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Overlay map color schemes

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There's some discussion in a different thread (http://tm.teresco.org/forum/index.php?topic=131.msg2294;topicseen#msg2294) about adding a new color entry for some of the newer "Tier 4" European systems.

I think this warrants a larger discussion of how the colors are determined for a given highway system, and what those colors should be.  As it stands, we have the color names like "blue", "red", "green", etc. in the systems.csv file.  Those names are only used to look up actual color codes in the mapping code, where a static array maps color names to the RGB codes to use for clinched and unclinched segments of routes in that system.  I don't remember when or how the color names got into systems.csv, but I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense to have the colors specified by name there.

Instead, would the ideas below make more sense?

1) Eliminate the color names altogether from the CSVs and base the colors strictly on the tier.

2) Come up with other names to include in the systems.csv like "primarynational", "secondarynational", "primarystate", "tourist", etc. that would instead be used to select colors.  This would allow things like the use of an alternate color for the European systems that sparked the discussion.  There would be nothing stopping us from assigning the same color to multiple categories like "secondarynational" and "secondarycontinental" might both correspond to the current "red".

I agree with you that the current setup doesn't really work particularly well. IMO your first option doesn't quite solve the problem, since there seems to be a need for more colors than we have tiers in use, so unless you increase the number of tiers, I would prefer your second option or something closer to it.

We should consider that there might be a future "user defined color", see #10 or #21. For that reason, it makes sense to eliminate colors from systems.csv.

I would be fine with a strictly tier based color code but there might be some discussion... For instance, blue-teal-green-lightsalmon-brown would be my preferred European color code.

Tier 1 systems are currently blue but tier 2 is teal in Europe, red in Canada and green or red in USA (usaib/usaus). Tier 3 is teal, red, green or magenta.

I think alias names should remain in systems.csv but "primarynational" would be tier 1, "secondarynational" tier 2, "primarycontinental" tier 3.... and we would still have the same problem like strictly tier based. If we already had the user-specific colors, everyone could set his preferred colors once but we don't have it right now.

I don't like primarynationaleurope and primarynationalnorthamerica, primarynationalasia et cetera...

Maybe we should keep it as it is for the time being and only add lightsalmon...

No harm in adding the "lightsalmon" color for now while we discuss, so that's done and live on the site.  It's now available for systems.csv entries to use.

I thought that the tiers were mostly for which roads are more important and therefore displayed as the layer on top when more important in a multiplex or road crossing.  Tying the colors to a layer could mean arguments about which tier some road set belongs to or adding more tiers to get the colors.  Having more of guidelines as to which colors indicate what is better, since the colors do kind of try to go with the road signs and finding a world where US Business Interstates are the same as a European E Road is just a little awkward.  I think the lightsalmon is close enough to the red of the US Numbered Highways and the magenta US Auxiliary Numbered Highways that we have gotten used to that it works.  US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia may match up fairly closely in what road systems are equivalent, but not quite exact for what is equal beyond tier 1.


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