andygates's Diary

Recent diary entries

Earlier this month, I rode the End-to-End using OSM on my Garmin as my primary navigation resource.

In a nutshell: it was great. 1104 miles covered in three weeks. All the way through, either using routing or moving-map display, it was reliable and accurate and just right. There was one dumb-routing moment (that farm track was not rideable!) and only a couple of ways absent from the map.

I had a couple of moments of drama that gave me warm fuzzy feelings toward the OSM community: one incredibly mundane - I was *desperate* for a loo and the tourist signs had me muddled; and one utterly critical - my old rear wheel collapsed and I needed a bike shop, urgently!

At this point, Bike Hub came to the rescue. Bike Hub is an app that uses OSM data so I was able to hit the "Bike Shops Near Me" button and -- joy! Dryburgh Cycles, seven miles away. A short taxi ride and I was repaired and rolling again.

I have, as the saying goes, eaten my own dogfood, and it was delicious and nutritious.

Location: Crediton, Mid Devon, Devon, England, United Kingdom

End to End with OSM

Posted by andygates on 23 April 2011 in English (English).

In a week I'm off to ride the End to End -- Land's End to John O'Groats -- which on my route is about a thousand miles, three weeks, and a whole lot of bike camping. Yay!

Of course I'm using OSM on my Etrex for navigation. :)

The Power!

Posted by andygates on 18 September 2010 in English (English).

Tom Chance has built a KML that presents power generators in the UK - it's an extension of one he made for London, and here it is:

So, I've been checking the tags of the Ecotricity wind farms and very fine they look. It would make a great school project, having kids scurry around finding all the green gennies in their patch.

Tagging guidance here:

Working from the limited high-res Yahoo imagery and the excellent Perry-Castaneda mosaic put up yesterday by Jean-Guilhem, I've been ticking through bare bits of Pakistan map adding what look like the most important features (settlement names, metalled roads, railway lines, major waterways). There's a *lot* to do, because there's a lot of unmapped territory.

I hear that some post-flood imagery is coming online soon and it'll be good to go over that and tag broken bridges, destroyed road sections and refugee camps. For reference, the special tags that developed out of the Haiti response are here: -- here's where you'll find bridge=collapsed et al.

One thing I've noticed is that some other mappers are laying roads where black straight things are... but follow the photos along for a while and they turn out to be canals (most roads are dusty). Caveat cartographer! Double-caveat when you have roads running *alongside* canals, which is also very common.

Interesting to note that the current waterway tagging schema is implicitly drainage-biased (it's all the soggy British and Dutch in the project!); I'm using waterway=canal and waterway=ditch for major and minor irrigation channels, but I wonder if that's ideal?

Location: Higher Wear, Countess Wear, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, England, EX2 6DG, United Kingdom

A chunk of Dawlish

Posted by andygates on 1 April 2010 in English (English).

The estate at the entrance to Dawlish has been bugging me for a year. Finally did it today!

Location: Dawlish, Teignbridge, Devon, England, United Kingdom

Petit Goave

Posted by andygates on 20 January 2010 in English (English).

Some excellent people had already done the centre of PG by the time I got to it, so this evening was polishing, fixing some wonky bits, expanding detail around it and then banging through the Matrix to ensure that useful roads and crossings were all solid.

If you haven't seen it, the Matrix is here: - it's the quality-control tool for this project.

Location: 11e Ravine Sèche, Commune Petit-Goâve, Arrondissement de Léogâne, West, 6220, Haiti

A bit more Tiverton

Posted by andygates on 31 October 2009 in English (English).

Yup, a little more of Tivvy and I swear the town grows every time I reach what I expect to be a bounding road and find another housing estate. This week, the stuff West of the Heathcoat factory.

Location: Tiverton, Mid Devon, Devon, England, United Kingdom

More Tivvy!

Posted by andygates on 17 October 2009 in English (English).

Third trip walking around Tiverton adding residential detail - the west side of town has been entirely missing. I'm a one-man mapping party!

Location: Tiverton, Mid Devon, Devon, England, United Kingdom

Spent some time last night trying to get mkgmap to produce a Garmin map with long-distance hiking paths marked out. And, er, failed.

The paths are a mixture of highway types sharing a route relation network=uk_ldp (for example, the Ridgeway, ).

I wonder if anyone has an easy guide for how to do this? Tying the 'relation' and 'line' file settings together is bending my head...

Gallumphing through the mud

Posted by andygates on 26 September 2009 in English (English).

...tracking down footpaths and bridleways along a section of the Two Moors Way (relation details) near Down St Mary, Devon. But you know how it is -- once you see a spur path that might connect up meaningfully, you *have* to chase it!

Location: Down St. Mary, Mid Devon, Devon, England, United Kingdom

I've somehow got signed up for a marathon along the Ridgeway, so I'll be bashing out runs around East Devon up on the heaths. Let there be many high-quality bridleway traces in the coming weeks!

Does anyone know a render that shows the long walking routes? Or, for that matter, a Dummies guide to relation-tagging the darned things. I'm having a dim moment.

Location: Newton Poppleford and Harpford, East Devon, Devon, England, United Kingdom

Bow done!

Posted by andygates on 6 September 2009 in English (English).

There, that's Bow done. Poor old Bow, it's got that sad air of neglect. Still, at least it's on the map now.

Location: Bow, Mid Devon, Devon, England, United Kingdom

They've been busy since I was last there! There's a caff and everything (good coffee). Rode the Family and Adventure trails, and mapped those plus the Gateway area. Walking trails and hardcore MTB mentalism still to do.

Location: Kenn, Teignbridge, Devon, England, United Kingdom

Starcross done

Posted by andygates on 30 August 2009 in English (English).

That's Starcross done - I'm gradually bagging the little villages :)

This diary's been underused. I've been occasionally detail mapping villages (Sandford, Copplestone, Newbuildings), did a bit of Tignes while on holiday, and adding scraps pretty much continuously.

Location: Starcross, Teignbridge, Devon, England, United Kingdom

Getting started...

Posted by andygates on 2 January 2009 in English (English).

Just got into this OSM thing after hearing about the nifty OpenCycleMap special render and the Garmin downloadables. Done some gaps in Crediton, and a bit of Dartmoor near Princetown, and am polishing my ninja skills on the maze that is the RD&E site in Exeter...