A method of selectively providing cartographic features on a video display of a navigation system for improved rendering is provided. The method includes the steps of determining an operational mode of the navigation system, selecting a desired cartographic entity for a cartographic feature based upon the operational mode, and displaying the desired cartographic entity on the video display. For example, less detailed cartographic entities are selected for display when the navigation system is in an operational mode that requires the video display to be updated frequently ore a mode in which it is desirable to focus the user's attention on a different cartographic entity. The less detailed cartographic entity may have a lower intensity than or contrast less with surrounding cartographic entities. In this manner, the user may be provided the desired level of map details with the video display regenerated rapidly.