New Year cycling

With the extra eating over Christmas, I’ve started out on my (evening) cycling again. On the 1st of January I headed out East and got to Rochester before getting on the train home. On the way near to Ebbsfleet International I found a rather interesting sign that I just had to take a picture of.

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After uploading it to Flickr, I check that I had geocoded it right, by looking at the map on Yahoo. I got very confused. It seems that Flickr need to start using OpenStreetMap data for London. Yahoo don’t that the new Channel Tunnel Rail link and some of the new roads around Ebbsfleet International, though they do have the location of Ebbsfleet International. Compare Yahoo with OpenStreetMap.

UPDATE: Looking further it seems that Flickr are using older map tiles compared to Yahoo.com, but appear to be the same tiles as used in Yahoo UK

END UPDATE

On the way I was testing out some routing using osm data, and found a few data bugs. One very important one being a primary road that goes through a tunnel, which doesn’t allow cyclist, pedestrians, nor horse drawn carriages, hence routing cyclists through it shouldn’t be done.

On the 2nd day of the year, I took the train down to Caterham, which is just inside the M25, and then cycled back up mostly using the NCN21. On passing through New Addington, I got a little mapping done on the way, mostly new roads that are completely missing from OSM, there is a lot of mapping required down there. Anyone up for a mapping party?

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.

Day Trip to Calais

On Saturday I took a random day trip to Calais on the train and ferry. It’s been eleven years since I last travelled on the Dover to Calais ferries. This time I was on foot instead of being in a car.

I learnt quite a few things that I should do differently the next time.

  • Don’t get lost in Dover by taking a wrong turn
  • Take the bike
  • There is a 45 minute check-in for foot passengers, while only 30 minutes for car vehicles
  • Aim for an earlier return ferry, so that I don’t have to take the 2304 from Dover to Faversham to change at 23:42 to arrive in London Victoria at 01:29, and then have to take a night bus home. (The stop before London Victoria on the last train is Dartford).
I did have a nice wander around Calais, and you will be able to see the trail of destruction next week when the data is rendered on the main map. So far it seems that someone has traced the railways from landsat, which isn’t particularly accurate.
P1060329.JPG The Dover Docks. (I’m sure that OpenStreetMap can do better than the commercial mapping agencies, however it isn’t going to be easy, as I doubt the port authority nor the border controls will allow you to wander round the port.)
P1060420.JPGP1060419.JPGP1060354.JPGP1060410.JPG Got 2 stations added.
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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)?