Ollie's Diary

Recent diary entries

Re my previous diary entry the mapping party is happening!

Sign up on the OSM wiki here

Lanyrd for the event here

More details on my blog, and cake map, here

I’ve also blogged a bit about the new section that needs to be mapped (Section 2 on my cake map)

Finally, have a look at these pictures to get an idea of what needs to be mapped - again, mainly section 2:

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - Mapping Party?

Posted by Ollie on 29 March 2014 in English (English). Last updated on 5 April 2014.

I’m contemplating organising a mapping party on the evening of Wednesday 9 April, to map the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which opens finally in post-Olympic mode, the weekend before.

My musings are here:

Wiki page for the mapping party here:

Lanyrd here:

Location: Seven Dials, London Borough of Camden, London, Greater London, England, WC2H 9EW, United Kingdom

I've written a review of the OpenStreetMap book by Frederik Ramm, Jochen Topf and Steve Chilton:

I've also been using OpenStreetMap for some of my projects - for example it has provided the street network for this routed animation of the bike share scheme in London:

Location: Fitzrovia, London Borough of Camden, London, Greater London, England, W1T 6AQ, United Kingdom

Nike is running a social-media based game on the streets of inner London on Friday - website is The idea is to run from phonebox to phonebox, phoning in at each one to get points. An innovative, Web 2.0-take on street orienteering.

The dynamic maps they are using are black-and-white filtered Microsoft Virtual Earth aerial imagery, delivered via Flash, with appropriate credit and weblink to Bing. The static version of the maps is based on OSM data - but you wouldn't know without looking carefully, as there's absolutely no attribution on this derived work. Several printed, folded copies of the maps have also been left in each of the phoneboxes concerned.

It's such an awesome idea I feel kind of bad calling them out on this, but it would be nice if they credited the project. (I did contact them a couple of days ago, without success.) I'm in two minds really - should we be concerned if companies use our work without attribution? Quite a few people consider their edits to be public domain. Does it really matter?

Full measured grumble on my blog:

Example map:

Top of the stops

Posted by Ollie on 22 March 2010 in English (English).

I now have a list of the top z=12 tiles in the UK for where there are "orphaned" bus-stops, i.e. likely to be lots of missing roads in these areas.

The list is here:

More info about this on my blog:

I have added a tool to OpenOrienteeringMap which allows for vector PDFs of the map to be created. I use Mapnik's built-in cairo support render the map itself as a vector PDF, and the title, scale, scalebar, north arrow, logo, attribution and URL adornments, margins and start and course control overprints are all added directly using pycairo to an A4 sheet ready for printing. The tool builds up a mock-up using javascript in OpenLayers, the final PDF is produced separately so will look a little different.

My club will be using these maps for two planned "Street-O" races - on Tuesday 9 March in Twickenham (west London) and Tuesday 13 April in the Isle of Dogs (east London). More details at

OpenOrienteeringMap is at:

Location: Furzton, Shenley Brook End, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, South East England, England, United Kingdom

OpenOrienteeringMap now covers the whole world rather than just Great Britain.

e.g. The Forbidden City:


Posted by Ollie on 19 December 2009 in English (English).

So, there's OpenCycleMap, OpenPisteMap, OpenHikingMap and OpenWhitewaterMap.

...and now there's OpenOrienteeringMap. UK coverage only at the moment, and the tiles are generated on-the-fly (and cached) so might be a bit slow in places.

The styling, symbology and colours aim to match those in the ISOM spec (PDF).

I particularly like the way Milton Keynes has come out.

Anyone know of parks or other areas in the UK which have been OpenStreetMapped to incredible detail (e.g. individual prominent trees, different terrain types)? I would like to highlight these and see how they come on the map. doesn't have much in the way of UK examples unfortunately.

Bedgebury Forest

Posted by Ollie on 23 February 2009 in English (English).

I was MTB'ing at Bedgebury Forest in Kent yesterday - I went along the 13km headline Red Singletrack Trail. The GPX has come out pretty well and so is now in OpenStreetMap as a relation.

East London Updates

Posted by Ollie on 22 December 2008 in English (English). Last updated on 19 December 2009.

Recent changes I've made - Red/orange this weekend, green/yellow last week.

I've been making quite a few updates to East London recently, including:

  • Mapping Queen Mary (University of London)'s main Mile End Campus in detail, including all the buildings, the paths and other features. It was good to make use of a lot of first-hand knowledge I picked up (and the photos I took) when mapping the campus in the summer for an orienteering race.

  • Adding in the detail for Mile End Park, which is alongside Queen Mary and was also part of the race. The Yahoo aerial imagery, and my own photographs, were very useful here.

  • Adding building outlines and names for the main blocks in some of the housing estates around Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

  • Mapping Hackney Wick, which is a curious enclave, quite a way from central Hackney and cut off from the rest of the borough by an ex-motorway, railway, river and canal. This included the maze of lanes and alleys that form the Trowbridge Estate (although I still don't think I have it completely right) and the area to the south of the canal that is rapidly changing from industry to flats - although it has quite some way to go.

  • Various updates along the route of London Cycle Route 8, which runs from Farringdon to Leyton. This included tagging/relating most of the route where it is waymarked, and updating the road layout along the route - adding various mini-roundabouts, cycle-only sections, and filling in De Beauvoir Square.

  • Extending the 2012 Olympics site - the area that is sealed off by the distinctive blue walls now abutts Hackney Wick. I've also declassified all the roads in the park - they are now no-public-access service roads. Some of the roads have also been realigned or are completely dug up, and some of the railway lines have also been bulldozed. I've added an outline for the main Olympic stadium, which is rapidly taking shape. Although I don't have access to the park itself, there are a number of useful vantage points, including the Greenway, an elevated path that runs right through the site and is still open.

  • As part of the above work on Hackney Wick and the Olympic site, I've deleted the A115. This road used to go from Hackney Wick to Stratford, however after a short stub into a housing/industrial estate at the Stratford end, the way is blocked by one of the 15 or so construction gates for the Olympic site. At the other end, the road similarly goes through quiet light industrial areas and then is blocked at a bridge. There are no signs visible for this road anywhere along its length or on roads approaching it, so it's now downgraded.

  • Adding the Mabley Green Boulder. Not quite sure how to classify this one - a large boulder that is an artwork but also a leisure/sporting facility. Osmarender is showing it a little too prominently at the moment.

  • Adding in all the postboxes in the E9 postcode area (East Hackney), as part of the Dracos Locating Postboxes project.

  • One non-London change - adding Rockall, based on some public-domain information and pictures. Funnily enough, I didn't visit this one myself.

Location: Hamlet Industrial Estate, Bow, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, City of London, Greater London, England, E9 5EN, United Kingdom

Danbury Mapping Party

Posted by Ollie on 8 December 2008 in English (English).

Three of us went to Danbury, a historic village in Essex that was completely unmapped on OSM, and mapped it. The party render is here. It was one of the coldest (and shortest) days of the year, but we got the bulk of the village done in around two hours.