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Coffee and Relations

Radern's sugar crops are the reason Vadiorite dentists drive Dominions.

That's quite the title.

I'm sure there are times where we feel like the great cartographers of old: furiously charting towns, roads, and shops that sell those lamps that light up when you tap on them. There are other times where we're content with how the map looks for now, and instead feel like breaking out the fountain pens and typewriters (it's the only way to code) and writing on the wiki. There was a good discussion about this in Myrcia's user diary a couple of days ago; also, thanks to Myrcia for the reassurance that it was not my computer dropping the connection as a way of telling me to go outside and see the sun (that's still a thing these days, right?). As someone who has been into geofiction and creative writing for years, OGF is a great marriage of the two.

Unfortunately for me, earlier this week this coincided with the wiki side deciding to go and sit under a tree somewhere, leaving us with connection drop-outs and premature greying. Bereft of wiki, it gave me the chance to put some thought into how Vodeo works - you know, its history, its economy, that sort of thing. After doing a little research, I found that Wiwaxia had split from Ingerland back in 1722 during the Ingerish Civil War and had instituted its own monarchy. I had been looking for a way to explain how Vodeo came about since the start of the year, and the best I could come up with was some native kingdoms that had somehow turned into a kind of Little Ingerland between the 16th and 19th centuries. After some planning, I finally managed to sketch out a history of Vodeo from the 1490s through to about 1860, which at its simplest form looks like this:

Castellanese discover Vodeo. Castellanese settle. Castellanese anger the natives and make a hasty retreat. Ingerish arrive and settle. Ingerland has a war. Wiwaxia nopes out and makes a monarchy. St Austell and Cambria think that's a good idea, by hokey, and do the same. Colonies offer trinkets to Ingerland. Ingerland is happy and goes away, and they all live happily ever after.

Now that I had a basic history of pre-Consolidation Vodeo, I had to think what two little colonies could possibly have offered Ingerland to let them break away peacefully. Vodeo's geography provided the answer - as an equatorial nation, it would be the ideal location for tea, coffee, sugar, and all sorts of tropical fruits that are good on pizza, like pineapples. Oh, I'm going to get some hate for that one. This then led into the next point - how would these crops, and rubber in the late 19th century, influence the Vodean economy? Vodeo is not a banana economy - Cobalt cars and Quick televisions prove that - but its large crop harvests would obviously be a rather prominent area of the Vodean economy.

Vodean imperialism in a cup, £4 11/-.

Then an idea came to me. If Vodeo is a coffee producer, then it stands to reason that one of the earliest companies I established in Vodeo, Empire Coffee, should use its own country's products; in our caffeinated world, there would be no shortage of people willing to pay a couple of pounds for a decent cup of coffee (except tea-drinkers like myself, who tsk-tsk at all these people with their ventis and their lattes), and that it would be the perfect chance to get other countries hooked on our beans. I had intended on Empire being a relatively prominent coffeehouse chain, if not worldwide, then at least in Tarephia and maybe Antarephia; it wouldn't be the OGF's version of Starbucks, more the version of Esquires and Gloria Jean's. I noticed that the wiki page was a little out of date (I've revised Vodeo's provinces down from sixteen to ten), and could do with a little love.

That "little love" turned into me learning how to use Potlatch 2 to link up relations and use autotables to chart Empire coffeehouses. Not where I had intended on taking my day, but so be it. I had been wanting to do something similar to the articles for Duchycoffee and Citihotel, but had never been able to figure out how to do it in iD. Short answer is you can't - you have to use an editor with more hairs on its chest, and unfortunately JOSM's large muscles frighten me a little (that, and I can't get the cursed thing to connect for more than a few minutes, but we can worry about that another time). Still, this makes it easier for me to link up chains of Vodean businesses, such as Three Stripes supermarkets and Fell car dealers.

This little story is a look at how I would like Vodeo to turn out. Vodeo isn't likely to become a major power in the world of OGF for a variety of reasons (although Tarephia is another story), but being a producer of a decent selection of the world's goods sounds better to me. If the people of the world drive their Cobalt cars to a Three Stripes supermarket to buy Empire coffee and Packard bananas to enjoy in front of their Quick televisions, then Vodeo will have done its job. Thanks again to Myrcia for opening up an Empire coffeehouse in St Alfæd, they'll be sure to burn the competition down put up hearty competition to the home company. Anyone else looking to open an Empire coffeehouse can do so by following these instructions - you'll want relation number 61681.

Some users think that too much attention is put into the wiki, and maybe there's something to that. To other users, myself included, it's a vital complement to the mapping side of things. If I have an idea of how Vodeo came to be, it makes it easier in my mind to sketch things out. I'm not plopping down cities and then trying to rationalise why Avington is here and Gerrise is over there - instead, I can justify that since the coastal cities grew first, they will have more to them than the inland centres where tropical diseases, man-eating beasts, and tax men roam betwixt the trees.

By order of the Lands Survey Department,
ParAvion (talk) 08:36, 23 March 2017 (CET)

Comments go down here

Please affix your signature and timestamp. Cook for one minute at 900 °C.

Rather than the relations you can use an overpass query to auto-fill the table. Make sure they all have "operator=Empire Coffee" (which lets you have local names).

  [operator="Empire Coffee"]

/wangi (talk) 11:36, 23 March 2017 (CET)

@wangi - as far as I have been able to figure out, overpass queries are not compatible with the ExternalData wiki extension that allows us to have "dynamic" tables of map-sourced data in the wiki. Am I wrong about this? Now that overpass is working (more or less), this is my main reason for sticking with relations to group collections of business and other map objects. I still have a lot of legacy "collection relations" built in the time before the overpass was working, too, that I used for download partial data sets and works-in-progress. But those are becoming less important now.--Happy mapping - Luciano (talk) 11:52, 23 March 2017 (CET)

I thought somebody (martinum4?) had this working with either the raw XML or JSON output from Overpass? /wangi (talk) 12:30, 23 March 2017 (CET)
@Luciano: please try again with the External_Data extension. It's probably not a compatibility issue, but rather that allowed sites have to be explicitly whitelisted. I just added and to the list of allowed sites. Thilo (talk) 15:10, 23 March 2017 (CET)
@Thilo - thanks! That makes sense. I'll mess with it some more.--Happy mapping - Luciano (talk) 00:45, 24 March 2017 (CET)
@everyone - I have a low-level syntax question about embedding the query in the URL for overpass: how do I get it to return the XML as a "stream" (i.e. presented in a browser window) as opposed to having it offer to hand me a file (it currently invokes my browser's "save file" dialog)? It seems like this would be necessary, too, to get it to work with ExternalData. I'm quite confused by this and my efforts to find documentation on it have failed.--Happy mapping - Luciano (talk) 00:45, 24 March 2017 (CET)
I believe that's purely a browser problem. The query result is delivered as "Content-Type: application/osm3s+xml", which is probably unknown to most browsers, so they resort to asking the user what to do with it. If you run the query URL through curl or a similar command line tool, you see that there's just simple text being returned, just as expected. Thilo (talk) 01:15, 24 March 2017 (CET)
OK Wow, amazing! It works. I made an overpass query based ExternalData table listing casinos in Tárrases: User:Luciano/Sandbox/Work-in-Progress/Tárrases#Casinos.--Happy mapping - Luciano (talk) 01:57, 24 March 2017 (CET)
Just beat me; was going to give as a example. /wangi (talk)

This is one of the best diary entries I've read so far, very entertaining. BUT ALSO PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA AND ALSO HOW DARE YOU TSK-TSK ME I JUST LIKE MY TALL AMERICANO LET ME LIVE OKAY.

Ooh, and I might open a few Empire Coffee locations in the new capital city I'm drawing in April. Thanks! --Eklas (talk) 14:16, 23 March 2017 (CET)

2017 February 26: An Introduction by the Lands Survey Department March 5: Noticing North Harbour March 23: Coffee and Relations April 18: Of Late I Think of Crafers April 30: Why is Roger So Jolly Today? May 4: Listen While I Play My Green Tahorine May 11: Of Motorways and Men June 21: Oh Helensvale! July 3: Parliamentary Conduct July 9: Diplomatic Insanity July 16: A Better Saviso Bradford July 21: Go Where the Rhodes Take You August 8: Get to the Point September 11: When Real Life Writes the Script September 24: Mapping Politics October 15: Breaking the Gridlock October 26: 390 Not Out December 12: Good Cheer and Googie December 31: That Was the Year That Was
2018 January 26: Do These Suburbs Make My City Look Big? February 7: Carry On Doctor March 15: Bordering on Madness May 1: Putting On the Pounds June 1: Further Adventures in Finance June 30: We'll Have a Gay Old Time July 20: Aving Fun in Avington August 15: The Country Members September 26: RADern October 3: Living History October 10: The Hauntings of Holme October 17: Is There Anybody Out There? October 24: If You Go Down to the Woods Today... October 31: The Evil That Men Do November 16: Crawl Out Through the Fallout December 22: There's No Place Like Holme for the Holidays December 31: Looking Backward, Moving Forward
2019 January 30: The South Tonight February 20: Jeez Gerrise March 31: The Angles of Aslington April 30: All the Rivers Run June 23: Consolidation and Crafers July 22: The Pirate Kingdom September 9: Every Which Way but Loose October 3: Tender Loving Care October 10: Mystery in the Mountains October 17: Blood, Sweat, and Tears October 24: Highway to Hell October 31: Supernatural Saviso December 31: 2020 Vision
2020 February 3: This Old Holme