MapOSMatic recently passed an important milestone in its history. A few weeks ago, we served our 10,000th rendered map (Saint-Laurent-en-Grandvaux, Jura, France) ! We are very pleased with this accomplishment and feel it is important for us to continue improving the MapOSMatic service for our users. We are working on several objectives in parallel:
- improving the user experience on the website, adding new features and more translations;
- reducing the rendering latency to produce maps faster for our users;
- improving the maps and indexes themselves.
Today we rolled out on MapOSMatic a few changes that have been brewing and undergoing extended testing on our development setup, and as I write this post I am pleased to see that we are making good progress on these three main directions.
First and foremost, I think the most important update today comes from the addition of a Spanish translation of the MapOSMatic website (and the corresponding capability to generate maps and indexes internationalized for Spanish-speaking countries), contributed by Julio Costa Zambelli, Sebastian Borgwardt and Jean-Guilhem Cailton. We hope the availability of MapOSMatic in Spanish will help the Chile earthquake disaster response teams.
Next, we restored the bounding-box area input fields for specifying an exact zone to render by the coordinates of its top-left and bottom-right corners. We also added a new feature to the slippy map: by maintaining the Control key pressed, you can draw a rectangle directly on the map to precisely define the limits of the area you wish to render!
This update allows integrates better support for some languages :
- The index of the streets and amenities, as well as the map and index titles are now rendered through the Pango library, which allows to correctly render Arabic, Korean or Japanese characters
- The index is now rendered right-to-left for RTL languages such as arabic. The first column is on the right, the last column on the left, the street names are on the right while the square locations are on the left.
- We also fixed a font problem with our Mapnik installation allowing for rendering of non-latin characters in the maps as well.
And finally, as advertised in a previous post about MapOSMatic improvements, we are now using a new version of the rendering daemon (the software in charge of processing the rendering requests queue and creating the maps and indexes). This new daemon lays the groundwork for future concurrent rendering and rendering jobs distribution which will help reducing the rendering latency, when completed. It also has better management of obsolete renderings, with the direct impact of no longer listing hundreds, if not thousands of maps we no longer have the rendered files for.
I would like to conclude this post by thanking, again, all the amazing contributors to MapOSMatic for their continuous feedback, ideas, bug reports and their celerity in providing translations updates when we add new features to MapOSMatic!