Weihnachten 2008 in Deutschland

This year for Christmas I went over to Germany to see some family I haven’t seen for 11 years. I really should learn some more German, so that I can speak with my grandmother, rather than needing my cousin, to translate for me. She learnt more English than I learnt German, though she needs to learn it for her university course.

While I was there I got the village Singhofen mapped, all on foot, and often freezing temperatures. At least it was dry, and I had my big duvet jacket, so didn’t notice the cold as much. There are plenty of quiet roads that lead off to the neighbouring villages, and some of the finer details that still need to be completed. Hopefully next time I go, I’ll have a bike, which will make it rather a lot faster to do the surveying.

Some people think that Germany is complete, in fact most of the small towns and villages have been forgotten about. Many of them are missing any roads going to them. The Germans are organised enough to have a list of places that need mapping, with an accompanied slippy map.

To get there I used the Eurostar from St. Pancras to Brussels, there I changed to Thalys to Köln, where my cousin and her boyfriend picked me up. While I was in Brussels, I had an hour to kill so went out for a quick walk and found some unnamed streets. I also found this cart that had fallen on the  tracks in the station:

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I have a 44MB NMEA (27MB GPX) track @ 5Hz of my journey back, with the exception of when I was on the DeutcheBahn train from Koblenz to Köln, which seems to be like the UK’s Virgin trains in their expertise in blocking GPS signals.

One interesting thing I found outside Köln train station was that there was a lot of bicycles standing there with a lock between the back wheel and the frame, and not locked to anything fixed to the ground.

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Happy new year to all.

Bradford Mapping Party

On Saturday 27 September I done a day trip to Bradford for an OpenStreetMap mapping party. It was almost 5 hours of travel in each direction, but was worth having some face to face discussion with some of the other mappers and developers. I mapped most of sector 6, with the exception of the South Western edge.

I wished I could have stayed longer at the pub after the mapping, as there was some interesting discussion about the state of the OpenStreetMap project.

There is an excellent animation of where the mappers were.

Last of the London Mapping Marathon Tomorrow

Tomorrow, will be the final installment of the Summer 2008 London Mapping Marathon. We will be moving to the Fortnightly Winter 2008-9 Random Pub Meetup. Each week will be a different pub in a potentially unmapped area, for those hard core mappers out there. I’m looking for suggestions on where we could go. On the 24th December we will be going to that thingy pub at latitude 90, longitude -0.12345.

Matt Amos has started organising a mapping party in the Wembly area of London on Sunday 12th October 2008. Hopefully we will have a few weekend mapping parties, in the more outlying parts of London, over the course of the winter.

Later in October I will be going to a mapping party in Kyiv.

Baker Street/Regents Park Mapping Party

This evening there will be a mapping party in the Baker Street/Regents Park area of London. I wonder if we will beat last week’s record 15 people at the Euston mapping party. Maybe we will even get a local paper publishing a small article about the event, like the Croydon Advertiser and the Croydon Guardian done for the Croydon mapping party.

As I mentioned on the talk-gb mailing list, it is now getting dark rather early (by about 8pm), so after the next 2 parties we’ll be moving the emphasis from mapping to a more social meetup. It will still be in some random place in London, and you will still have a change to some mapping, as I doubt we will find the whole of central london completely mapped. I’m looking for your ideas of which pubs we should go. Maybe we should do a mapping pub crawl to map as many pubs as possible in one evening (or check that all the pubs in an area are already mapped)?

Dragheda Mapping Party Review

Last weekend (22-25 August) I went over to Dublin for the Dragheda Mapping Party. I took the train and ferry over, instead of flying, so that I could take my bike. I did get some coding and catching up done on the train and ferry. I found it interesting that Virgin Trains run electric to Crewe, then attach a diesel locomotive on the front to continue into Holyhead. I also found that Virgin Trains now have “enhanced mobile reception” on their trains. I did have to give up trying to use the GPS as Virgins don’t have enhanced gps reception.

I was staying in Dublin and travelling up to Dragheda each day. There has been some considerable progress in the area over the weekend, going from only the main roads mapped to most of the town being mapped by the end of the weekend.

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There was some pre-event publicity in a local paper. However the original press release that went out somehow got completely mis-interpreted.

On the Saturday there was a lot of overlap between the mappers, so we got all the traces and photos loaded on to Dermot McNally’s Mac, and done the editing all at once. It prevented people adding the same roads multiple times.

P1050287.JPGOn the Sunday morning I was picked up by Dermot and we done some car mapping on the way to the venue. At one point we had to get out and hold the vegetation back so that we could take a picture of the street sign.

On the way back I hit the start of the 17 day closure of the west coast mainline for rail works, so had to change trains and get lost going from Birmingham New Street to Birmingham Moor Street. I did manage to get a trace all the way back, and map a few streets in Holyhead. Probably should have stayed in Holyhead to do some more mapping and take a later train.

2nd Leeds Mapping Party

Just a quick review of the Leeds Mapping party last week (16th and 17th August), and the Leeds Bar Camp that it was part of. In a few weeks, I’ll do a nonames animation to show the progress over the previous few weeks, similar to what I done for my State of the Map 2008 presentation. It takes a few weeks for everyone to enter the data (I’ve not had time yet), and for it to show up in the weekly planet file. I also want to show the effect of the aftermath.

On the Saturday, it was a BarCamp day. I had various people ask varying questions about OpenStreetMap from the those who didn’t know anything about OSM, to why doesn’t OSM have altitude data. By the end of the day, anyone there should know what OpenStreetMap is. There was many people who were saying that they would have come to the mapping party the following day, but they only had time to be at BarCamp for the one day.

I went to various interesting presentations/discussions and learned some useful things, such as how simple it is to create an iPhone app, though I don’t know if the sample code used was posted somewhere (if that’s allowed under NDA). At the end of the day we all went to the pub across the road for drinks.

On Sunday, there was one stream specifically for OpenStreetMap. We started off at 11am with a mixed group of newbies, and experienced mappers, where I gave a introductory presentation on openstreetmap. The interesting thing about having the 3 other experienced mappers there too, was that they were able to share their techniques too. This usually means that the other mappers learn some keyboard shortcut, or how to do photo mapping, for example.

Before lunch we went out as a 2 groups to do some group mapping. In some places we would split off to map a series of foot paths or the outlines of playgrounds, and then come back together again. We went back to Old Broadcasting House for lunch, and to teach the newbies how to do photo mapping. Later in the afternoon there was some more mapping. By this time my GPS had decided it wanted to kiss the floor once too often, so was no longer working. Instead of going out mapping with the rest of the mappers, I stayed behind to talk to some of the other bar camp folk a bit more about osm and play warewolf for the first and possibly last time.

Overall most of the crowd that were there, were excited about OpenStreetMap and its potential. We should now have some more mappers in the North England. In the future, I’ll try and get to some more BarCamps.

Missed London Mapping Marathon Yesterday

First up, this is my first post on my self hosted wordpress blog. I have imported all the posts and comments from my old blog into this one for future reference.

Last night I skipped going to the London Mapping Marathon event out in Chiswick. It is the first London Mapping Marathon Event that I have missed so far. It seems that it was the busiest mapping party in the marathon yet, with the cake not being big enough, so the mappers have had to be creative and create extra slices off the map. Hopefully in future event we will get more people to say that they are going along on upcoming, so that there is more publicity, since the event will come to the top of the popular events list.

I instead went along to the Southwark Park Road walkabout. In comparison was rather quiet. Last week we had the mapping party in the area to name the road, with some good progress. Unfortunately the people there are unlikely to become mappers, but are more likely to become users of the data, such as where the cycle routes are. Especially when they are more complete and in a paper form. While on the walkabout, I did collect some more data.

How do you tag a market that is in a pedestrian area, during the day, but by night you can hardly tell that there is a market there (other than the high power sockets)?