New Gaia Topo Map



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    I agree the new map looks generally fantastic.

    However I have a couple concerns with the way ski trails are rendered (from OSM piste::* tags) on this map.  All kinds of pistes, whether they are for alpine skiing, XC skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, ski jumping or backcountry skiing are rendered the same. 

    • This is can be a serious problem where backcountry ski routes leave alpine ski areas, as it could lead to alpine skiers mistakenly thinking that a backcountry ski route is actually a regular patrolled and avalanche controlled alpine ski run.  In British Columbia a few people make this mistake every year, and some of them end up dead.  I think there really needs to be a distinction between backcountry ski routes (i.e. piste:type=skitour or piste:grooming=backcountry) and alpine ski pistes (piste:type=downhill + piste:grooming != backcountry). 
    • Other ambiguities (such and XC trails vs snowshoe trails) are annoying when reading the map, but obvious and not dangerous in real life.
    • Perhaps to be really clear the backcountry skiing routes should be optional or selectable on a different layer?
    • The piste type should indicated differentiated when you select the object on the map.

    There are a couple other minor issues with how the ski routes are rendered:

    • It's hard to see if there is a hiking trail or road that conincides with a backcountry or XC ski piste (often piste:type=skitour and highway=path coincide on the same way, similarly piste:type=nordic and highway=track often coincide, but not always).  This will be an issue mainly for summer use only.  Perhaps having winter and summer versions of the map would solve this?
    • ski run names are currently rendered only using the name tag and piste:name is ignored.  If the intent is to render for winter use, piste:name should override name when both are present (such as a Forest Service road that is groomed as an XC trail in the winter and takes on a different ski trail name).  Again, different winter and summer versions would help here.

    And finally I think that high voltage power lines are a significant feature for correlating what you are looking at to a map (they are similar to highways in this respect).  I think they should be rendered at lower zoom levels.

    Once again the map is generally fantastic and I think it has convinced me that it is worthwhile to sign up for a membership so I can use this as my main navigation tool.


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    Also I noticed that where there are doubled up glacier polygons (for instance one for a named glacier and one for a larger icefield) then you can barely see the contour lines.  See the Garibaldi Neve in Garibaldi Provincial Park in British Columbia for an example.

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