Monday 31 March 2008

Boundaries and builders

Over the last week or so we have been plugging away at the areas that make up the boundary between Hull and East Yorkshire. Today we finished Anlaby Common, which makes a solid swath from the Humber to the edge of Cottingham. This boundary-following strategy helps define a target to work towards, which increases the satisfaction when they are done.

Once again we saw street after street lined with caravans that people were living in while builders repaired their homes after the floods last June. A few hours of torrential rain, nine months to repair and counting.

Sunday 23 March 2008

Easter Eggs

Over the past couple of weeks we have had little forays into Hull to add the streets and amenities to the map. My aim is to add streets, with their names, and such amenities as are obvious, especially churches, pubs, schools, petrol stations and any obvious landmark such as a large building. Any extras such as restaurants are added if we notice them. I've also been also been trying to add land areas, such as school fields, allotments, parks and sports pitches. All of this makes a much richer map.

Open Street Map is an open map. Anyone can add to it and anyone can use it free of charge, subject to a simple licence. Not so most other maps either on paper or t'interweb. The commercial maps are prone to being copied so the companies sometimes put extras or tweaks into their maps, so that if they are copied they can point to the extras and prove that it must have come from their map, because they don't exist anywhere else. This can be little stubs of roads, small names changes or other little things that don't really exist on the ground. Today I've found two (they could be simple mistakes). Spring Gardens have an old sign showing its name, A Famous Web Search Engine's mapping page shows it as Spring Gardens South, East and West. Similarly Plantation Drive has a two parallel(ish) roads which FWSE map shows Plantation Drive East and Plantation Drive West. To make it even stranger, the most easterly of the two roads is actually called Plantation Drive West (!?)

These little tweaks are important tools to maintain a company's intellectual property. So what are these subtle and small changes called? They're known, appropriately enough, as Easter Eggs - today is Easter Sunday.

Wednesday 12 March 2008

Angel of the South

So, the southern end of the area of Hull known as Anlaby Park didn't throw up many surprises. There were more schools than you could shake a stick at, eleven storey blocks of flats standing in large green space and an Angel.

We drove down a cul-de-sac and near the end two women were chatting. As we approached, a cat wandered into the narrow road and sat down in front of us. One woman shooed it away and we passed to the end, turned round and headed past the women again. It reappeared and sat in the road again. This time the woman had to walk up to the cat and shoo it again, telling Angel how daft it was.

If she had not been there Angel might have joined his namesakes.

Friday 7 March 2008

Industial end

The main road from Hull to the East is the A1033. It meanders its way to Withernsea, but at some point it changes from a trunk road to a primary road and I wanted to find that point. It was easy to find, it is the roundabout at the entrance to the huge industrial site at Salt End, just beyond the boundary of Hull and into the East Riding. At the same time I could confirm that the village of Salt End is obliterated under the BP chemical works. We added the detail of Paull village and Ryehill hamlet along with a few very rural little roads.

On the way home we noticed that the new roundabouts on the vastly improved Hedon road into Hull all have names, which I hadn't noticed before. They are now on the map.