kevjs1982's diary

Recent diary entries

Changing the real world to map the renderer....

Posted by kevjs1982 on 28 August 2014 in English (English)

I know that tagging for the renderer is frowned upon but how about changing the real world to match the renderer, which is what indeed appears to be happening to the national cycle network over in Derbyshire...

"It has come to our notice after studying both Sustrans and Open Street maps, that numbers of the NCN Routes on the ground in the Etwall area differ from those on the maps. This is the result of stretches of new routes being built piecemeal over the years.


This is a far more logical way to number these routes, so we are proposing to change the signing to agree with the maps. "

(Now watch the map change to match current reality until the signs are changed :p )

Location: Etwall CP, South Derbyshire, Derbyshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

A46 Farndon to Widmerpool dualling.

Posted by kevjs1982 on 4 July 2012 in English (English)

The dual carriageway bypass of the exiting A46 (Fosse Way) was officially opened a couple weeks ago and the main line has existed here on OSM for some time - now the junctions from Flintham to Owthorpe are completely mapped (looks like Roehoe, Widmerepool, the junctions to Fardon are too - don't think there are any more) alongside all the open bridleways, tracks, and local roads alongside the A46 from just north of Roehoe to Farndon.

All we need now is for Sustrans to sign NCN Route 48 (fittingly called "Fosse 2") which is supposed to be routed from it's current terminus at Nether Broughton to the Grantham Canal then along the old Fosseway to Newark on Trent. The bridleways (actually really wide gravel tracks in the main - nearly as wide as the former A46 itself!) and access tracks make it pretty obvious where the route will be going from Flintham to the Grantham canal.

From Farndon to Flintham looks like it will be the old A46 Fosse Road itself.

From Flintham to Red Lodge it looks like it will be the bridleway on the western side of the new A46, then over the Red Lodge junction itself to join a very short section of the old A46 past the Lodge, then on half (the carriageway still has the old centre lines and cats eyes at one of the edges of the new road way!) the former A46 all the way down to Margidunum (with a short gravelly section round the new bridleway bridge between Car Colston and East Bridgford).

From Margidunum (Southbound exit) to the former Margidunum junction (still in use as the main link between the A46 southbound and A6097) it looks like a cycleway is currently under construction (obvious at both ends, less so in the middle).

From the old Margidunum junction to Bingham it's a bit less obvious - on the eastern side it looks like a cycleway might be under construction (right next to the west of the old A46) but it's a bit hard to tell (however there are some new cycle tracks round the roundabout itself which link in with this) - however for the time being you can use the new bridleway to the west of the new A46 - from Margidunum to the entrance for (RAF) Newton it's a tarmaced road subject to an unusual 25 mph limit, then you are put onto a nice new bridleway to the new Saxondale Bridleway bridge and NCN15.

The mess between Saxondale and Bingham junctions on the A52 (The village of Bingham being adjacent to the junction named Saxondale; and the village named Saxondale being adjacent to the junction named Bingham!) will hopefully make itself clear soon (I believe a pedestrian crossing is supposed to be going in there), and from there you join the former A46 which is now used for local roads until you reach a slip road (currently blocked by a locked gate at the top - just carry on south a tad and enter the old picnic area through the old car park) just north of the Grantham canal crossing from where you can access the canal and the rest of Fosse 2 to Exeter if you wish.

Alas if you carry on down the old A46 the parallel tracks take a break between Stragglethorpe and the Colston Road overbridge, but from there southwards you have a bridleway (which starts as an access road - three lanes in places, the former A46 being left un-changed until it's downgraded to a bridleway at Owthorpe, a little futher south you then have a detor via a farm track and Lamming Gap lane before once again getting to the A46 and a bridleway to Roehoe which is still under construction).

All in all not a bad job for a scheme which, back in 2008, wasn't due to start until 2015 but was then brought forward as an economic stimulus. Should be fully finished by late summer giving the workers a break before work starts on the A453 which will also be downgraded to allow for the extension of NCN Route 15 once it had finally been dulled!

Only grumble with it from a cycling point of view is that the gravel is VERY loose, a fair bit of sliding about - hopefully it will get compacted down with use!

Location: Flintham, Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

A46 Dualling - Cotgrave to Margidunum

Posted by kevjs1982 on 30 November 2011 in English (English)

The A46 has now been duelled between Cotgrave and Car Colston.

Today I have got some GPS traces of the section from Cotgrave to Margidunum (A6097) and have updated OSM (the section north of Margidunum is all interpolation - feel free to correct if you have better knowledge than I, especially the bits alongside, over and under the new A46.

The speed limits remain 40mph (which is a right drag on the nice wide dual carriageway even though it's coned to one lane) but heading north bound as the slip road starts at the Bingham junction you get two lanes of 70 mph travelling all the way though to Margidunum and beyond - you can now cover that section in a blink of an eye instead of the old nose to tail 90km/h (~56mph) drag behind the naughty lorries riding their speed limiters!

One rather odd bit is that between Margidunum and Bingham the old A46 is currently coned off to one lane (southbound only) and is the only way for A6097 traffic to join the A46 - i.e. the southbound A46 now has three lanes southbound over two carriageways where it used to have just a single lane! Not sure how south bound traffic leaves the A46 at Margidunum either (does this carry on down the old A46 from Car Colston?).

Rather fitting that the road which marked the original edge of the Roman empire now has a junction named after a long extinct Roman settlement (Margidunum) - although I wonder how many people will actually be able to say that?

Another interesting artefact of the junction naming is at the A52 where it crosses under the new A46 and interchanges with the old A46 - the villages of Saxondale (West) and Bingham (East) are either side of the junction - however the new "Bingham" junction is on the Saxondale side of the complex, and the old "Saxondale" junction is on the Bingham side.

Shouldn't be long now before the A46 becomes dual carriageway all the way from the M1 at Leicester to Farndon just outside Newark-on-Trent.

Location: Newton, Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Bing Imagery and other bits

Posted by kevjs1982 on 11 December 2010 in English (English)

Although Bing Imagery has only been available for use for a few days I've been taking advantage of it and the current cold spell to tidy up a number of bits I've wanted to sort for a while - places where I haven't been able to get a good GPS fix (mainly due to trees, fortunately in Nottingham it appears to have been early spring when the imagery was taken so not too much foliage to block the view), or haven't particularly felt like it being a wise idea to be walking around with a GPS, Smart Phone, and camera (the nearby industrial estate, schools, and various car parks for instance) and also some junctions which I couldn't get quite right from my on the ground mapping.

I've also spotted a number of what look like paths which I now need to resurvey - my GPS tracks got a bit messy where most of these are as they pre-date EGNOSS going live (is open street bugs the right place to add these questionable bits to? Being able to add them at home when using Bing Imagery then going out and checking them out with OSMAnd would be a very powerful tool - i.e. OSM is currently wrong, and might not be wrong, but someone/me needs to check to ensure it's correct).

The combination of on the ground surveys / visits and the associated GPS traces, OS Open Data, and Bing imagery makes it so much easier than the dodgy GPS traces and NPE which was all there was when I started OSMing just over two years ago! And no more trying to guesstimate where stuff is on the ground by noting stuff that lines up with it (e.g. the corner of a rugby field happening to line up with a kink in the road).

There are some interesting artefacts where one photo appears to be a couple of meters out from the adjacent one (normally around the edge of the old Yahoo! photography which means stuff in that area doesn't line up properly anyway).

Oh, and curse the new Potlatch having the little bugs on the map, went to tidy up a single road through a nearby junction and three hours later I've fixed a lot more bits - it's sent me on a bug killing spree ;o)

Now to get out tomorrow and get me a GPS trace of the A46's new northbound carriageway which is now apparently in use for two way traffic...

Location: Victoria Retail Park, Netherfield, Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Is there an OSM editor that doesn't suck?

Posted by kevjs1982 on 5 December 2010 in English (English)

What do all OSM editors have in common? They lose data and randomly crash, with rubbish error messages and horrible UI's

Potlatch 1 - So so slow, randomly loses changes and the flashing exclamation mark is too common a sight (although the live edit is awesome for checking how much, if any, of a failed upload has gone through - I hope this stays, if read only, in the future - also handy for checking what tags people have used).

JOSM - Can anyone really edit using this? So unintuitive, quality of background image tiles is dreadful, not to mention being java means it sucks up the resources of the computer like there's no tomorrow - one neat feature is the ability to break an upload into smaller chunks so a rejected change doesn't lose you everything.

Merkaartor - my personal fav (if only I could suss out how to use relations) but with the frequent crashes (although nowhere near as frequent as they were in recent releases thankfully) you end up having to save very frequently, and no Bing yet.

Potlatch 2 - been using this recently to improve some of my rubbish traces and add "private" stuff I've seen into the map, works reasonably well and just as I was starting to trust it I do my biggest edit yet with it, and guess what - yup a failed upload "couldn't upload data: 0 error #2032" - brilliant. And unlike Merkaartor's occasional failed uploads I can't export and try again later...

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

(Can't you tell I'm annoyed with the latest crash - if only the uploading was quicker I would be tempted to do it much more often).

A46 Newark to Widmerpool Widening

Posted by kevjs1982 on 28 June 2010 in English (English)

The first running on the temporary road layout (using the new slip roads at Stragglethorpe) happened overnight - less than 24 hours later and the new road layout has been uploaded to OSM :)

Location: Cotgrave, Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

OSM Formula 1

Posted by kevjs1982 on 8 October 2009 in English (English)

I have been putting a page together showing all the Formula 1 grand prix circuits on OSM and this has shown how random motor racing circuits have been tagged in the past

Highway=road, Highway=motorway, Highway=track, Highway=service, Highway=unclassified, and leisure=sport have all be used.

Relations for the Grand Prix circuit have been created and where the circuit is a dedicated one the highway has been changed to raceway.

Annoying now I've been through the lot it seams that the highway=raceway tag has been abandoned (I could have sworn it wasn't last week) although Mapnik renders it (see Donington Park, Silversone, Hockenheimring, and Nürburgring for some old highway=raceways) - typical!

If you are in Montreal or Valencia and looking for something to map you could do worse than double checking the grand prix circuits out - looks like both are generally part of the local cycle networks and some areas are probably better tagged as something other than Raceway (current) or Track (previous) - in particular Valencia looks to have been redeveloped a lot since the aerial photography was taken and was originally laid down as a highway=track on top of open ground and other roads.

If you want to see how much stuff can be tagged round a Grand Prix circuit while bringing Potlatch to it's knees than the two German tracks are good places to check out!

Alas, not all tracks are in Open Street Map at present - 上海国际赛车场 (China), İstanbul Park (Turkey), Marina Bay (Singapore), 鈴鹿サーキット (Japan), Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi), and Korean International Circuit (Korea) are missing, and Wikipedia doesn't even know where the Indian track is (unsurprisingly all the new ones outside aerial mapping coverage).

Diary entry centred on the Nürburgring Nordschleife - where else could you do so really? - shows all the tracks on this years and next years calendar (aside from India).

Location: Tribüne T13, Nürburg, Adenau, Landkreis Ahrweiler, Rhineland-Palatinate, 53518, Germany

EGNOS now Live

Posted by kevjs1982 on 4 October 2009 in English (English)

I noticed in the press over this weekend that the EGNOS service has been activated across Europe, and sure enough enabling WAAS on my Garmin Vista HCx now offers actually offers useful benefits unlike the previous battery drain only - The indicated accuracy has increased from 11m to between 2m in the garden - and even inside on my computer desk its now down to 4m vs the previous 15m :o)

Garmin Vista HCx Screenshot

Sat Nav just got five times more accurate. For Europeans at least. (The Times Online Blog)

Now I'll just have to go and redo those traces where the path jumps over a canal ;o)

Location: Tollerton, Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

River Trent-side bits and pieces and leisure=sports_centre rendering

Posted by kevjs1982 on 2 June 2009 in English (English)

So taking advantage of the sunny weekend I have managed to get some more parts of Nottinghamshire filled in.

Firstly the riverside paths from the A52 flyover to Barton-in-Fabis (the Sony Ericsson C905 is useless under the tree canopy so they may be a bit approximate) and now on the map.

The bridleway from Barton-in-Fabis to Thrumpton is filled in (A new (unmapped) path seams to be appearing on top of the flood defences dispite notices to the prohibiting it!) - although I failed to mark the change from road to bridleway so have for now assumed that the new bit is bridleway and the old bit is road. I'm also unsure how accurate the road are round here, my GPS traces are about 20 meters off the roads mapped - no idea if the roads mapped or wrong of if my phone threw another wobbley.

Added an underpass to the A453, and extended the power station a tad - no obvious path to mark the edges accurately.

An previously unmarked cycleway from Kegworth to the A50 J1 via M1 J24 is now on the map.

Now to the questions... While I was round Thane Road and Lenton Lane I took a note of the various sports clubs and using my visual memory and the aerial photography I think I have correctly (more or less) added them all. They seam to have come up reasonably well on Mapnik using the following tags:

name=Pelican Colts FC

This is okay, buildings are drawn on top as you would expect, as are service roads, and the P indicating car parks - but the car parks themselves disappear (presumably rendered underneath).

Without the "leisure=sports_centre" tag only the names appear on the map - now is this a fault of the renderer (Mapnik) or am I using the wrong tags?

My expectation is that the leisure tag should be drawn at the bottom level, indicating this area is used for a leisure activity (in this case Association Football), then everything else would be drawn on top - I.e. the whole land belonging to/rented by (in this example) Pelican Colts FC would get a "box" and be shaded - within that box would be a football pitch, some grass for spectators to stand on, the car park, the road leading to it, changing rooms, bar and anything else - being private property it would be hard to the exact areas of each mapped - only an educated guess can be done from photography. (Anyway Sports_Centre seams to be the wrong tag anyway - that implies multiple sports but I can't find a better one)

On the amenity=university tag setting the layer to -1 appears to have the desired effect, but is that what we should be doing (i.e. Don't tag for the renderer)?

Location: Dunkirk, Wollaton, Nottingham, East Midlands, England, NG7 2JS, United Kingdom

Gamston and Bassingfield, Nottinghamshire

Posted by kevjs1982 on 3 May 2009 in English (English)

Taking advantage of the improving weather I have started to fill in some of the blanks on the maps.

Today I have again tried to survey the Knightshayes development in Gamston. Using my memory and a few GPS traces has gotten a reasonable street layout, although inevitably in need of tidying up. This is one of those new estates where the service roads and residential roads blend into one, lots of little branches off it, and is also GPS blackhole (every time I go in that estate my GPS (both my C905 and an old Bluetooth unit) get lost). It is still under construction so some parts are fenced off (although judging by how tidy it was behind the fences they are ready to open the street if they can find anyone who wants to buy. Not quite as fully mapped as the Lady Bay area mind, but then again I didn't see anything apart from homes and parking space after parking space.

Getting further out I have added Bassingfield to the map, along with some local lanes/paths that branch out from it - nightmare to map as there is a lot of semi-abandoned construction so it's hard to tell where the public rights of way are, what are temporary roads, and what (if anything) will be new.

I have also been banging my head against the wall trying to plot stuff.

Poltatch has been running extremely slowly since the API update, JSOM confuses the hell out of me, and Merkaartor seams to be wonderful but it keeps crashing - argh! - I have attempted some four times to plot some more paths round Colwick Park, and the Netherfield Retail Park/Industrial estate to no avail.

Location: Gamston, Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom