Monday 29 December 2008

Speed zones

I've been reviewing a few areas in Hull that we mapped a while ago looking for amenities we missed and especially looking for restrictions such as speed limits. We meandered through the residential roads in Gypsyville and moved on to Newington. Here we found three speed limit signs that were missing because a transition from 30 to 20 was not consistent with the signs we found. I've sent an email to Hull City council highways team to let them know - lets see what they say.

I sent an email to the East Riding council about a similar issue and got an automated reply, but no other action yet, so lets see if Hull or ERoY councils are quickest off the mark, of course being a holiday period this will probably slow things down. Councils also have a financial year that runs until the end of March, so if they are strapped for cash they mey well procrastinate until then. In the meantime I have added the speed limits as I think they are. Since they don't render on the main maps these don't show, and my own rendering program is not ready yet.

Some of the speed limit signs for 20mph zones are designed by local children to add impact to the sign - it seems like a good idea to remind motorists why they should slow down.

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Poorhouse and abandoned railways

The economy is, apparently, riding to hell on horseback, so today we went to the poorhouse. This is not some festive Dickens story, but actually the home of Hull Kingston Rovers, or at least the road beside their stadium: Craven Park. We walked along the path beside and beyond Poorhouse Lane to the old railway line beyond. This has become a cycleway with a tarmac surface which heads out of the city eastwards towards Hedon (which we have yet to complete) and heads into the city. A little towards the city this splendid cycleway crosses under Marfleet Lane, the road goes over a fine arched bridge, and near here it becomes part of the NCN route 1.

There has been some talk on the mailing lists about tagging routes like this as abandoned railway lines, as they are. If anyone is in any doubt, a platform beside the cycleway is clear for all to see. I think this is a fine, except when there is a clash of names.

The new Talk-GB North has asked which of the northern cities should be the first to be completed next year, well it's too late, 'cos Hull's already done.

Wednesday 17 December 2008


We have been adding speed limits and other amenities we missed on the first pass on a few local villages. I have been adding them using maxspeed=**mph. I know some people think that it should be added as km/h (without the units) but I disagree. The signs says 30 not 48.28032 so I add what I see, adding the units to distinguish it from km/h. Personally I wish we used km/h on our road signs along with all of the other metric units, indeed I'd actually prefer to use m/s, but I doubt that will ever happen. If there is a need to change to some other style of tagging I'll be able to do it en masse - it's much better that the maxspeeds are tagged.

Trying to find the point that a thirty limit ends we came across a serious bit of lumberjacking.

Brough is a village that has grown quickly. A large housing estate has been built over the last few years, and is still growing, even in the face of the current financial problems and even though many houses remain unsold. An old school has been rebuilt, a new supermarket and health centre have been built and a new pub has been opened, bucking the trend of all the surrounding area for pubs to close down, although the two other pubs in the village are struggling to survive. I recommend the ale in the Buccaneer and the food across the road at the Ferry.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Layers of shopping

We ventured into Hull to do some Christmas shopping this afternoon. With only a couple of weeks to go I was amazed how quiet the place was. We went to the Princes Quay shopping centre, mostly because I wanted to have a go at drawing it. The Y! images are very lo-res, so drawing buildings is a mixture of GPS tracks, photos and intuition. I had a stab at this with the shopping centre, but the first thing to note is that there was a dock there before the shopping centre was built, and it seems that it was built on stilts over the water.If you look at the picture you can see the huge concrete stilts that support the building. We walked through the centre where it has a glass roof and got a trace of some of the outer edge, even though the signal was poor. We walked around the edge of the dock where we could and used that to estimate the dock, then drew the building as layer=1, over the water. The map of the centre of the city looks much better with the local shopping landmark in place, even though it's not perfect. I want to do the same sort of job on some of the bigger buildings in the city if I can - but it would be so much easier with a decent Y! image.

We also managed to do some shopping.

Monday 1 December 2008

All roads in Hull

So today we completed the last road in the city of Kingston Upon Hull. We completed the last chunk of the Preston Road area in the south of the city without any problems. We corrected a previous error about where the name of a road changed because Jean spotted a name board we had missed. We found some more of the redevelopment of the area and it looks hugely better. I hope the very poor reputation the area has can be left behind.

The city's roads are now complete. The city of about 250,000 people has been done almost entirely by Jean and me - something I wouldn't have believed possible a year ago. We have added many POIs: schools, churches, pubs, sports grounds, cemeteries, allotments and some shops. There is, as always, more to do: loads of footways, cycle paths and cycle lanes and loads more detail in other POIs. I started adding speed limits rather late (useful for routing I think) and I haven't touched speed-calming at all. We will go back to Hull to extend all this, especially to add the Craven Park Hull KR Stadium which is the last part of the Preston Road area.

I might spend some time on the East Riding of Yorkshire now - that was what I set out to do, but Hull somehow got in the way.