Monthly Archives: December 2009

OpenStreetMap Job Search Alert

As part of my recent job search I setup a few job alerts. One of which was with the keyword OpenStreetMap on CWJobs. I wasn’t expecting there to be anything coming up.

Out of the blue a job alert did appear, and it sounds rather interesting, though I have just started a new job at Headshift.

It is for a three month contract, and is asking for some quite high requirements, such as requiring to be security cleared; experienced using Ordnance Survey data; OpenLayer; Python; and optionally Mapnik; OpenStreetMap and QGIS. Based on the job description, I’m speculating that it is a contract for some government job. I’ll let you readers to speculate about the details of the job in the comments.

See a PDF of the Job Advert: 20091214-OpenStreetMap GIS Developer –

On a side note, I found that putting my CV on CWJobs yielded quite a high number of recruiters phoning, however the recruiters seem to all be chasing for candidates for the same handful of jobs. My current job was found through the help of the wonderful people who use twitter and directly talking to the potential employer.

Installing ImageMagick on Snow Leopard (64-bit)

This blog post is only relevant if you are on Snow Leopard, have a 64-bit Intel Mac, and need to install ImageMagick.

There are many Ruby on Rails projects out there that have some form image manipulation, thus use ImageMagick for that. Up until recently it was a real pain to install, with some huge list of library dependancies that need to be downloaded, compiled and installed. The ImageMagick project is now supplying a Intel 64-bit binary, specifically for Snow Leopard user so that they don’t need to install from source.

Another nice little tips that I learned for installing gems that have native extentions, is that you can put the ARCHFLAGS environment variable into your ~/.profile so that you don’t have to manually set it (and then wonder why the gem doesn’t compile elsewhere). You need to add:

export ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86_64"

Edinburgh OpenStreetMap meetup on Tuesday

This Tuesday 8th December 2009, there will be another Edinburgh OpenStreetMap meetup. Unfortunately I won’t yet be able to enjoy another cycle out along the coast from Edinburgh to map some more of North Berwick, and return back to London on the Caledonian Sleeper. Not forgetting the significantly more people who came to the meetup than I originally expected. It’s great to see such great enthusiasm for a regular meetup in another UK City.

When I was buying the sleeper tickets for the return leg of the last meetup, I found that phoning got a better deal than buying the tickets online and picking them up online.

A week in Dumfries

At the start of October I took a week’s holiday up north in Dumfries in the run up to the Dumfries Mapping Party. It was a great week of mostly cycling, sightseeing and ended with a mapping party, held in the local leisure centre, DG One, which has some council meeting rooms.

Heading out I was waiting on the Royal Mail delivering some OpenStreetMap reflective vests, which were supposed to have been delivered a few days earlier, though unreliable mail delivery is one downside of strike action. It meant that I had to delay my departure from home, thankfully I had bought the flexible train tickets from London to Dumfries, rather than the advance fares where you can’t change the train your travelling on and were only a couple of pounds cheaper when I was purchasing my tickets.

The original trains that I had planned to get had a short, reasonable delay between them, however the train I ended up getting from London meant that there was over an hour wait in Carlisle. I couldn’t be bothered waiting, so I decided to set off towards Dumfries following the National Cycle Network Route 7, which at the time was only mapped to the edge of Carlisle. When I crossed the border, I checked the train times from Gretna Green on my phone and realised that the train that I would have got from Carlisle was due in about the time it would take me to get to the station. Sure enough I had a minute or two to wait on the platform before the train (with space for six bike at one end of the train, yeah ScotRail do know how to transport bikes unlike some other train companies I can think of) appeared. Later on in the week I completed the rest of the NCN7 from South of Dumfries to Gretna Green which hadn’t already been added to OpenStreetMap.

Cycle track from my week in Dumfries

Cycle track from my week in Dumfries

I’ve had a little play with the Party Render scripts to produce the lovely image on the left. I customised the place names that were shown a bit to make it clearer.

On the Wednesday meeting up with the local OSM contact (who goes by the name disgruntled, or known in the real world as Sally) for the first time at the Wednesday Wheelers meetup. It was quite interesting to see and hear the older generation happily cycling 10-30 miles for their regular weekly meetup. I felt quite at home considering my normal commute (well at the time) was 8-10 miles in each direction, and most people I speak to are surprised at the distance I cycle each day.

Then on the Thursday I took a rather long ride over the hills of Ae and added the lcn 10 from Dumfries to Moffat. Sally had already mapped the first section of the route, which was a really nice cycle track, which had been converted from an old railway line. It was fairly flat until I got to Ae, where there is the Forest of Ae mountain bike trails, with some really steep hills that I wasn’t expecting. Thankfully just before the climb, and in time for a late lunch there was a nice little cafe, with a bike shop in the same building. Heading over the hills there were some really pretty views. It was also nice being in the middle of nowhere and only being able to hear some birdsong, and the light breeze in the trees. Once I hit the downhill, I found it pretty scary, as I wasn’t used to going down such a long hill with that style of track and occasional cattle grids.

P1030991 P1030999 P1040021 P1040041 P1040057 P1040059

On my return I took an earlier, but late running, train to Carlisle and cycled round Carlisle to get a bunch of it mapped.

I was really impressed with the way that Sally had managed to write and get published an article in the local paper. She’s also been a great local contact and mapper. Dumfries council organised the nice venue, with the event being part of the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme in Scotland.

I’ve been uploading the photos I’ve taken to Flickr in various sets. Then importing them into CycleStreets, so that they will appear in the route listings when you plan a route in the Dumfires area.