Based on the highly appreciated Elevate theme from Tobias Kuehn it is primarily aimed at bikers and mountain hikers with high density displays on their phones. This is a preliminary (beta) release; in my testing it just works, but I’m interested in knowing how it works for other people, so I’m making it public.
Waiting for a proper legend here are a few hints and a brief list of what I changed and why.
High resolution graphics
Starting from well known icons collections and adding some of my own, I drawn a new symbol set in SVG that I then rendered at different resolutions. Unfortunately mapsforge can’t automatically switch resolution so, waiting for scalable theme support in the next version, there are actually two themes, the standard one for 300 dpi devices and the HR one for 450 dpi. Other than the linked images the themes are identical.
I haven’t had the chance to test it on smaller phones, it may work or not.
I increased a lot the contrast between different stuff to have a better readability in outdoor conditions. My Galaxy Nexus’ screen isn’t that bright for outdoors usage, and this makes a real difference.
Patterns scale while zooming in to keep their dimension in proportion with the rest. Buildings and residential areas are darker when zoomed out to make small hamlets and villages stand out better, and lighter when you zoom in, in order to make symbols more legible.
Paths and tracks widths and dash strokes scale too.
Some landuse patterns have been removed or joined to reduce visual clutter. Vegetation in particular is reduced to trees, scrub, and cultivation (orchards and vineyards).
New color scheme for tracks and paths
I usually don’t care much about trail classification, but sometimes knowing the difficulty of a path or a track (within the limits of OSM accuracy…) can be handy, for example to compare two nearby alternatives.
I render all paths in the T1-T3 range using a continuous line. T1 is brown, T2 red and T3 orange. Line thickness changes slightly, too. The idea is to have a similar aspect, while still being able to distinguish the SAC scale value if needed. T4-T6 paths and ferratas are rendered as a dashed black and light brown line to make out that’s serious stuff. Unclassified paths have a brown-orange dash stroke.
Grade 1 tracks are rendered like minor roads, just a little smaller. Grade 2 to grade 5 have a light yellow and brown dash stroke. The higher the grade the darker the brown and the longer the yellow dash. Unclassified tracks have a dotted red core.
MTB scales are expressed in form of a number in a circle, visible only at higher zoom levels. The number on the top is the uphill grade, the number on the bottom is for the downhill.
More discrete rendering of hiking and cycling routes
I also usually don’t care much about network routes. So I use a subtle highlighting, red for hiking and blue for cycling. The idea is to make it just visible enough without getting in the way when you don’t care about it.
Workaronds for Mapsforge quirks
Mapsforge is unpredictable in many ways. In particular symbols often randomly appear and disappear at different zoom levels without apparent logic. I render a semitransparent red circle behind huts and shelters, and an cobalt one behind water sources (including fountains). Most of the times when the symbol is killed, the circle is not, so you still know there is something in that point. It doesn’t always work, but it’s still better than nothing.
OpenStreetMap is full of errors. Mapsforge is quirky. And I’m not any better.
While things generally work well enough, there may be situations where wrong data or a wrong interpretation can lead to dangerous situations. Be careful, gather as much information as you can and please be kind: when you find an error don’t complain, go to the OSM website and fix it when you get back home. Or at least leave a note for the others, someone else will take care.
How to install
First download the zipped theme file.
This version is deprecated. You should get the newer one instead.
Then follow the standard instructions at the OAM website.
When done, open the Oruxmaps settings and change the mapsforge text multiplier (Settings->Maps and scroll way down) to anything that makes the text readable on your screen. As a rule of thumb 1.5 for 300 dpi and 2 for 450 dpi is a good start.
Then check the default zoom level (Settings->Maps->Zoom settings->Default zoom) and set it to 100%. Oruxmaps has the arguable feature of setting it to higher values by default on high density displays. This makes a lot of sense for raster maps, but makes vector ones look jagged, so you really should set it back to 100%.
Did I forget anything? just tell me in the comments (the “leave a comment” link is at the top of the page; very smart , WordPress, very smart…).
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