Category Archives: OpenStreetMap

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.

Upcoming Tulse Hill, London Mapping Party

Tomorrow (20th Aug) evening, I will be running a mapping party in Tulse Hill, South London. The meetup is in a pub called “The Railway”.

Next week Thomas Wood will be organising a mapping party in Croydon, which has some fast trains into Central London.

Thereafter there will be some mapping parties in Central London. I’ve noticed that many streets are not showing up on the no-names map, due to people tagging them name=FIXME. It would also be nice to get some more points of interest in Central London to make the data richer.

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)?

Cycling: South London Critical Mass

Quick catchup post. On the First Friday of July 2008, the first South London Critical Mass was held. On the way I done some mapping for OSM, finding some unnamed roads. I find Critical Mass useful for learning your way around London (or wherever it is held), as through random route will take you to parts of the city you have never been before.

Some photos (Just noticed that the Geotagging of the last few failed):
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P1030555.JPG P1030583.JPG
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P1030660.JPG Seems that Critical Mass passes by fuel stations awaiting deliveries.
P1030673.JPG I wonder how Bird In Bush Road got its name.
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P1030689.JPG You can try some unusual bikes.

My Presentation at State of the Map 2008

I’m currently at SOTM2008 in Limerick, Ireland. Just done my Lightening Presentation about the London Mapping Marathon.

I have uploaded my lightening talk presentation to SlideShare.com.

I have been twittering the events of the conference as they happen.

I completely forgot to mention that CloudMade are providing no-names map tiles for the whole world. London on the nonames map. Edinburgh on the nonames map.

Cycling: London to Brighton

On Saturday I cycled from London to Brighton. It’s the first day long cycle that I’ve done since I cycled from Bletchley to Bedford and back, over a month ago. Yeah I did lots of cycling at the Woking Mapping party, but there was lots of breaks and cul-de-sacs.

I couldn’t even get 10 minutes away, and I managed to get totally confused by the signage for the National Cycle Network route 23. Having the Cycle Map and an intermittently working bluetooth GPS was really useful. Looking at the trace and where the sign posts were it appears that some of the signposts around the South end of South Norwood Country Park are totally ambiguous, alternatively the route has been changed recently. There was a few other places that I had to double back because I had missed a turn.
Further south there was some nice views across the hills.
I was quite surprised when I found that the national cycle route goes right through the middle of Gatwick airport
Had a little bit of a wander in Brighton before getting the train home.
I added a few extra pois, road names and the southern end of the ncn 20 into Brighton to the osm data.
In the future I should try and leave before lunchtime, for these day long cycles, which I should do more often.
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And finally Brighton Peir for the first time: P1030488.JPG

Mashed08

Last weekend I was at Mashed08. I stayed there overnight, so didn’t get much sleep.

Didn’t do any mashing up, though I did finally start writing a bit of ruby code to take a file with a list of street names, and ask the OSMXAPI whether that street exists within a specified bounding box.
It was interesting to see what people were doing. There was very few people doing anything with maps. There were a few groups who using high resolution satellite imagery rather than plain old maps. A lot of people were working on something that was tv or audio related, such as ripping the subtitles and translating them into another language in almost real time. Twitter seems to be rather popular.
The event was featured in this week’s BBC News Click programme. (BBC iPlayer only works in the UK and programmes are only available for one week.)
I’m uploading the better photos to Flicker with the Mashed08 tag.
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When your at a station waiting on a delayed train, just get some bean bags out to sit on:
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(Kinda ideal for getting passers by ask were the bean bag sale is).