OpenStreetMap

Betjamen Arms previously + Marylebone TONIGHT

Posted by Harry Wood on 25 October 2011 in English (English)

A couple of weeks ago we had our London meet-up in St Pancras at the Betjemen Arms. I wasn't sure what to expect. It could've been a grotty train station pub, but it turns out to be more of a posh hotel bar because it's under / part of the newly re-opened posh hotel in the ornate red brick front of St Pancras station. If you look at the awesome lego background on their website you'll probably recognise the location.

I had hatched a plan to have a joint pub meet-up with the folks from OpenSpending.org, but in the end we decided it was best to keep separate. This wasn't difficult since we'd grabbed a table outside on the terrace. I had intended to say "hi" to them at least, but didn't even do that in the end. It's all too easy to sit around and chat about nothing but OpenStreetMap to nobody except openstreetmap enthusiasts.

However we didn't entirely do that this time, because we had along a couple of Derick's PHP enthusiast friends. I think there's tonnes of untapped potential for interesting OpenStreetMap developments in PHP. To me the beauty of this language is that every script kiddie out there has PHP capable web hosting, so anything running purely in PHP can potentially reach a wide install base. The easier it is to install, the more people run it on their website (think wordpress) So imagine a tile rendering system built entirely in PHP. The actual graphics rendering would be dog slow, but that need not matter given some heavy tile caching (and limited area/zoom levels perhaps). I should resurrect my old copy of php rendering one day. Or maybe rendering in PHP is a bit insane, but there's lots of other things that can and should be done. How about an abstraction library for spitting out OpenLayers HTML with a call to a function. In fact it could abstract different alternatives to OpenLayers (like MapStraction, only not at the javascript level). More specifically, how well are we doing with integration into different CMSs/frameworks (most of which are in PHP) ? Some CMS things listed here but even where we have something there may be improvements. I haven't really tested them. And don't forget, embedding maps in websites/CMSs doesn't necessarily imply slippy maps. What if static map image functions could be available e.g. as a wordpress plugin? Loads of possibilities.

2011-10-04 (0090)

We talked about lots of other things, and I made some notes, but I seem to have lost them. And I don't remember, maybe due to the mind expanding drugs we were experimenting with at the time.

2011-10-04 (0100)

These crazy tablets make sour things taste sweet! They hopefully didn't affect my memory, but you never know. They did come from South Africa via ebay.

These photos are by Alex. I still need to add my photos to the collection. Very disorganised lately. Sorry.

[UPDATE] I found my minutes: 2nd blog post. Betjamen Arms, the minutes

But what about the mapping? There's a few bit of missing buildings and other details to re-check around Kings Cross / Euston area. My slice turned out to be mostly done already. It's one of those bits which looked like it might have something interesting between all the gaps... but didn't. So I contented myself with getting the positions of some fences to try to make the pedestrian routing situation clearer, but in the darkness it was difficult to take non-blurry photos.

With the London Summer 2011 mapping parties we're definitely stretching the definition of "summer" now, but it's traditional to keep on mapping until the clocks go back (end of October) So we've got time to slip in one more mapping session... TONIGHT! I've brought forward the pub time to 7p.m. so there's not much time for mapping, but this patch of London (cake) is still annoying me. Why not check some building outlines before heading to node 271945808 at 7. Last chance to join in with a cake diagram for a while!

Location: Bloomsbury, London, Greater London, England, WC1B 5EG, United Kingdom

Comment from Firefishy on 25 October 2011 at 18:32

The tablets were miracle berry extract (Synsepalum dulcificum).

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