, we’ve added subways and building footprints:

Toner changes thru time

Speaking of buildings, big ones get added as you zoom in, until you get to the most detailed zooms, where all buildings are drawn:

Toner changes thru time

We cleaned up labels so they don’t overlap as much:

Toner changes thru time

And added city labels worldwide:

Toner changes thru time

And now draw 漢字 and other non-Latin scripts correctly:

Toner changes thru time

General notes

  • Easy-to-use tiles: Stamen now hosts easy to embed Toner tiles with CC-BY-3.0 license from maps.stamen.com, thanks to the Knight Foundation and our Citytracking.org grant! No server hardware or software setup needed, just start using the tiles in your favorite web mapping API client side. You can still roll your own tiles using the data and setup readme’s in the Github repo. Read more »

  • More international: Plays better outside of the United States! Now displays local names in non-Latin writing scripts (like Japanese and Arabic) and better accent marks in Europe. We optimized the road symbology to more places world wide. Issue 30

  • More Toner flavors: Introduces specific flavors of Toner optimized for map sandwiches, easy to integrate with for your custom map stories: toner-standard (toner), toner-hybrid-with-labels (toner-hybrid), toner-hybrid-only-lines (toner-lines), toner-hybrid-only-labels (toner-labels), toner-no-labels (toner-background). Issue 10.

  • Easy to read stylesheets: General stylesheet cleanup, consolidation. Restructured all the OSM roads using High Roads. Now uses Postgres views by zoom level, making it much easier to design what big, medium, and small roads should look like consistently between layers while abstracting the data part. Similar approach is taken for water bodies using Imposm tables. Issue 9

  • More content: Added reservoirs, state boundaries, and more. Map now zooms to 19+, important when you’re inventory mapping stories at the city block level where locations along a street or buildings/venues are helpful. Before, Toner stopped at zoom 18, but often when you’re looking at street-level incidents (as in Dotspotting.org), you need more detail Issue 18. Along with that, the transition between bold black roads and cased white roads now starts at zoom 18 and carries thru to zoom 19+ (Issue 17). This preserves the strong contrast of Toner, but also allows better use as a background map visually at these zooms so your story points stays in focus (and consumes much less ink if you print the maps using a service like Stamen’s Field Papers.

  • Urban wayfinding: At these most detailed zooms building footprints help us orient to the built landscape so we start adding those progressively in starting around zoom 14 (big airport terminals and convention center sized buildings) but most noticeably at zoom 16+. We also show metro (subway) stations now, helping navigate by landmarks in big cities like New York, London, and Tokyo. Issue 16, Issue 48, Issue 40.

Boundaries

  • Improved graphic styling of country boundary lines at zooms 8 and 9. Issue 27

  • Added state boundary lines at the city and regional zooms. Important for places like Washington DC where a metropolitan area sprawls across multiple admin-1 jurisdictions. Made sure they stack above the water and made upstream changes in OSM master data to allow for boundaries in the water that aren’t indicator level to be not shown in Toner when using newest OSM Issue 11, Issue 24, Issue 7, Issue 6, and Issue 50.

Map labels

  • Added support for international Unicode (UTF-8) labels from OSM by re-authoring fonts. Primarily seen in street labels and park names. Issue 30

  • Removed map label overlap by manually adjusting the Dymo output around other map features like bodies of waters, country labels, and state labels. Issue 34, Issue 35. Version 3 will address remaining occasional placement funk and overlap of marine labels.

  • Added in more city labels in zooms 9, 10, and 11 from Dymo Issue 15, Issue 1, Issue 51, Issue 29, Issue 27

  • Added new park labels progressively per the zoom. Issue 13, Issue 42.

  • Easier to read street labels at zooms 17+. Issue 25

Clean-up

  • Parks are now tucked under the water in the street-level maps. This is a OSM pecularity where some parks are mapped to the shoreline and others extend out into the water. As these are black-and-white maps, we take a shortcut by making a transparent pattern with the black stipples. When it’s over the water, the black park is still drawn, but the water is also black so win-win. Issue 12

  • Added reservoirs to the “inland water” aka “lakes” symbolization. Removed smaller lakes at zooms 8 to 12. Since the water is solid black, these tiny lakes attracted undue attention. Instead, they are now progressively added on each zoom in. This reduces visual noise in the map. Issue 23, Issue 45, Issue 39

  • For lake labels, similar progressive approach but with a slight zoom delay. Issue 44

  • Similar approach to adding parks progressively. Added full set of “green areas” in OSM, this captures cemeteries such as Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC. Issue 42, Issue 43, Issue 45

Transportation

  • Now uses High Roads for all OSM roads in the mid- and street-level zooms. Issue 9, Issue 35

  • Now uses new Natural Earth 1.5 global roads in the world zooms. Issue 2, Issue 3 Issue 5, and Issue 6, Issue 52 Caveat, these are an early beta release from NE now.

  • Tunnel street labels are now grey to match their grey linework. Issue 22

  • Where tunnels pass under land, not just water, we introduce an additional grey outline as visual trim. Issue 21, Issue 49

  • Added airports! Symbolized and labeled using combination of Mile High Club and OSM. Issue 41

  • Added subway icons at zooms 18 and 19, helpful for city wayfinding. Issue 26

Setup

  • Added data import scripts to PostGIS, still rough.

  • Include explicate MML and MSS for the project, including label shapefiles, so it’s immediately deployable Issue 38, Issue 37

  • Updated the Readme.md Issue 36

&etc

A beta version of Toner v2 was released in late 2011. The final v2 release mostly focuses on airport icons and making map labels more legibile (less overlap).