Sunday, 3 February 2013

A Park, Hawthorn and Rugby

I've been trying to fill the gaps in land use in Hull. I think that, generally, everywhere in a city can and should have a landuse tag and that land use areas probably should join at their edges. I have been joining, say, a residential land use to a commercial land use, sharing the nodes, so there is no gap between them. I have not been joining land use areas to roads. That is just wrong. A few land use areas stop at a boundary with a fence or a hedge, so I sometimes reuse the land use nodes to add a barrier tag, but never a road. Roads are, I think, too complex to be shared with a land use edge. Roads do fall into the land use. I residential road is part of the residential area along with the houses and occasional shop and pub too. Parks, schools, recreation grounds, cemeteries and other large areas I've generally left out of other land use - layering land use on top of, but another land use seems wrong to me. I have tried not use too many multipolygons with land use, so a pond in a park will not be a hole in a multipolygon, though it would work well if it was.

This had involved a lot of staring at aerial imagery followed by surveys to try to determine where one land use type gives way to another. There have also been a lot of areas that seem to have no land use. I have resorted to landuse=grass for space between a river bank and, say, an industrial area nearby. I'm not happy that 'grass' is a land use, but then many OSM tags have grown to be useful without their actual keys or values being completely logical. OSM is about a map database not some kind of taxonomy after all. I have also used natural=scrub in some places too. Again not sure but I think it is better than nothing. It is really urban waste ground, but that doesn't seem to be in the wiki. I have used landuse=railway for the inaccessible land fenced off beside railways which seems right to me. I think there should be a landuse=highway tag for major roads and motorways too. They often have an area of inaccessible land reserved beside them, sometimes beyond the verge perhaps up an embankment. In Britain this is usually grassed sometimes with bushes or small trees on to too. They have become useful wildlife havens.

I noticed on the aerial images a largish piece of grass on the outskirts of the city that I didn't recognise. When we went to look we found a large grassy park so I added that. It was very, very wet - flooded in parts, so I didn't venture onto it, though I will later in the year just for a look around at what lies beyond some trees and bushes and whether they too are part of the park or not.

Part of my work has been focussed on areas of Hull that are being redeveloped - and I haven't completed them yet. Hawthorn Avenue had a lot of terraced streets of it on both sides. Some had fallen into disrepair and even dereliction and the council declared the will to redevelop some of the area. I don't want to give the impression that it was or is a slum. Just some areas where becoming a mess and the houses were getting harder to maintain and costing more to heat, for example. Yesterday we took a look at the work that is progressing. Areas of Woodcock street have been transformed, with a mixture of size and styles of houses, a small park, sensible car parking, cycle ways and foot ways and the whole area looks impressive. I don't know anyone who lives there to see if there is a community spirit building, but somehow there is a feeling of a place that could be very pleasant to live in.
Greek Street boarded up

Further north along the eastern side Hawthorn Avenue the work is much less well advanced. Some streets have been partly demolished and others are boarded up ready for demolition. Sadly there are a few people who have refused to leave their homes yet and are living in tiny islands surrounded by derelict houses.  

To the western side of Hawthorn Avenue little remains of the old buildings with new buildings steadily going up, again in a mixture of styles. I have marked the areas boarded up as brownfield until construction starts. This does currently include the few houses still occupied, but I suspect not for long.

We also took a look at the old Hull FC rugby league ground, the Boulevard. The main entrance lies off Airlie Street, hence the team was nicknamed the Airlie Birds. They moved to share the KC stadium with Hull City football club in 2003. The old ground was used for greyhound racing for a while but now construction is under way for a new school, The Boulevard Academy. I wonder if they will have any rugby league teams?

Friday, 1 February 2013

Local recycling

I wanted to take some stuff to the local recycling site and was turned away because they were rebuilding it. I hadn't seen any warning about this so I searched for it by name - only I got the name wrong. I had added the site to OSM in 2008 and added the name from memory as Humberdale Waste Site when it is really Humberfield Household Waste Recycling Site.

What surprised me was that the top of my Google search came back with the OSM Node Browse results for the site - presumably because nothing else matched my erroneous name that I searched for. It probably won't work now anyway because I've corrected the name.

I should just add that I used the word Google above without stating that Google is a registered trademark. I didn't have to say that because I was not attempting to provide any services that Google offer, nor was I trying to pass off my goods or services as though they were Google's. I mention it because of a recent OSMF missive about a newly trademarked word that they are frantically removing all references to from our Wiki and Help system. We gather data and publish it under an open licence. I'm not sure I see how that might breach a patent troll's dubious US trademark that was refused in the EU, but then I'm not a lawyer, all the happier for that.