Tag Archives: mapping

More on boundary changes

Blackheath boundary map before and after
Good article in the Telegraph about the nonsense of not releasing the actual maps.
Guardian mash up of the new boundary maps
Telegraph combining the Guardian’s maps with the existing boundaries.
(Animation above is based on the Blackheath bit of the Telegraph’s page).

PS- that’s my quota of animated GIFs used up for the year… probably…

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Cave Map overlaid on Google Earth

Blackheath Caverns map overlaid on Google Earth
UPDATE: Several people pointed out that the map was oriented wrongly. I think I’ve corrected it now, but please feel free to correct it yourself (.kmz file), and send me a more accurate version! Incorrect version was here.

Here’s the map of the Blackheath Cavern from 1946 (mentioned in the previous post) overlaid onto Google Earth. I couldn’t work out how to get it into Google Maps unfortunately. Zoomed out version below (old map is in the top left corner, village is at the bottom).

Blackheath Map of Caverns from 1946 overlaid on google earth

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Pushing the boundaries…

I was wondering why Darryl had made such a long and complicated description of the electoral boundary changes – why not just upload a map? Surely the maps outlining the electoral boundaries must be held in public, and be freely distributable?

Well, not exactly. There’s this wet blanket of a site, from Ordnance Survey (friends of the Free Our Data campaign). Good luck with zooming out. And you’re not allowed to view more than one constituency at a time… But why on earth would you want to do that? Ridiculous. And who paid for the creation of these maps? You and me (and probably your great-grandparents, come to think of it).

You are also not allowed to reproduce them. Unless you’re in Sweden and have a rather more relaxed view of copyright law… Someone appears to have uploaded a map showing the old boundaries around Blackheath in blue, and the new ones in red. Unchanged bits are in purple.

http://bayimg.com/lalCKAach

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Google Street View comes to Blackheath

Google Street View in Blackheath village, London

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So, it’s finally happened.  Those mysterious looking black VW Beetles have finally dumped all their data into the Google Hive Mind, – lo and behold – we have Blackheath in glorious pseudo-3D almost QuickTime VR Panoramatastic streetview!

The screenshot (from Google) doesn’t do it justice.  Click on the link, and have a look for yourself- you can move all around Blackheath, step by step, as though you were walking down the streets.  I can see my house!  But the real magic is that you can turn your head.  The 360 degree panoramic stitching is really quite amazing.

Anyway, it renders the poor old Bugle’s Virtual Tour of Blackheath to the dustbin, I suspect… And the various Google Maps 3D views don’t seem quite as shiny any more either.

Anyway Buglers, let me know what you spot as you saunter through the cyber streets of Blackheath…

UPDATE: It goes as far as The Pagoda! Map here

The Blackheath Tea Hut! Map here.

The Princess of Wales pub! Map here.

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Bomb damage maps of Blackheath

Blackheath Bomb Damage Map from London Metropolitan Archives taken by Flickr user Yersinia

This map shows a colour-coded key explaining the severity of bomb damage in London after the WW2 bombings.  They are from the London Metropolitan Archives, and were photographed by Flickr user Yersinia.  There is also a key to the wider maps showing all of London here.

However, it seems an alternative path of destruction is being carried out by the London Metropolitan Archives, as all of this information is going to be digitally archived, and placed online.  “What could possibly be wrong with that?”, you may ask…  Well, all of the original data collected by the City of London would have been paid for by the people of London through taxation.  And the archives are going to be placed online by a private company called The Generations Network Inc., based in Utah, who run ancestry.co.uk.  But don’t worry because, as the City of London site helpfully points out:

We will provide free access to view the indexes and images through Ancestry.co.uk on the computer terminals in our public rooms.

I’ve just tried to access the ancestry.co.uk “shop”, and it seems that the privilege of viewing a birth certificate (for example) would cost me the rather spectacular sum of £20.  However, if I would like reprints on top of that, it will only cost me £10.  Bargain, I say.

Now, whilst I like the idea that Information screams to be free, I am painfully aware that bandwidth, servers, hosting, and archiving all costs money.  However, as mysociety has shown, there are much much better ways of achieving the same goals, without ripping off the people who funded the data collection in the first place.  The tide of euphoria around this idea in the US is quite astonishing at the moment, and this poster:

Code a Better Country

… should be required reading for whichever bureaucrat came up with the idea of selling our data off in £20 chunks.  For the geeks amongst you, this article  “Want to change the world?  Learn to Program” which was pointed out by O’Reilly (the blogger, not the builder in Fawlty Towers), is really good, and explains how Stimuluswatch.org was set-up in the US.

Further Reading:  Free Our Data.

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Blackheath in 3D, in Google Earth

All Saints Church Blackheath in 3D

I was trying out the new version of Google Earth, and noticed that All Saints Church now appears in 3D, if you enable the “3D Buildings” option. The Dome is also modelled, as is the London Eye, and other famous landmarks. It looks fairly simple to add your own models, using Google’s free Sketch Up software… I had a quick go at creating a 3D version of The Railway pub, as it is a simple shape – It needs a lot of improvement, but you get the general idea:

The Railway Pub, Blackheath in 3D

Try downloading the software, and perhaps between us, we can create the whole of Blackheath in 3D! Also, if you’re into planetary things, you must try the new Mars model inside Google Earth. See here for more info.

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Mysterious messages

Blackheath Geocaching Berocca Tube

UPDATE UPDATE:  The cache is back – perhaps it never left?

UPDATE:  The cache has been pinched – so don’t go looking for it right now.  I’ll replace it soon!

The Blackheath Bugle Geocache has been a great success, except for this cryptic report:

Found the cache easily enough and it’s good to be able to support a new cacher in the area. There are more logs in the cache than here on line and I think at least one of the logs was by a muggle due to the content of the comment.

Which is intriguing…  Have some grumpy teenagers written something rude in there?  I’ve been really busy recently, so I’m wondering what on earth has been scrawled in the log book!

If anyone else manages to find the cache, please take a photo of the log, and send it to me!

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Filed under blackheath, things to do