The Monkey Puzzle pub switch2osm!

Posted by Harry Wood on 3 October 2012 in English (English)

I was so hyper-enthused with a glowing sense of geotastic-all-conquering pride after last week's London pub meet-up, that I went ahead and set up the next pub meet-up. Yes. We've had the details on the wiki page two weeks in advance. How very well organised! Do come along and join us on Thursday 11th in a pub over in Hoxton.

But what was I so pleased about at last week's meet-up?

The Monkey Puzzle did a switch2osm! It was a sort of live-action-laptop-over-the-bar switch2osm.

I've chatted to the landlord, Gary, a few times before. He knows about those crazy guys who come to merrily drink with an "OpenStreetMap" sign on the table. And when I said they should switch from google maps to OpenStreetMap on the Monkey Puzzle website, he said "Errr. Yes... yes we should", and after some confused behind-the-bar discussions about who knew how to update the website and what that would involve, he went and fetched his laptop.

This was highly amusing to me at the time, but then I had had several pints. Presented with a very slowly loading wordpress admin interface I didn't try to do anything too fancy, but swapped out their google maps iframe and put in an OpenStreetMap one. Boom! switch2osm live and direct!

on flickr

Check out the new contact page! The Monkey Puzzle was our favourite pub before, but this makes it the greatest OpenStreetMappiest pub in the whole of London for sure.

What else happened? As well as that, we had some good beer-fuelled map-chat in a tight circle, with not many people showing up (6 people). One of these was a new chap. Someone called Vin, who I had come across via n0tice. He's big into n0tice, and is using it to devise a concept he calls "pubmapping" involving stream-of-conciousness photoing and 'reporting' from a pub... or something. We tried it. Here is a our set of iPhone photos and other nonsense which I have "reposted" onto the "OpenStreetMap noticeboard". See how that works? Me neither. I did show him how we do pub mapping, using JOSM to highlight the pubs data gathered in the Paddington area. As an aside, on IRC yesterday ris pointed out this awesome changeset by a brand new user. Now that's pub mapping!

Vin explained that he was interested in capturing how a pub makes you feel, and this got us onto a conversation about "subjective" mapping. We try to avoid putting subjective data, such as ratings of pubs, into OpenStreetMap. Other similar ideas pop up all the time with greater or lesser merit. The H.O.T. list has debated whether measures of the risk of a disaster can be captured on a the map somehow, e.g. where a local resident anecdotally reports that an area is at risk of flood or landslide. All worthwhile data to capture somehow, but maybe not using the OpenStreetMap database directly. We could do with more tools like ushahidi which let people layer data on top of OpenStreetMap. Ushahidi handles data on temporary situational reports, which mostly wouldn't belong in OSM directly. Subjective data could be captured in similar (but not the same) tools.

We also got talking about radiation leaks and aeroplane crashes :-O

Oh and Grant was showing off his new head mounted camera

By the way I did also do some mapping beforehand, though I think I was the only one, and I was running late so just very quickly swung by on my bike and got a bunch of very blurry photos in the gathering darkness (it's getting to that time year again). But this was enough to check a few things I wasn't sure about while armchair mapping the building outlines. For example if you look at the bing imagery around this building it's not obvious whether it's attached to other buildings nearby or not. A very quick check on-the-ground makes for better data.

So we're going to Hoxton on Thursday 11th, all the details here. We'll be at the Wenlock Arms. Why did I choose this pub? The Wenlock Arms has been threatened with closure, with various outrageous plans to turn it into ...something other than a pub. Always sad. But actually we're continuing a switch2osm theme! has been linking to OpenStreetMap for a while now, so it's time we go reward them for this, and show our support by drinking a few beers there (That's the deal by the way, if there's any pub landlords reading this... switch2osm, and we'll come drink there!)

Also the pub is reasonably well placed for a mapping excursion. The area around Hoxton Square, further to the East is probably higher priority actually. (We really need to finish off the Shoreditch "tech city" area with building outlines. Individual mapping missions encouraged!) Around the Wenlock Arms the buildings have been filled in, but maybe not with a survey. not sure. Some more footpath details could be good, plus I see some buildings missing, so I've laid the cake slices out accordingly.

Join in with that if you fancy it, or just join us for a social meet-up, come along to meet and learn more about OpenStreetMap!

Location: Paddington, Westminster, London, Greater London, England, W2 6QS, United Kingdom

Comment from robert on 3 October 2012 at 11:09

Oh man I wish I'd been there.

Comment from EdLoach on 3 October 2012 at 12:43

"(That's the deal by the way, if there's any pub landlords reading this... switch2osm, and we'll come drink there!)"

Is this offer limited to the UK, or some smaller sub-area?

Comment from Harry Wood on 3 October 2012 at 13:04

Hmm well I was thinking of London but ... No actually anywhere in the world. I'm sure we can make arrangements

Also any pub which can't figure out how to switch to OSM. Just have your laptop at the bar ready! :-)

Comment from Rovastar on 3 October 2012 at 18:55

Great you got them to switch however again our own map lets them down as the renders doesn't display their pub name.

Why would any company want to switch when it is like that?

I know it is down to the renderer, zoom level, etc but unless you start getting other map providers involved and then their custom maps involved it will not appear (hardly simple/desirable).

Comment from Harry Wood on 3 October 2012 at 21:10

Well in this case I don't think it's important that the map shows their pub name. That's what the marker indicates. No the main problem with map is those dreadful tube station labels

Comment from Rovastar on 3 October 2012 at 23:06

But it would be nice to show the pub name like Google Maps goes. That area isn't even highly/micro mapped yet.

Yeah as well the universally known blue square for train and tube go with showing all the (disused) tube lines underground on the map.....

At least Mapbox got UK styling right

Comment from z-dude on 4 October 2012 at 07:04

Cool stuff. on your navigate page, you could also have a 'geo:' tag so that smartphones can navigate to the address.


You can create a qr code that can be scanned by smart phones using a geo tag (works on android)

Also, the tel: link works with smartphones as well, so you could have a tel: 555-1212 link as well.

Comment from mikelmaron on 10 October 2012 at 00:24

Clearly the top business decision in #switch2osm are the drunk mappers.

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