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Cities - Labeling for Multiple Zoom Levels

- - - - - scalerank scale rank label labels labeling zoom levels geonames natural earth

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#1
bgale88

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Hello Everyone!

 

I'm trying to figure out how others have implemented a ranking system that allows them to control which zoom levels a city displays on, specifically in regards to GeoNames city data, as there is no preexisting field that provides this type of information.

 

To be clear, I'm talking about a numeric field that specifies which cities display on each zoom level. I'm trying to determine the best way to assign the numeric values.

 

The city data provided by Natural Earth includes a scalerank that can be joined via geonameid, but there are only ~7000 cities and that doesn't cover the entire GeoNames dataset, which therefore makes it insufficient.

 

I devised my own method that is based on population and proximity, and may soon incorporate political capital status, but I would really like to know what others have done before I continue.

 

Any and all input is much appreciated.  Thank you in advance!


Edited by bgale88, 05 September 2017 - 04:05 PM.


#2
yammo

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I had to solve this exact problem 6 or 7 years ago.  The solution I came up with was to feed all of the 8,000+ suburbs in Australia into the Bing search API, and for each one, return the number of search results.  After normalising those results to a 1-10 scale, I did a very small amount of manual clean-up (mainly picking out known capitals and major towns, to make sure they were appropriately ranked), and I've been using that hierarchy ranking ever since.

 

Weird approach, and it might have technically violated the Bing API terms of use, but it worked.  



#3
Dennis McClendon

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I seldom work with such enormous datasets, but I'd like to speak in favor of an approach I jokingly call "standing on the shoulders of giants."  That is, I look back at the hard work done by our predecessors and preserved in respected atlases and sheet maps.  So instead of trying to tease the eight most important rivers of Montana out of an overly complex hydrological dataset compiled at 1:24000, I'll just pull out the Oxford or Rand McNally or Times atlas, see what rivers they chose to show, and select those features by name.

 

For populated places, of course the cities one might show are very different now than they were in 1970, but still I'd like to remind young folks raised on algorithms that there can be a place for informed human judgment, and that knowledge is not lost to us.  It's just hiding in the library shelves.


Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: scalerank, scale, rank, label, labels, labeling, zoom, levels, geonames, natural earth

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