Saturday 28 March 2009

Wolds and ways

We set off into the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds on a wet and very windy day to try to find the route of part of the Wilberforce Way and to add try to add a few little bits of the (Yorkshire) Wolds Way too. I had seen signs around the Hudson Way near Beverley so we started there. I don't have the book written about the route (only a leaflet), which I think is probably a good thing - it forces you to only add what is actually on the ground. The leaflet suggests that the route leaves the Hudson Way to go to Cherry Burton and Etton, but I found absolutely no sign of these detours at all. We did find a couple of bridges over the abandoned railway line. We followed the route into Market Weighton where it joined up with the Wolds Way.

In Market Weighton I got the very best GPS reception I've seen. It was briefly 5 feet, but was 6 feet by the time Jean took its picture. The last two satellites are 33 and 37 which are EGNOS ones.

There's still a lot of the route to add and I'll enjoy wandering through the Wolds finding it, but maybe on a warmer day.

Friday 27 March 2009


I found something odd the other day, a bridleway that I've known for years as the Hudson Way with a sign on it for the Wilberforce Way. I've done a bit more digging, including talking to a helpful chap at the local council. The bridleway is indeed the Hudson Way, named after the railway tycoon who built the railway line, now abandoned, that the way follows. Wilberforce way is much more extensive and follows a slightly odd looking route until you discover that it was created by a multi-faith organisation and so drops in on churches and the like along the way.

The very helpful Mr. Carl Duck from the council told me I could get a pamphlet from the tourist info office, which, not being a tourist in the area where I live, I hadn't visited. It was useful, because as well as finding a pamphlet for the Wilberforce way I also found some stuff on the Trans Pennine Trail as well as a couple of local attractions we had forgotten about and might be worth a visit.

The pamphlet suggests I might like to use the Wilberforce way as a pilgrimage, rather than just walk it, I don't see the difference, but then how many multi-faith people are there who need a pilgrimage? I hope that not being of any faith doesn't bar me from using it. The map on the sheet is very crude, but it's still useful - I can visit the places that the route goes, find it on the ground with the nice new signs that have been put up and add it the OpenStreetMap.

The same sort of process can apply to the Trans Pennine Trail. The sheet tells me that it is a mixed use trail from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. All of it is for walkers and cyclists and much of it is for horse riders (with their horses) too. I've seen a few signs around this area but never bothered with them, now I'll have to seek them out; a really great day's outing.

On another tack, I wrote to the National Grid asking them if OSM could use their shape-file data showing where their power lines and towers are. They haven't replied yet, and I'm not hopeful. People hate saying "No".

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Which way?

And so the latest town in East Yorkshire has had its first pass completed. Market Weighton is now rendering. We knocked off the last few roads, gauged where the school is and worked what the end of Beverley Road is doing. I haven't added any turn restrictions before so I need to look that up (I think it needs a relation). We also had a walk along part of the Hudson way. This is an abandoned railway route from Beverley to Market Weighton. I've walked other parts before. It also makes up a part of the Wilberforce Way, created in 2007. I need to look up the full route of the Wilberforce way from Hull to York and create a relation for it.

Monday 23 March 2009

Flying a kite

The weather reminded us that Spring has only just sprung and the typical windy weather around the equinox popped up. Still, the washing was getting dry quickly - until a heavy hail shower meant it was once more spread on a clothes horse inside. With the washing safe we set off to do some more in Market Weighton. This time we were doing some of the older part of the town and it was much more interesting. There are a lot of pubs, bucking the trend elsewhere, and a mix of all sorts of little businesses in the high street, which was even called High Street. I still haven't sorted out the end of the Hudson Way, but the next time we go we should finish the town and sort this bridleway out too.

The fairly strong wind gave a really good display of Carrion Crows. They seem to really enjoy swooping and soaring on the wind. It could well be part of their mating displays, but they are much more extravagant when it's windy. As we followed a country lane around the outskirts of the town we saw a Red Kite. It's a poor photo at lo-res and I didn't have any long lenses with me, but it's better than nothing, and you can make out the distinctive tail. The kites have spread to East Yorkshire from their release site near Leeds and I'm always happy to see them soaring along the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Saturday 21 March 2009

Down the West End

Well not The West End, but West End, Swanland. It now has its house numbers added. The process remains fiddly.

Thursday 19 March 2009

Market Weighton

This market town in the middle of East Yorkshire is place who's name is often mispronounced, it should be "weeton" not "wayton". Since the bypass was built I've rarely been into the town, though I've driven past it hundreds of times. The bypass has cut a couple of small roads in half. Housing estates have sprung up around these roads filling towards the bypass. We mapped about a third of the town, with a couple of schools which were easy to estimate because of the surrounding roads. There is a fairly new Tesco which I can't remember what was there before. It has not been a very inspiring place so far, but I think the best bit may yet be to come. The Hudson way ends in the town, so the existing trace from the OoC map needs tidying up.

One thing I spotted again today was the quality of the GPS signal was once again superb. Today we saw the accuracy as 7 feet for a few minutes. My Garmin eTrek was showing the symbol for WAAS - the D above the satellite bars, though it is EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlap Service) . I've seen this a few times recently, though usually only for a few minutes at a time. I think the service is due to be fully available this year so better accuracy in Europe for GPS looks promising. Spring seems to be here too.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

In perspective

It's been a couple of weeks since I last wrote in this blog, it's been a trying time. We have had a small car accident where the guy in the car behind hit us at a junction as we went out to shops. It has been handled by our insurance company, but it is still a hassle. Then the real bomb fell.

My friend Pete who I have known for nearly thirty years died suddenly while out on his bike. Even writing this is hard and I've struggled to come to terms with it, but how Helen is coping with their business to run and two very small children I just can't begin to understand.

Then, maybe because of all this, I've been ill too. Today I went out on a bright warm day and had a go at some addressing near to home, partly as a distraction. It is distracting because it is tedious and awkward, so I had to focus hard on it, which was a good thing.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Boxes and a licence

More postbox hunting in Hull today. The list from Royal Mail was not too bad today. We couldn't find one box, but I think it is a muddle because I think the post office may have moved across the road, leaving the box behind.

Out of twenty-one boxes to find on our list, four of them had no plate on the front. I'd be very dubious about posting anything here, is the box safe or even disused?

I've been following the mailing lists about the new licence for OSM. There seems to be some panic setting in from people who are worried that something awful will happen, but I don't really think they know what. I spent years working for Blue-chip companies and for my own company, often negotiating contracts with suppliers and my customers alongside lawyers. The truth is that contracts (or licences) are very rarely tested in court. and simple ones put together by non-lawyers would never stand up in court but the author would never find out because it doesn't end up in court. Contracts and licences is a very specialised legal area and Joe Public wouldn't stand a chance of creating a water-tight one. The one thing I was always able to contribute (beyond the basic outline of the contract) was a bunch of examples of how it might apply to see if I could break it. This is much harder than it sounds, because they have to be very precise, real-world examples and so a very detailed knowledge of the business area is needed. General examples are worthless and prove nothing. Only a few of the examples supplied by people are helpful, even if all are well intentioned.

Are people just afraid of change? Why are some open-source advocates so closed-minded?

Sunday 1 March 2009

Byway over the cliff

A damp Sunday afternoon tempted me to scratch an itch that's been there for months. I decided to extent the mapping of the National Byway (NB) towards Bridlington. The last time we followed it we got from home to Sproatley. Since then I've come across tiny fragments while doing other things, including a loop which I've yet to follow.

I don't have the Byway maps, so I'm completely dependent on finding and following the sign posts. This is not always easy as a few signs get moved or defaced. We traced the route along small country roads to New Ellerby where it joins the Hornsea Railtrail. This is used for the NCN 65 route too. Using relations mean that the cycleway can be in both relations. The Hornsea end of the railtrail was just added from an NPE map so this was a chance to get it right. The trail ends sooner than I had expected; some of the old railway track now has houses built on it. The road route of the NB through Hornsea was hard to find due to one of those missing signs, but after a bit of a search we found it and followed the route to the sea front and beyond.

A bit further up the coast it ends up on a fairly busy road, the B1242, from which it takes a divertion towards the sea again. This time though there is a rather serious problem. The Holderness coast is very soft boulder clay and is eroding very quickly. The little road that meandered along the cliff top from Skipsea to Ulrome now is no more. It has washed away, along with some houses too. I have added the roads as far as possible to the relation, but in reality anyone wishing to follow the NB will need to use the B1242 and miss out the sea front excursion.

We ended today at Burton Agnes. I expect to continue from there again sometime - unless someone beats me to it. Now I just need to find the trick to persuading Andy or Dave to add the National Byway to the excellent Cycle Map.