Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Anyway, nothing exciting happens

Over the years I've become fairly adept at scheduling work so that I normally deliver stuff on time, and keep the pressure of deadlines at a manageable level, without having too many gaps where there is not enough to do. Sometimes plans fall apart though, and when a gap opens up I try to catch up on paperwork. Monday was like that, and by Tuesday morning I had a small pile of documents waiting to be posted.

As it was such a beautiful day on Tuesday and things were still quiet I thought I might as well get the bike out and deliver them myself. If I'd just done that it would have involved a round trip of twenty miles or so. In the event the trip seemed to extend naturally into the south end of the Chilterns. On the way back I ended up mapping a residential area that is one of the bigger gaps in the local coverage of Open Street Map. By the time I got home I had covered about 40 miles.

Somebody has described the remaining thin bits of OSM as the "ugly places", which is a little bit unkind, but not entirely untrue. The area I added yesterday was mainly 1960's semi-detached suburbia. I imagine it is a pleasant place to live, but I wouldn't normally go out of my way to visit. The main problems for mapping on the bike were that it was quite hilly, and quite a complicated street pattern. The hills are good exercise for the leg muscles. But when I got home and plotted it all I realised that I had missed a few streets.

It was all a bit reminiscent of the "maze of twisty little passages" in the early time-sharing computer adventure games. I had the same feeling of not quite being sure whether I had already explored a particular route. Along with the same feeling that I really should be working instead of messing about.

"Rubbing the electric lamp is not particularly rewarding. Anyway, nothing exciting happens".

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