Raster Maps either too Small or Blurred

Martin Lichtblau shared this question 22 days ago
Answered

Problem: On modern high-resolution devices most raster maps need to be zoomed to be readable, which in return makes them look blurry, which also reduces readability. Ergo, zooming or not zooming both lead to hard to read maps.

Am I right to assume that this is a problem for most users (with high-res devices)?
Is there already a way to solve this in Locus? If so, why not fix it by default? The high DPI feature doesn't fix it for me, and probably I am not the only one.

Idea: Use a lower zoom level of the map right from the start, e.g. Locus app zoom level -1 (instead of 14 use the z13 tiles). This way the text on the tiles were to be bigger and zooming thus unnecessary. If my thinking here is wrong, please correct me. Would zoom levels then be out of sync with other map data, e.g. other maps/overlays?

How could this problem be solved? Banish raster maps altogether and use only vector maps? Re-render raster? Apply sharpen filter? ... In any case, I think this should be solved, since it harms the overall look and feel of Locus - blurry images just look cheap.


Replies (7)

photo
1

Hello Martin,

app by default tries to unite the size of visible content across raster & vector maps. This means that raster maps should be automatically rescaled to keep the same size of texts across all devices (independent of device DPI). Same with the vector maps where content should not be blurred of course.

This is affected by the "Settings > Maps > Advanced" and options "Optimize raster map resolution" (should be enabled by default) and optionally by the "Magnify all maps" parameter that is able to rescale maps even more.

So, you have a problem with the readability of raster maps even with "Optimizer raster..." settings enabled? If this setting is enabled, texts should be close to equal size on raster maps and also on vector maps. If not, which raster map are you using?

photo
1

Hello Menion,

I'm glad to hear that Locus is already doing this rescaling to achieve a consistent font-size across different maps! With the DPI feature enabled I see that raster maps are already by default at 200% zoom, while Locus vector map is at 100%.

Yes, I still have a problem with readability with all raster maps, since they have all much smaller fonts then vector maps (with the themes I use). While MTB Europe has the biggest fonts and is also quite sharp. My favorite 4UMaps Outdoor looks blurry and has tiny fonts. To put it in numbers: In zoom 600% the font-size is similar to Locus vectors maps with Hike & bike theme. However, at 600% it's incredibly blurry. And that's the problem.

The screenshots below show three different maps, I just switched them and didn't zoom in/out in between.

e6cb47fad9e6758b14083cde9f60c65d

6c64d6aca04f3f60dc1fe4ee2d0a23ce40168c1977011f46998d0cd6a8d7e2a6

photo
1

Hello Martin,

I was checking most of the online maps if they work with this system, but you are of course correct, 4UMaps has so small fonts ... I've set the default to rescale to double value in this case now.

Anyway, the solution? I'm worried there is no solution possible on our side. Using tiles from different zoom does not change the size of texts. They will still be small. So this is more a problem of these maps and because most of the raster maps are not perfectly optimized for modern high-DPI devices, we usually really recommend any vector maps with a wide selection of map themes.

photo
1

Hello Menion,
rescaling to double by default sounds just alright!
Makes sense that there is nothing Locus can do about it. I just dreamed that some magical solutions exists, but it can't.
So, I wrote an E-mail to info2@4umaps.com explaining the issue of unreadable small font-sizes ‒ let's hope that someone heeds my call.

photo
1

Hello, perfect, thanks for contacting the owner.

Btw. is there any significant benefit why to use this raster map instead of any vector map?

photo
1

Unique benefits of this map:

  • (narrow) trails are shown in red, thus you can clearly distinguish them from others tracks, plus they are highly visible.
  • forest/gravel tracks are shown as black lines, making them easy to see and clearly to distinguish from trails. (With an mtb you want tracks uphill and singletracks/trails downhill).
  • MTB-scale is shown on trails, which makes finding mtb trails easy, and allows you to compare alternative routes directly on screen. (I need both hiking and biking difficulty scale).P.S. Maybe I will continue to adapt a vector map theme for hike + bike for adventurous folk that are exploring new wilderness and technical routes.

photo
2

Thanks Martin, appreciate it.

I'm notifying my colleague @Petr Voldan who takes care of our maps & themes.

Maybe this will be an inspiration for him to improve map themes.

Leave a Comment
 
Attach a file