Monthly Archives: May 2008

Look ma, no hands!

It’s becoming more and more widely accepted within OpenStreetMap that what we call ‘routes’ are best described with relations, instead of tagging the ways. It means that we can have two routes sharing the same stretch of road without any conflicts over numbering and so on. It’s become well established in cycle-tagging, but I’m interested to see if it works elsewhere in different contexts.

During the first May bank-holiday weekend Dave and I scratched an itch that had been bothering me for a while. There are a few long distance paths through London, and the two that I’ve frequently come across are the Capital Ring and the London Loop, but we’d made no effort to join up the bits we had spotted. We set off to find the route of the Capital Ring from Wimbledon Common to Wimbledon Park, and accidently ended up following it all the way to Woolwich on the other side of the city.

So combining both the relations contexts and the Capital Ring expedition led me to try to render them, to see if it works. And it pretty much does. Dave had been tagging some bus routes during the development of Potlatch’s relations handling code so I rendered them too. And lo and behold, other people have been doing the same here and there.

London overview (click the picture, then the all sizes link to see it in full):
bus and ldp demo

Around Earlsfield:
Capital Ring through Earlsfield

Bus routes around Wandsworth:
Wandsworth Buses

And the title of the post? Well, it’s not only that I was practising my (currently abysmal) cycling skills, it’s also what I say when I’m experimenting without having thought things through beforehand. No prizes for spotting which map I ripped off for the style sheets! Currently I don’t have any plans for making this a full service like the cycle map, which is still my main focus.

Hill Shade Teaser

Time for another glimpse behind the scenes in the Cycle Map development!

Hill Shade Teaser

Elevation colouring! Hill Shading! How cool is that? (N.B. If you ever hear me asking, then the answer is one of ‘very’ and ‘awesome’. ‘Meh’ is a valid response, but don’t let me hear you saying it!)

Now for all the OSM types there’s a few caveats. The last time I posted a teaser (for contours) it took me six months to get things working properly. And there’s plenty of things need fixing before the hillshading will go live, like some resolution issues, tiling issues, a minor problem involving the ocean shapefiles and so on – never mind choosing some colours that are a bit more subtle. So be patient!