Monthly Archives: December 2007

Cycle Map – 6th December

Last weekend I finally got a chance to work on the rendering styles for the cycle map. The major work was to realign with the recent developments on the main OpenStreetMap style, as well as adding a few new cycle-specific features. Worthy of note:

  • Cycle shops. Evan’s Cycles in Wandsworth is where I’ve spent more money than sense over the last year, so it now gets pride of place and a special mention here. There’s a total of 50 bike shops in the database now that shop = bicycle has been decided on.
  • NCN Mileposts. For those who haven’t seen them, there are mileposts scattered around the National Cycle Network. Gregory Williams has been mapping (and photographing them for a while now, and his efforts are rewarded by seeing all 83 of them on the cycle map. Each of the four types has its own icon!
  • Improved railways. Perhaps the most noticeable of the non-cycle updates, railways have had a major update thanks to the improvements on the main maps – tunnels are taken into consideration, for a start, but also more subtle greys instead of blacks. Areas like Camden look much better.

For a while I’d been giving updates on new cycle routes being added, but that was back in the days when I could spot the weekly additions on a somewhat sparser map! Personally, this week I’ve added a stretch of the NCN 61 from Slough to Uxbridge, added more un-numbered London Cycle Network routes in Roehampton and West Putney and fixed up the NCN 22 through Wandsworth. The latter is interesting due to the appalling signing of the route – the “Wandle Trail” forms part of the NCN 22 and the LCN 24, and I think there’s about one correct sign between Wandsworth and Carshalton – most of them mistakenly have “24″ in the NCN signage! Dave bumped into someone from Sustrans who was going to be sorting this out, but I’ve no idea how far they’ve got since we cycled it a few months ago.

In related news, Cambridge Cycle Campaign have just published a City Centre cycle map using OpenStreetMap data. It’s given me a few ideas for adding things to my cycle map – you compare this with the equivalent area of Cambridge.

I’ll also be at the OSM Christmas Party tomorrow night!

Reuse and Prosper

So my cycle map here on Gravitystorm isn’t likely to become the world’s one stop cycle website any time soon. I don’t have the time, and I certainly don’t have the skills, to add all the bells and whistles to attract megathousands of pagehits per day. So what’s the long term strategy?

Who knows? Not me anyway! For now, I’m going to continue to work on the cycle tiles, making them look better, showing more useful things that cyclists might be interested in – eagle-eyed observers would have noticed one of the first changes I made was to show pubs at many more zoom levels! There’s plenty of things in the pipeline in this area.

One of the main beneficiaries of the cycle map is the OpenStreetMap project itself, since it acts as a great demonstration as to the possibilities of specialist cartography – something that’s just not possible with layering more and more objects over the top of a google map. But the best way for cyclists to benefit is for their own, specialist websites to swap google for OSM. The first two websites to reuse my tiles are Bonius.com, and the excellent Camden Cycle Campaign website, where the OSM cycle tiles are an optional backdrop. Hopefully the coverage of the cycle data in central and north London will rapidly expand – if we can do that, I think we can persuade the CCC to use our OSM tiles as the default layer!

So if any of you reading this know of other websites that could benefit from better cycle maps, then let me know. I can already think of one mountain biking route map (like the link, Gary?) that would be ten times better if it could show nearby pubs!