Recent diary entries
I had a nice day out with my folding bike in rural South Cheshire. I caught the 84 bus from Chester to Nantwich, and then the 73 further south to Hankelow. I then biked along all the minor roads in the area and ended up in Wrinehill, just into Staffordshire. After a pint in the Blue Bell I got the 85A to Crewe and then the 84 home. Buses make possible unidirectional journeys, which seem somehow more satisfying, and getting them for free (>60) also appeals.
At one stage I went for 500m through a field (on a right of way), so that I could do an efficient through route with the minimum of main road riding. The (already mapped) main trunk roads here tend to be fast, narrow and without footpaths, still less cycleways, and are a bit frightening on a bike. Whether rural main roads have footpaths or cycleways is well worth recording, but this should be done in tags, not by ways displaced 3m from the road . I have no qualms on riding on the footpath in such circumstances, even if it is both nominally illegal and desperately uncool.
I visited a part of Flintshire where somebody had already traced the roads from Yahoo images. This was quite well done but inevitably some roads in the older, leafier areas had been missed and I'm not sure that it took me less time, either in the field or when editing, than if the tracing had not been done. More importantly I enjoyed the experience less. In virgin territory you feel like an explorer; when just collecting street names you feel like a train-spotter.
From next April the administrative county of Cheshire (UK) will be split in two. With the mapping I did yesterday in Winsford, one of the halves, Cheshire West and Chester, now has all its public roads mapped and named. Of course there will still be some omissions and mistakes but the systematic approach should keep these fairly few. There is still scope for more mapping detail, especially on areas done two years ago, but applications like Nestoria (http://openstreetmap.nestoria.co.uk/) could cover the area with confidence.
The area is mixed urban and rural with a population of 328,000 and an area of 917 km2. (This is about the same density as England as a whole. I'll try to get round to doing the statistics as described in http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Completeness_Metrics)
Cheshire East is not quite so complete but is progressing fast, and there is plenty to do in neighbouring North Wales, Wirral and Runcorn.