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OpenStreetMap [May. 29th, 2006|04:22 pm]
One thing I've been doing quite a lot of of late is mapping. More specifically, wandering around with a GPS, and using these traces to contribute to OpenStreetMap.

A few weekends ago, a group of us headed to the Isle of Wight. Our plan was to map most of the island in a weekend, whilst also getting to meet all the core people, drink beer, plan for the future, and a few other things beside. It seemed like a tall order, but despite the weather, we did manage most of it :)

The weather on the Friday was very nice, so we had a good journey down to Southampton. The ferries were a bit late, so we got to sit in a park in the sun while we waited :) Having got to the cottage, we dumped our stuff, and treked off to the beach to find the others. We'd brought beer, they had food and BBQs, so all was good! We also got to meet loads of people, and chat about things of interest.

On the Saturday, we headed to Newport, draw a map of the IoW on a board, and everyone coloured in the bits they fancied mapping. In light rain, we headed out (mostly by bike, with a few by car or on foot), and proceeded to map. I did back roads near Ryde until after lunch, when my GPS battery died. I then borrowed another, and finished off a few roads, before giving in due to pissing rain. Then it was back to the cottage to change, and off to the pub. Here we got to meet even more people (including some very nice Norwegians, who thought the beer was cheap!), and once again discussed interesting open geodata stuff, and drunk beer.

Finally, on the Sunday, we showed off the progress thus far (which was really impressive - almost all of the island). As David and I had an early ferry, we just managed to do a few bits of East Cowes, before heading home.

Since being back, I've been doing lots of Oxfordshire roads, either by car, or more commonly by bike (while doing triathlon training). Oxford is quite nicely done, and the area around our office has got to be one of the best covered country villages out there :)

The mapping also makes travel more interesting. Instead of saying "what's the quickest way from A to B", you start saying "what interesting places that no-one has done are there vaguely between A and B", or even "where that needs mapping shall I cycle to today?". You end up seeing lots of really interesting places that otherwise you'd never get to.

I've also nearly finished tagging the roads around both work and home. Once that's finished, I'll be able to use the very fancy Osmarender to produce very swanky free maps :)