We've done a set of beginner-oriented walk and talk mapping sessions throughout the mapping season here in London this year. A couple of weeks back we did one in Paddington / Edgware road. It was dark and quite cold, but despite this the event was the most popular one yet! I've given up trying to explain what makes one OSMLondon event more popular than another. It's a mystery.
Gathered outside Edgware Road tube station we had a big group of OpenStreetMap enthusiasts and people who were somewhat new or completely new to OpenStreetMap, all coming for a nice walk round Paddington in the cold and dark! My fiancee came along with one of her workmates, Charis, and we had three others. Johnny, Michael, and Tom (four Toms attending in total I believe?)
I actually published a route in advance for the mapping walk & talk (using the "umap" tool. Anyone tried that? Quite handy for annotating the map with things like this) But we didn't stick to that route plan. Actually we didn't even start on that route. I was more organised than usual and did some pre-mapping of building outlines the night before, so I knew we needed to get a closer look at new developments by Edgware Road station. This new building has some very funky tile decoration on the outside. Still behind construction fences, but it looks like they'll be cleared away pretty soon (remap!)
With this pre-mapping approach you might expect it takes away all the surprises, but looking at aerial imagery, you can only guess at where the missing shops and POIs will turn out to be. We found a little pocket of unmapped bits n bobs on this corner. On Edgware Road it was fairly obvious we'd find lots more. Lots of interesting arabic shops but the favourite was "Discount Drug Store" which sold... a variety of suitcases and bags. Amusing nonsensical name which we laughed at quite loudly, even though the shopkeeper was standing outside. Our gang of OpenStreetMappers terrorising the neighbourhood!
After that we split up to do mapping in two smaller groups. Alpha squadron went down Saint Michael's Street while the other lot went down Star Street. Nothing much to report, but y'know, you have to check these boring streets, otherwise who's going to map Miky Star Community Nursery?
As mentioned, I was organised about doing pre-mapping this time, and I think this works well. Here's an animation showing the building outlines appearing, followed by the surveyed data phases (Click to see it bigger) :
It was a bit cold for mapping and we were glad to arrive at the pub to warm up!
I didn't make any notes on what was discussed in the pub. It appears there was some duscussion of invalid polygons. Lively and fun discussions as ever. Hopefully all the new folks enjoyed it too!
As you can see from the outdoor photos, there really wasn't much daylight to speak of. Next Sunday the clocks go back heralding the official end of all after-work before-pub mapping shininigans, but there's the more straightforward format: after-work pub! And that's exactly what we'll be doing...
TONIGHT! Join us in the Penderel's Oak in Holborn from 7p.m. All the details on the wiki. If you do want to do some mapping, take note of the notes or make right some keep rights. As always you can sign up on lanyrd if you want to help make the event look more popular. It always looks a bit quiet on there. But it is just a pub, so you can just turn up.