[OSM-talk] Fwd: [ordnancemaps] Modern mapping
richard at systemeD.net
Sun Oct 22 08:55:10 BST 2006
From the ordnancemaps mailing list - an interesting take on whether
the OS's eight zillion updates per minute actually impact on their
From: philipfry at farmline.com
Subject: [ordnancemaps] Modern mapping
Date: 22 October 2006 08:46:21 BDT
To: ordnancemaps at yahoogroups.co.uk
Recent mention regarding lack of recently updated editions of OS
1:50,000 and 1:25,000 paper maps, has set me thinking on that subject.
The 1:25,000 covering the East Bristol/Bath area, is still relying on
rural mapping which has not been revised for the past four decades.
This being an area I know well. But I get the impression this applies
to much other mapping at this scale. The 1:50,000's on the other hand
I would not fault as too lack of revision. Why the difference?
My surmise has been that buildings and other objects can be bodged at
the smaller scale, but need to be more accurately drawn at the
increased size. It being judged the extra effort not worth it. Pity,
because the map design is pleasing to my eye.
The upshot being that unless the paper falls apart, the map continues
in use. This used not to apply to the 1:50,000. Every fifteen or
twenty years, well worth replacing. Not only because of road
alterations. Walkers likewise could better rely on their accuracy.
Buildings in rural areas depicted as they ought to be, and more
I've no idea as to the effect of updating regarding sales of paper
maps. But in recent years other innovations could well be playing a
part in this. I'm thinking of such items as in car navigation,
something which I would not dream of obtaining - like most other CCS
members I imagine. However, vast numbers of road users do now rely on
these gadgets. Surely this must affect sales of paper maps? I am
wondering if these do have much of a future. Electronic displays would
be much easier to use surely? Coupled with the use of a very accurate
position indicator - Galileo should be in full use well inside a
couple of years, I surmise this could be the future for map usage.
Interesting to compare in this regard the policies of Ordnance Survey,
with that of the Hydrographic Office. Very early on they appear to
have licensed out information relating to the display of charts to
producers of electronic displays. Nowadays, electronic 'plotters' are
in universal use. But so also are charts in the 'old fashioned' paper
form. Good value I consider these too. £37.50 will buy a set of
perhaps 15 A2 sized charts covering say seventy miles of coastline.
And properly updated! For example; the new harbour at West Bay,
Bridport is already carefully drawn on both paper and electronic
charts. Based on my own experience, it will be quite some years before
OS gets round to showing this place as it should be.
I should be fair to OS however. My feeling is they are not being
allowed by "the powers that be" to operate in a similar financial
manner to that of the HO. But clearly they should be. Both operate an
almost identical public service, which is of immense importance to
this country. Financial value of these services cannot be quantified
to my mind. Must be worth a mint in tourist terms alone. In this
regard, the value of decent mapping can be judged, when one has to
drive out of a country, due to almost non existent direction signs,
coupled with hopeless mapping. I could manage without the former, but
most certainly not the latter!
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