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darkbrown challenge

Darkbrown is NOT a valid value according to this page, but often used, as some others are. Most renderers will not mind because they don't use the tag, not render the colour, do not need to translate all colour strings to RGB values. But the 3D renderer do! Editors don't check for valid values? I think OSM should have its own file with colour strings and RGB values. It could be used by editors and renderers. Could it be a Wiki page with a template? Validators could check the existing values in the OSM data, replace spell errors or odd alternatives like "dark_brown", either by a bot or as a challenge for the users.

Any Colour system you like

Why limit this to CSS and rgb? IMHO mappers should be encouraged to use the official colour like it is defined for the object (otherwise you would add a colour anyway), and should be encouraged to add the system as well ( IMHO on the value side of the tag) --Dieterdreist (talk) 13:49, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Do you have some examples and use cases? --goldfndr (talk) 15:19, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

In my experience working with branding guidelines, official spot colours for things like transportation lines and logos, and more generally palettes for use by designers, are typically specified using the proprietary Pantone Colour Matching System. This might be problematic data to store in OpenStreetMap due to Pantone Inc.'s stance on intellectual property: not because they forbid you to write down the reference number, but because free/libre software cannot convert that reference number to an on-screen representation. It may be the case for some colour schemes that only Pantone CMS references are given, but this is somewhat rare. When using a designer's idea of which RGB triple to use, note that RGB is device dependent. Unless the guidelines say "sRGB" or "for the web" - unless you know the device a triple is specified for - assume that it will appear wrongly.

Example: the colours of transportation lines are commonly specified in this way first, for example Transport for London's Color Standard (official url), which also specifies each corporate colour using RGB triples, "for the web", in CMYK, and in the equally proprietary NCS.

Bottom line: if official colours are to be rendered on screen using tagged information, the OSM database must provide a suitable screen rendering colour, ideally as an sRGB hex triple.

(Outside OSM, I'm one of the development ream for the open source art package MyPaint. I very occasionally touch upon these sorts of branding guidelines as part of my job, although I am not a card-carrying web or print designer by any means.) --achadwick (talk) 13:04, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Device profile

The main article should specify that RGB triples are to be interpreted in the sRGB colour space. I think that's the existing intent, given that web specs are used already, and that sRGB is the assumed default for the World Wide Web. --achadwick (talk) 13:34, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Inconsistent usage of BE and AE on this wiki-page

Since there is in some cases color (AE) used instead of colour (BE) and the colour gray instead of grey this wikipage seems to be very inconsistend. I am not a BE-speaker and therefor I am unsure whether gray is actually non-BE.

The Table which is summing up the main colours from HTML/CSS should have an extra column to clearly state what the right osm-taggs are. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cracklinrain (talkcontribs)

I believe both variants should be accepted, and changed the wiki page accordingly. Current suggested values are highly inspired in the CSS standard, and it indeed accepts both variants, though gray is described as a basic color value while grey is described as an extended color value. See CSS3's specification for more details. --Jgpacker (talk) 12:11, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Colour not color. Colour is BE, color is AE. So too grey is BE, gray is AE (unless your thinking of the SI unit for absorbe does of ionising radiation which is Gray, note the capital letter). Warin61 (talk) 21:54, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
The meaning of AE or BE is not clear for everyone and in fact this distinction is not even needed. "gray" is the American English standard used in CSS, and "grey" is the British English alias (not recognized by all agents). "gray" remains recommended. This also explains why you think there are inconsistancies. This is not caused by the OSM preference for British English, but comes from another standard (which was later updated in CSS3 to include also British aliases for shades of "gray", the normal form; so "slategray" is recognized but not "slategrey" everywhere)! — Verdy_p (talk) 03:20, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Look at the CSS reference links to the W3C just above the list: the aliases are in the "extended color set", not the base color set. This is independant of the fact that we name the tag colour=* in OSM, while the W3C defines the color: property for CSS, and the color="" attribute for HTML. — Verdy_p (talk) 03:25, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Ok, the abbreviations AE = American English and BE = British English (you will note these were not introduced by me). I think you will find that British English came before American English therefore "gray" is historically secondary. Further OSM should 'prefer' British English and this can be done by placing British English terms before others. Can 'we' at least remove the brackets that suggest "grey" is secondary to "gray"??? I do note the Americanization of computer nomenclature as you have referenced. But if it is listed here as a 'color' then it should not be regarded as secondary in OSM. Warin61 (talk) 04:48, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Tag names are from OSM, values have always been intended to use the W3C standard as it is! It is a technical reference, they are identifiers intended to be clear. The standard itself defines "colors", not "colours". We just opted in OSM to use "colour" in tag names. But valrues have been intended to be directly usable in HTML/CSS/SVG as is without any transform needed. — Verdy_p (talk) 11:18, 5 October 2017 (UTC)


Is there already a transportation map that use the colour tag and displayed the lines in their respective colour? --Männedorf (talk) 12:40, 8 February 2015 (UTC) does this for a selected number of cities. See for an explanation why it's not normally done. (One of the main reasons: you can't have overlapping lines.) --Pbb (talk) 15:19, 28 April 2018 (UTC)

RGB = Tagging for the renderer

Defining colour values in RGB is a typical example of Tagging for the renderer, because RGB does not exist in real life! RGB is a method of defining colours on displays (computer monitors, TV screens, etc) where red, green and blue light is emitted. In real life, colours are not emitted but they are reflected, and need to be defined in a different colour model, for example spot colours.

The colour a house is painted in, can not be defined in red, green and blue. If you mix red, green and blue paint, you will get totally different colours than you will get when mixing them in RGB colours. In RGB you can mix 25% red, 25% green and 25% blue (rgb(63,63,63) or #3F3F3f). With paint, that doesn't even make sense! --Pbb (talk) 15:09, 28 April 2018 (UTC)