Steven Whitehouse's diary

Recent diary entries


Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 30 June 2009 in English (English)

After another visit to mid-Wales I've been able to fill in a number of new roads/tracks etc. There is still a lot missing, but its getting ever harder to plot routes between useful places via unmapped roads. When I first started mapping up there, only a few major roads were on the map, now its starting to look fairly complete outside of the towns and villages.

I think the next step will be to choose a village and do all the housing estates as thats the kind of thing that isn't easy to work into a route from A to B.

Gregynog is starting to look fairly complete, although there are still a few footpaths whose route is a bit of a mystery. They start of clearly signposted, but then the signs disappear along with any clearly marked track. I might move on to field boundaries on my next visit, as thats probably fairly easy to do.

Location: The Dell, Tregynon, Powys, Wales, SY16 3PN, United Kingdom

How not to name your house

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 1 March 2009 in English (English)

There is an old people's home which I'd known about for some time, and recently confirmed its continued existence during my trip to Cornwall. I should have taken a photo of the sign as it highlights the perils of naming your house using a language, with which you are not fluent.

I greatly suspect that when they chose the name Chy Byghan, that it was done by using one of those "name your house in Cornish" type books. In Welsh, it would have been Ty Bach (and by now the Welsh speakers amoung you will see where this is going....) Literally, a small house (which is all very nice) but in normal usage that refers to a toilet which is perhaps not the most tactful name for an old peoples' home!

After a good number of hours of continued editing, I've now just about caught up with the backlog of tracks and data which I'd gathered in the last week. The main conclusion from all that work is that there is still a lot to do in Cornwall, even (or perhaps especially) in the main towns and cities. If I get a chance to go back at some stage, then I'll certainly be taking my GPS and adding to the map.

Mapping west Cornwall

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 28 February 2009 in English (English)

I'm just back from a week in Cornwall, during which I've managed to gather large amounts of useful GPS data every day. Since I didn't have Internet access while I was there, I now have the task of updating the map based on the tracks and the copious notes I took at the time.

It seems like Cornwall in general has a long way to go before its up to the same standard as the areas around where I live in Swansea. I hope that this last week's activities will go some way towards fixing this.

One of the great advantages of visiting Cornwall at this time of year is that there are few other visitors, and taking detours down the many single track country lanes isn't such a problem as you are far less likely to meet something coming the other way :-)

I also visited the second hand book shops in search of out of copyright maps of the area. I have a street plan of Penzance which looks useful as not too much has changed. The plan of St. Ives in the same book, though, looks like its not going to be of any real use, which is a pity.

I'd love to go back and do a bit more mapping there, but next time I'll try and find some accommodation which is on the Internet as that makes things a lot easier.

Stratford mapping party

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 17 November 2008 in English (English)

It was good to meet up with various people at the Stratford-upon-Avon mapping party this weekend. I've since uploaded the track I collected along with adding all the various new roads & paths. My Dad has been initiated into the art of OSM surveying and we had a very nice lunch too. All the service roads and car parks in Stratford Cemetary have been added to the map, but still the overall outline and paths are left to do there.

After lunch we headed back via Preston-on-Stour which seems to be quite a nice little village. We didn't do it all, but we added a number of roads, the church, war memorial and a foot path in that area too.

There is one small bit left where I need to move the river Stour slightly where it goes under a bridge (I assume it was traced from NPE or something) which I can't do as I've had a problem getting the waypoints out of my Garmin Etrex Vista. Hopefully I'll get the fixed shortly though.

Otherwise, all good fun and helped greatly by the good weather.

Plodding around Powys

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 25 June 2008 in English (English)

Over several days last week I've been on holiday in Powys, gathering as much data as I could in the time available. There is still a lot to do in the area in which I was based (roughly between Newtown, Llanfair Caereinion & Welshpool) but at least there are a few more roads in there now so that we can start to have a framework to work to.

I'm going back in August so I hope to fill in some of the gaps then if nobody beats me to it in the mean time.

The only item that I mapped which I've not added so far is the Powys Gorsedd stones in the Goat Field Arboretum in Llanfair Caereinion, I need to do a bit of research to work out what to tag them as.

I can highly recommend this area as a great place to go on holiday. There are lots of interesting things to see in the area.

Talley, the second mapping

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 31 May 2008 in English (English)

So today I set off to map the bits I missed last week. I turned off the main (B) road early so as to map a rather narrow little road at a place with the unlikely name of Halfway - well I guess it depends where you are coming from and going to.
Luckily I didn't meet anything coming the other way, otherwise a lot of reversing might have been required. It says unsuitable for HGVs when I think it should just say unsuitable! Anyway I got to wave to a jolly looking farmer on the way....

The tree that was blocking the road at Talley last week has been removed, so I was able to join up the final bit of road there too. The B-roads are pretty much done in that area, next thing is to do the maze of smaller roads that connect them all. Probably a task for next time I visit the gold mine.

Talley ho!

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 26 May 2008 in English (English)

I keep discovering forests that I didn't know about. Today I discovered several more to add to my Talley :-)

I knew about Talley Abbey and the lakes, but I didn't realise that there was a whole forest to explore just across the road. Since at least one of the paths was blocked due to ongoing operations, this needs to be revisited at some time. Also today was a bit windy for doing too much exploration near trees. The minor road from the Abbey back to the "main" road was blocked by a fallen tree, so no mapping there...

The Brechfa Forest seems to be a nice part of the world, and one thats completely escaped attention from OSM, so as Arne would say, "I'll be back!"

More Gower mapping

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 18 May 2008 in English (English)

So today I headed out to map the remainder of the tracks in Mill Wood. There are still a number of footpaths there unmapped - I've no idea if they are "official" or not, so I thought it best just to stick to the tracks for now.

Also I discovered a path from Penrice through to Oxwich Marsh, so I'll have to go back at some stage to add that one too.

The actual location of the road near Mill Wood still seems to be the subject of some conjecture, so each time I go down there I'll try to upload a new trace so that eventually it should be more obvious where it really is. Its a really nice place to go walking, so that I don't mind repeated visits. The one downside is the road though - today I met traffic coming the other way for the first time, not just one car either, but several convoys of cars so I think I won't try visiting again on a weekend in the Summer. I don't think my nerves can take it! :-)

I noticed that there are more bits of Reynoldston still to do as I headed home that way. Now that I have a track of that alternate route, I've been able to add the Police Station and correct where that road meets the main road, so that it comes out opposite the track from Mill Wood.

Dryslwyn Castle

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 17 May 2008 in English (English)

Well another weekend, another tracklog...

This time I've added some more roads in Carmarthenshire, and Dryslwyn Castle, plus the bridge over the Towy/Tywi. Need to get some more tracks to sort out the remainder of the National Botanic Garden of Wales junction of the A48, but there is just enough there already to make it recognisable at least.

Still lots of roads missing in this area, so I plan to take a slightly different route each time I visit in future to see how many I can fill in :-)

Mill Wood (Penrice)

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 14 May 2008 in English (English)

So today I went back to Mill Wood to try and resolve how all the various tracks join up. According to my GPS I should be withing 10ft or so of reality when the sky is clear of trees, and between 20 and 30ft out in case of tree cover.

On that basis my mapping of the car park area and the surrounding tracks/paths should be pretty good, but it still looks a bit confusing around there. I think at least one more visit will be required to finally solve the mystery.

I have heavily edited that area, including things I added last time and also one path rollercow added. They now join up in the way that things appear on the ground, even if the actual location might be a bit iffy.

I'll try to take another track on the road at some point, preferably on foot since in a car the steep sides of the road at various points makes the signal rather poor I'd imagine.

I've added St. Andrew at Penrice and I need to go back again there to add some more tracks and things over that side as well. Still plenty more tracks to explore down in Mill Wood too. They are well sign posted which makes a change.

Here we go gathering tracks in May

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 8 May 2008 in English (English)

Not a lot of chance to map new areas this weekend, but I did mange to grab track logs of my journey from Swansea to Witney and back, as well as a trip to Kingston Bagpuize which has resulted in one new road (Rectory Lane) being added, but there is more of it that I didn't manage to get a track log for, so someone else will have to finish that off.

Yesterday evening I wondered through Gelli Hir Wood with the aid of the official (so far as I can tell) map from the Welsh Wildlife web site. It seems that its not very accurate though as some of the paths seem to have moved since it was produced. There are still several more to investigate, so I'll go back again at some point and finish that off.

I also took a look around Mill Wood and found various interesting items to map there as well. Again I need to go back at a later date and map the remaining paths of which there seem to be a number.

Carreg Cennen and Paxton's Tower

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 28 April 2008 in English (English)

So this weekend I went a bit further afield. I've added Trapp and more of the roads which converge at Trapp. There is at least one missing though, so that needs adding later.

Also I've added the road which goes from Llanarthne to Paxton's Tower. It also goes past the Botanic Gardens before reaching the main road. I've left that little bit though as I need to gather more tracks before I complete that. So thats left for a future trip for now.

There is a second road from Llanarthne almost parallel to the one I added which is missing. To be honest though, there is so much missing in this area, that I guess its not too surprising really.

Also I added the concrete lumps at Oxwich and also the Pill Box which is hidden under the trees near the road. There are still a bunch of things missing here to such as the buildings on the beach and also the second set of toilets, the phone box at the cross-roads, the post box and probably more besides.

Rhossili and Llangennith

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 19 April 2008 in English (English)

I forgot to mark where the foot path became road when I got to the Llangennith end of the path. I also suspect that my little bit of road should be merged somehow with the other bit of road thats already there. The internal roads of the camp site need to be mapped still I think.

I also need to ask someone about the ruins up on the hill. I have a feeling that its an old radar station, but there are a lot of things there, so it might be more than that.

I got the bottom path and the top path, but the middle (i.e. behind the old rectory) is missing from the map still and also there are other paths over the top of the hill too.

Plus I added another road from three crosses as well. Not too bad for a days work although I wouldn't recommend the footpath from Llangennith up over the hill as it rises from near sea level to over 600ft in a very short space of time. We really need to have some contours on the maps :-)

Another day, another road (or two)

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 18 April 2008 in English (English)

Driving around north Gower I realise just how much is left to do in that area... lots of little villages, most of which don't appear on the map. Lots of odd tracks, paths and bridleways....

Cefn Bryn

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 14 April 2008 in English (English)

So Cefn Bryn is not looking too bad now. Most major stuff is there bar a footpath which goes from the trig point near Arthur's Stone across to Oldwalls. There are a number of minor tracks still do to, and for those with webbed feet, a few streams too.

Mind you, Broad Pool was rather damp around the edges. The road isn't quite right as it passed broad pool. Not really enough points, but I've not moved it yet.

There are big blanks still in North Gower, so that might be a good place to look at next.

Testing out new GPS

Posted by Steven Whitehouse on 12 April 2008 in English (English)

So to test out my new GPS I walked around Wimmerfield Crescent. Hopefully I magae to get it to join Wimmerfield Avenue correctly.... I discovered that there are a number of side roads off Wimmerfield Crescent which need mapping, but I didn't do those yet as today's primary task was just to prove that I could go right through the process from gathering track data to actually uploading it.

Anyway not a bad start it seems.