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The blank space around major cities is the most surprising idea to me.



This might be implemented with the same feature as the lack of clusters: a label suppresses other labels around it, with bigger cities suppressing more. Would be easy to do with a greedy algorithm.

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It's not the implementation that surprises me - once I know it's the right thing to do, I can easily figure out a method how. What's surprising is the insight that it is the right thing to do.

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I think the parent was suggesting the intuition may have come from applying the other more obvious algorithm.

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My guess is that it may be the practice used since years by designers of printed maps, ang Google has just consulted the right people on the topic.

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Agreed, I wasn't trying to say it was hard. Mostly pointing out how two features could be the same simple mechanism.

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I wonder if it's really a genuine idea or simply the unintended consequence of an algorithm.

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