Tuesday, September 05, 2006

2005-11-05 Greenwich 001I know it was an exercise in time-wasting to add more photographs to the Flickr map thing, but I didn't think it actually would be quite the waste it seems to be. Not only have Yahoo-Flickr* managed to fail to include streetmap data for anywhere I've looked at so far which is outside London, but a large part of the time the satellite data is poor resolution and offset in comparison to the map dataset [find Guernsey, click 'Hybrid']. Which is a great thing to discover once has diligently added photographs to the right location by alt-tabbing between Google Maps satellite data and the splodges of Yahoo-Flickr (thank God that years of Scout night-hikes have made me an expect in distinguishing the near indistinguishable when assessing landscapes).

*So called after the tendency of the map data to hyphenate neighbouring places so two villages become an entity as meaningless as Paddington-Waterloo. It also has the by now traditional computer map flaw of hideously mangling levels of importance, and thus picking the name of an obscure hamlet** in preference to places with a population over 100,000. As someone raised on Ordinance Survey maps I find it almost offensive when the map can't even be bothered to complete the course of a river, leaving it to end drought-ridden like a derelict canal, or when the map disdeigns to attempt fairly large islands (the coast does look like it was drawn by someone shaking a mouse; as long as it's uneven, it'll look about right. It's as if they drew a line between endpoints and then added noise to authenticate it, like a student mocking up results after their experiment catches fire***).

** Which if one looks closely is drifting in a grey, featureless land, miles from the nearest marked road, river or railway (although this could simply be to avoid covering the relevant feature by placing the name at far remove; the word 'Bosham' is halfway to West Itchenor). And I mean obscure, as it has even me asking 'where?' of an area I know, down to the names of sub-hamlets that feature on no map, and are nothing more than a house, a telegraph pole and a converted stable block (and possibly just an invention of the residents [I think this friend's parents really wanted their address to be ex-directory]).

*** I haven't, but I know someone who has. I never did figure out how they got the duckweed to catch. Anyway, if you're going to fake results, fake them based on the wrong baseline, so make it look exponential when it's supposed to be proportional, then have a merry old time trying to explain it.

I do find it slightly ridiculous that I can differentiate between parts of a churchyard in Antigua on the Yahoo-Flickr map, yet in most other places have to settle for somewhere in the parish [hopefully].

Oh, and of course the comment last time about not being able to tagsearch areas of the map was completely erroneous, as I'd managed to overlook the very obvious searchbox.

So, um, I've added more to my Flickr map, although if they ever improve the data, most of them will be in the wrong place. But maybe the indistinct fuzziness is comforting given that Baghdad, Beirut and Kabul are all shown at the maximum resolution. Tehran incidentally is not.


Autocommenting is probably not good, but I can't bothered to do a third post on the subject.

The streetmap thing was obviously nonsense induced by simultaneously using Flickr, GMaps and my A-Z. The Yahoo map data for London contains enough copyright protecting quirks to render it near unrecognisable. Of particular interest is the railway which runs through Buckingham Palace (and no, it's not the Victoria Line). It's all an outstanding advert for the prowess of Navteq (read: no wonder it sends people over cliffs).

Just to complete the miniblog - words for the day:

That better be it as I'm tired enough and busy enough to start cooking like my brother (stirfry because it's quick; mainly consisting of carrots because it's what I have).

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