Steve Chilton's Diary

Recent diary entries

Buildings addressed

Posted by Steve Chilton on 22 January 2011 in English (English).

Have recently been doing a bunch of Bing tracing and then walking the area for address details, in a variety of locations.
Over Christmas I did the village I was staying in, Devauden:
The un-labelled ones are house names rather than numbers. Will get addr:housename to render shortly, but need to get that tag into the file first so DB can import it.
Then plenty of extra detail in my local Borough, Enfield:
Progress is shown by this snapshot of a couple of weeks ago, which shows the black for OS_OpenData tracing and red for Bing tracing:
Finally I worked in Chigwell recently for a day and managed to survey one small estate whilst I was there - my least favourite surveying type, with all the little ginnals, and weird numbering systems on the larger blocks of flats:

Lakes mapping

Posted by Steve Chilton on 7 August 2010 in English (English).

Finally finished editing the mapping done on recent holiday in the Lakes. POIs and 'yards' of much of Kendal main street. Two residential areas to east of River Kent in Kendal. Three low-level local walks, and some detail in Staveley.

Whilst down at inlaws at weekend I had a chance to spend half a day mapping the residential parts of Monmouth, which I did. Chose to avoid the main part of town as it was chocko with people because of a regatta on the river. Someone else will have to add that detail in, else I will go back and do it on another visit.
Areas mapped shown by the landuse=residential fill (from OS_OpenData_StreetView)
Also added some other path/gates detail near Devauden on a walk around the farmland there.

Well a couple of different places, one of which is out of UK.
Family trip to Barcelona resulted in some new detail (mostly POIs) being added to the area around Placa Catalunya.
Then there was the NE part of Witham, Essex, on a mapping day there with Ed Loach.
Last weekend it was Goring and it's near neighbour Woodcote
And finally I got Walking Papers to accept my scans from the recent Holborn pub meet and I added the edits to the two cake slices that I had done, mostly on the crisis camp day.
Happy mapping.

Hello Harlow

Posted by Steve Chilton on 15 April 2010 in English (English).

Scratched an itch that has been bothering me for ages. Tried using OS_OpenData_StreetView as source for naming Y! traced streets in Harlow, Essex. This is nearest place to me that has been in serious need of map love, and I have previously gibbed at going there mapping (or organising a map party there), mostly because it is none too inspiring. Apart from the fact that not all the streets are named in StreetView it worked reasonably. Using Potlatch (as you do) meant that the names were actually obscured by the OSM detail, so I ended up having 2 browsers open, one to edit and one to see street names (using Whilst there I noted some largish wooded areas on OS. If the Yahoo imagery also showed the woods I traced from there, as I feel it is better source, then took name from OS, all tagged with source= or source:name= OS_OpenData_StreetView. Harlow now looks a lot better. Someone needs to go and do the fine-tuning, adding names of smaller roads, adding POIs etc, but a useful test of viability of OS as source when somewhere is already partially mapped. Have had a look at using it also to map the Thames in Berkshire where it needs waterway=riverbank tagging to give reasonable shape as the river is both wide and variable there.

Had an Admission Day visit with my son to Warwick University yesterday. Third son and felt like one to many Uni visits - all one big blur eventually. So missed the parents bit in the afternoon (Why Chemistry is fun!) and added some more detail to the mapping of the extensive campus. Concentrated on the halls area around Scarman road and the access to the Sports and other Uni facilities N of Kirby Corner Road. With aid of GPS added in loads of service roads and paths, plus the bicycle_parking that I came across. Didn't add buildings. Someone else will have to go back and do that - not quite sure how main campus buildings have been added. Did add an estimated version of the lake, by proximity to paths and other features, and interpolation. Need to go and add barrier=lift_gate to the mapnik rendering as there are many of them controlling access to parts of the campus. Good to do, and good exercise on a chilly afternoon.

Recent mappings

Posted by Steve Chilton on 31 October 2009 in English (English).

Roundup of some recent mapping efforts:

11/10/09 Gravesend mapping Party - most of Gravesend covered so moved out and cycle-mapped Istead Rise and New Barn. My kind of mapping.

16/10/09 Last London mapping evening - did a sector near Faringdon Station. Crazy property numbering systems in some of these roads. Not particularly enjoyable.

24/10/09 Loughton - cycled out to watch cross country race and micro-mapped the venue. Many unofficial paths plus part of London Loop. A good walk.

Plus loads more NPE digitising of the middle Severn.,waterways_river,waterways_stream,waterways_drain,waterways_canal,waterways_riverbank,waterways_other

Ashley Heath needs map love

Posted by Steve Chilton on 14 September 2009 in English (English).

I was bigging up OSM at the Society of Cartographers conference last week. Today I got an email from a delegate saying "yeh, you say that - but my village has no detail at all". Indeed, Ashley Heath (nr Market Drayton) had just the cross roads. So just now I have added all the roads that are clearly visible on the NPE layer (tagged as highway=road), and a couple of footpaths (highway=path). I will shortly end the person a Walking Papers geo-rectified printout and ask them to collaborate by adding in the newer roads and adding road names etc, (which I will edit happily). Is anyone local able to verify stuff on the ground - the roads need classifying for instance. Most are probably residential/unclassified, but might be tracks, etc. I see that user:pepperm added the local pub this very day. Perhaps you could contact me (have sent a personal msg too). It would be good to show the power of the crowd in this kind of scenario.


Today I had to go to Ridlins to an athletics meet so incorporated some street naming in the Broadwater estate in Stevenage afterwards, followed by a return trip through minor roads round Datchworth and Digswell to collect more minor road names. Have to go to another match there next Sunday so hope to do the rest of Broadwater, plus another minor road back through the delightful Hertfordshire country lanes. Had to stop in one village whilst some ducks sauntered across the road. Someone will need at least one more pass to collect all the little foot/cycle ways and ginnels between these estate roads. Yesterday whizzed out to Flamstead End to finish off the street naming either side of Hammondstreet Road. Once again wondered at the derivation of Dig Dag Hill. No joy on web. Anyone reading this know where it comes from?

Location: Oak Tree Farm, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, EN10 7QN, United Kingdom

Enfield in (... a pun)

Posted by Steve Chilton on 21 March 2009 in English (English).

Lovely sunny spring day so I decided to get the bike out and give it a once over and a run out - in readiness for some serious mapping party action soon. A bit of oil and air and away we go. Don't feel fit for a long ride so I decided to do all the little nonames stuff in my immediate area (cul-de-sacs off roads, split roads at junctions, etc) in one hit, as they had all been ignored for too long. Out for an hour and a half and cleared them all up. Amazingly I found 4 roads completely unknown to me, two of which were within 400m of my home (of many years). Reckon that with this trip and a bit of work on the "Keep Right" tool - which I have only just discovered, and is great for correcting un-connected ways, etc - I will have eliminated most errors in the immediate vicinity. Really must have another pass and complete the POIs sometime.

Location: Enfield, Greater London, England, EN2 6LD, United Kingdom

Edge of New Forest

Posted by Steve Chilton on 17 March 2009 in English (English).

Just spent a weekend in the New Forest (Sandy Balls) on a running club training weekend - sadly only coaching for me. Managed to sneak out and do some mapping on both bays. Firstly tidied up, named and added some features to minor roads south of the site. Saw plenty of the handsome ponies and sadly a dead badger. Asked some MTBers if a track they were on was legal or not and they meekly said "no, but looked a good un to have a go at". Also mapped the whole of the residential eastern side of Fordingbridge - some fabulously wealthy looking properties, in marked contrast to some areas I have been mapping recently in London, with the usual long stares from lawn trimmers and car washers as one goes into "their" dead end roads. Quite a bit more for someone to do in the north and centre, including more POIs. But really good to be out in the sunshine collecting GPS tracks in the raw for a change. Still on a vain mission to generate enough GPS points to make the top 50 on the stats (last entry is now 1.36 million). Suspect I spend too much time NPE tracing, which doesn't count - for that particular chase to ever be realised.

Location: Hyde, Frogham, New Forest, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom

Half-term in Sevilla

Posted by Steve Chilton on 28 February 2009 in English (English).

Spent some lovely sunny days visiting my son in Sevilla (at Uni there). Took a bit of time out to map a bunch of stuff to west of the river/canal, and to tidy up some other stuff in the city centre. Using the excellent free Servici loan bikes to get about (of which quite a few more stations are now mapped) - which got 2 sons to join in. Would have loved to map by Segway, which you sometimes see floating around the city. Met local OSMer Pedro there for a chat about OSM, oranges, bike loan systems, and life in general - over a couple of beers.

Location: Nucleo Residencial Argentina, Triana, Seville, Sevilla, Andalusia, 41080, Spain

Have had two quite productive OSM days. Having a bit of spare time yesterday I traced 8,900+ nodes of the rivers and streams of Cornwall with help of Potlatch/NPE. I just don't know how folk score such high editing numbers in the stats, it can't be manual. Mapping remotely I passed by two significant geographical landmarks. Firstly Lands End and whichever bit is actually furthest west in the SW. Now proceeding in an easterly direction along the south coast to hopefully meet up with the excellent work recently done by user:Devonshire in (yes) Devonshire. Also passed through Newlyn, which is the place that tide measurements were taken to establish mean sea level in the UK. In the evening persuaded the author of the brilliant Up-to-date bookmarklet to (somewhat reluctantly) add coastline data and a bounding box to show the area re-rendered. Also put in the missing bit of the Devon/Cornwall admin boundary, which I knew from living dewn thar was down the middle of the Tamar Estuary.
Today had to go to Uxbridge to watch some cross country so did some no-names mapping whilst there (and get some path traces for Hillingdon House Sports Grounds). Also whilst there I deliberately took a detour off the M40 on the way back to the M25 to go round the lower level roundabout at junction 1 - to convince myself it really was as depicted - a roundabout with clockwise and anti-clockwise routes round it, with smaller roundabouts where the 4 joining roads came in. Having to stop as it was getting dark prompted me to wonder why it is that I can be mapping in an unmapped area and feel free to stop whenever it suits me, however much is left undone. Conversely, when mapping no-names stuff like today I feel guilty not completing the area. Rationalised it on way home as NOT being able to see how much is to be done still in the first case, and BEING able to see how much is left in the latter (I was working from a no-names map print with more than I was able to do today showing).
Enjoyed the bridge graffiti on the M25 that I don't remember seeing before - GIVE PEAS A CHANCE. Home to do the edits, and if I don't get too tired implement a couple of mapnik style changes I have been mulling over. Yep, two productive days, with plenty of variety.

Yesterday being a lovely sunny day I headed out to my nearest place with a significant number of un-named roads (Goffs Oak), thinking an hour or two would knock it off. Unfortunately, when I got there I discovered loads of others that weren't on the map at all, so GPS tracked them, naming them and others as I went. However, now I have to go at least once more to finish off, and then again at least once more to do all interconnecting footways, which are so prevalent in these estates. Have traced the landuse=residential from Y! to delineate the areas. Also find that GPS traces are far better than Y! traces in this kind of environment because they are newish estates, with all the spurs, deadends, footpaths, parking areas, etc which you can't get the nuances off without actually being there. Even when there I sometimes can't decide when things are road and when they are just shared driveways to one or two houses. I usually go by the change in surface. If they have a lip and change from tarmac to sets or some other fancy surface I usually stop there.
Best road name - Dig Dag Hill.

Location: Oak Tree Farm, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, EN10 7QN, United Kingdom

Yateley and OS mapping

Posted by Steve Chilton on 9 December 2008 in English (English).

Filled in a few street names, and mapped a few roads when staying with a friend in Yateley last night. Today filled in some nonames roads right by Ordnance Survey HQ on a visit there.

Ruislip nonaming

Posted by Steve Chilton on 29 November 2008 in English (English).

Whilst travelling to watch a cross country race I detoured to map a load of nonames stuff just south of the big woods by Ruislip Lido. Looking at the nonames layer there is quite a few chunks that need a load of naming in this area of London. All a bit far for for a casual trip for me though.

Location: Ruislip, Greater London, England, HA4 7TJ, United Kingdom

Mapping Seville

Posted by Steve Chilton on 31 October 2008 in English (English).

Just spent a few lovely days in sunny Seville (whilst it snowed in London). Mapped as much as possible of the street names of the historic centre, most of which had been traced from Y! and were nonamers. Potlatch's new filter helps alot when editing this way (cheers RF), although I did find I didn't name some highway=pedestrian instances as my printed nonames output didn't show them as such. Also met up for a drink and chat with Pedro, who is mapping his city and showed me his cool Openmoko device.
Some problems mapping in this location: very poor GPStracks due to very narrow streets and tall buildings; very difficult to make judgements on highway types (what I thought were pedestrian streets often had scooters and even vans and cars coming at you); stiff neck from constantly looking skywards to collect road names high up sides of buildings; deciding whether to map names as displayed or to add Calle (went for former); hot work in the midday sun (cafe is good).
There is a free city bike service with many pickup/dropdown points. Would have used it more but time limit is 30mins and you can't immediately re-register for another bike (ie swop and continue). Urban mapping by Segway could be the way forward. Seem to be legal in most of Europe, except UK.

Location: Santa Cruz, Casco Antiguo, Seville, Sevilla, Andalusia, 41004, Spain

Three days, three places

Posted by Steve Chilton on 12 October 2008 in English (English).

Last three days has seen me mapping at different levels in three different locations. Friday just walking around near work (Hendon) capturing some street names alerted to by nonames layer. Saturday at a family wedding in Minster (Kent) just adding some detail to the village we were staying in. Sunday did the morning stint at the Wembley/N London mapping party, before going to the (not so) Grand Junction Arms to meet others. No beer on tap, and whatever food you like as long as it is called roast.
Now, over time I have regretted entering some streets AFTER having doing so, particularly in some sink estates. Well, today I found a road that I wouldn't even enter, even in a car. It was in Brent Park, just off the N Circ. Coming to a mini-roundabout in a combined residential/industrial estate there was a left turn into a road that needs adding to the map. It was guarded by discarded electrical appliances, bedsteads, parts of cars, prams, etc, and two large alsatians (I think you get the picture). Looking down the street I could see menacing looking youths, and a few urchins, white vans, fancy caravans, and bikes/toys strewn all over the road. It was a dead end so I knew that going in to get a gpx trace would mean stopping, turning round and coming out again. So I took the street name down (yes it is a permanent location, with houses etc) and will mark an estimate of the length of it in the db, with tags such as note="not entered, estimate", access="the very brave", etc.

Visiting family and relatives and managed to do a little more infill in South Wales. Some minor roads to west of Chepstow, including some of lcn 31 and 32; all road detail of Sedbury and Beachley; and as much as I could get of Dulverton. Noticed original Severn Bridge (M48) and it's associated footway/cycleway is not shown as bridge, but unsure of where bridge actually starts and finishes, so left for another time.

Cheshunt again

Posted by Steve Chilton on 1 June 2008 in English (English).

Bike ride out to do more of Bury Green, Churchgate and start Flamstead End. All stuff round Rosedale Way and Peakes Way to do still. Area south of Andrews Lane took ages due to having stubby roads, houses with no roads, plus footpaths and alleyways linking everything. Yahoo is no good for correctly entering this mixed stuff. New technique for naming country roads that have no sign visible. Note market garden firm (loads round here) that has web address and look up where they think they are based (worked for Barrow Lane). After seeing the rough end of town it was nice to end up doing some of the heritage stuff opposite St Marys Church. Nice bit off off-roading through Theobalds and Whitewebbs to finish. Over 4 hours out, of which about two and a half mapping, and editing done in under 2 hours.

Location: Churchgate, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, EN8 9NF, United Kingdom