Friday 27 November 2009

Names, power and prisons

We went out today, partly for a ride out on a lovely day, and partly to check some stuff for OSM. Like a lot of sorties to gather map data, it just leads to more detailed uncertainty later. I checked a few bus stops in North Cave, but when I got home I realised that the street name on the NaPTAN data did not match the name on the street in OSM. I can't resolve the problem at home, so we need to go out and check again.

On the way we had a view over the Vale of York from the edge of the Wolds. In the distance is the huge power station of Drax, making about 7% of the electricity of Britain, using coal imported from Australia, with vastly wasteful steam rising from the cooling towers to form the biggest cloud in the sky today. Later in the day there was an item on the TV about electric cars, but while the power to charge its battery comes from places like this and is delivered through the national grid with all of its losses, they make no sense at all.

Later we checked out the approach road to the prison at Everthorpe, officially HMP Wolds. It seemed a bit odd driving towards the prison, but it seems to be a public road, though I think we were on several CCTV cameras. We took a turn around the roundabout at the end and left as quickly as we could without seeming to hurry. I don't think it would have gone down well to take photos.

Tuesday 24 November 2009


We went out yesterday, gathering some details as we went, including some missing speed limits. On Priory Road we came across the oldest, slowest tractor I think I've ever seen on the road. It looked unsteady and probably unroadworthy. It was only managing about 5mph, off the bottom of my speedometer, so it wasn't causing much of an obstruction as getting past was very easy. We finished our job and headed back along Priory Road, only to find the thing still plodding along. It looked like more of a museum piece than a working tractor but it did look to be going a bit faster, maybe 8mph. A decent part of its load was now strewn along the road.

Thursday 19 November 2009

NaPTAN in East Yorkshire

Edgemaster has loaded the NaPTAN data for East Yorkshire, so there's another 1622 stops to check. There's been quite a lot of muttering about data imports, much of which I agree with. I think imports should be treated as the start of a process to improve the data they bring and imports need managing by people local to the area the import covers. Imports can bring valuable data in their own right, and the process of checking them certainly gathers extra POIs and extra tracks for lightly covered areas. A few local mappers are checking their local stops.

We've been out locally checking the quality of the data. Compared to Hull's stops the ones in east Yorkshire seem to be much more accurately positioned. The biggest problem so far is that the Atco code is missing from many of the stop signs.

I know that the East Riding of Yorkshire council have some plans for assisting passengers with some new information system and I think they need to have the code on every stop so people know where they are. I hope they will benefit from our findings.

Today we checked the stops in Welton, Brough and Elloughton. There are few shelters and they are mostly old brick built ones, but a couple have been improved.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Last stop in Hull

We've just checked the last bus stop in Hull. The process has been hard work at times, but there's more reward to it than it might seem. We've added a lot of detail that had otherwise been missed. Today we set off to check the last four stops that are tangled up in a substantial rebuild of James Reckitt Avenue. Checking the four stops took a few minutes, and we found a church that had been overlooked. There is a push to import data from various sources - I don't think it should be imported unless there is an accompanying checking process. That checking process must be done on the ground not from your armchair. It must, therefore be undertaken by someone local to the import process. National imports must be broken up into chunks that are managed locally. This is the way NaPTAN data has been loaded, though not every stop has been checked yet.

So, some stats:
NaPTAN had 1299 stops listed, we found 9 extra ones, total: 1308
  • 91 stops (7%) were missing
  • 66 stops (5%) were substantially moved
  • 139 stops (11%) had the wrong bearing
  • 51 stops (4%) had no ATCO code on the sign (there were 39 more in the new transport interchange, but these are electronic boards that don't really need labelling. School bus stops also had no codes).
  • 10 stops (0.7%) had the wrong code (after investigation)
I have yet to send the last batch of data to the Transport Team in Hull City Council, let's see what response I get.

Monday 2 November 2009


The bus stops that have been loaded from the NaPTAN data are not all accurate, so we've been checking the ones loaded in Hull. Some can be checked from a car which helps cover the ground quickly, but traffic can make it difficult. When a bus stop has a bus in it, stopping there to get photos and a good fix is not easy, but when there's a police car in the layby and a bus stopped next to it, then maybe that stop needs to be checked later.