Saturday, 29 November 2008
Friday, 28 November 2008
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Monday, 24 November 2008
However, looking at the statistics, Genderanalyser only seems to be marginally more accurate than a random guess would be. Perhaps it will improve over time.
(FWIW, Genderanalyser reckons that it is produced by an 85% man)
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
According to the latest figures released by the Department for Transport there are about 4,100 km of road in Berkshire (including Bracknell, Reading, Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead and Wokingham).
I have been playing around with the OSM database, and I reckon that about 4,300 km of Berkshire roads have been mapped on OSM. At first sight, that looks pretty good. However, in areas that have been intensively mapped on OSM (like Edinburgh and Brighton) the length of roads on OSM is more than 50% higher than the figures that the DfT publishes.
All of this is a bit rough and ready, but I'm guessing that the detailed geometry needed for the OSM map includes squiggles that the DfT doesn't count, which results in a higher figure for the length of a road. I can see no reason why the extra squiggles round here should be different from anywhere else, so as a rough guesstimate, perhaps a third of the roads in Berkshire are still waiting to be added to the map.
That's about the same as Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Hampshire. It's slightly better than average for all areas of the UK that I have been able to extract.
If I am going to help improve the coverage of Berkshire, the trick is to find the remaining gaps. And from a selfish point of view, to find holes in the map that I can comfortably reach on the bike, and that promise a reasonably interesting outing.
Today I went hunting round Hurst, near Twyford, which was looking a bit thin, and I found quite a few gaps which I have now traced and added.
There are lots of quiet little lanes round there, and although it is close to the motorway, the area is pleasant enough. The landscape is a bit flat and uninteresting, but at least the lack of hills meant that I could keep up a decent pace. I needed to keep on the move today, because despite the sun, the wind was pretty cold. I hadn't been able to find my gloves when I was collecting all my stuff together, so by mid-afternoon I was getting uncomfortably cold, and I started to head back . About 5 miles from home, I realised that the reason I couldn't find my gloves was that they were in the pannier bag, on the back of the bike. So at least the last five miles was more comfortable.
In the end I had covered 35 miles, filled a bit of a hole in OSM, explored an area that I had never visited before, and discovered this old Cyclist Touring Club plaque on the pub in Hurst.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Scary reaction, but I'm afraid that it's a bit too late for a career change now.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Away from parents collecting their children from school there was very little traffic on the roads, and apart from quite a strong wind, I couldn't have asked for better weather. The view from Winter Hill in the afternoon sun was particularly lovely.
Unfortunately I didn't have a camera with me, so instead, as compensation, here is Stanley Spencer's boisterous painting of Cows on Cookham Moor, which is in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford. Spencer was born and lived in Cookham. The local gallery re-opened recently, and I really ought to try and fit in another visit. But for today an hour in the fresh air, the sight of hawks circling over Winter Hill, and real cows grazing on Widbrook Common will do me very well.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Sunday, 2 November 2008
It turned out to be a good plan.
Usually I don't do too badly finding my way around, but for some reason, I seem to have a bit of a mental block about this part of Berkshire. I have got myself lost a few times and followed some unneccessarily convoluted routes. I regularly come to junctions where I expect to turn in one direction, but the road signs point in the other.
Today, a bit of confusion worked to my advantage. I discovered some lovely little lanes, where horses were the only other traffic. With the GPS I managed to trace a few of them (lanes, not horses) and add them to Open Street Map.
What's more, I kept surprising myself by coming across stretches of road that were familiar from previous outings, including the one to the church in Warfield. So now I should be able to piece together the jigsaw in my mind a bit better, and I ought to feel more confident about finding my way around. Time, and future trips will tell whether I am kidding myself.