[OSM-talk] Survey: notebooks

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Sun Aug 12 17:37:01 BST 2007

Mike Collinson wrote:

> I first started using a notebook with a system of symbols for every  
> time I turned left/right, U-turned, hit dead ends and recorded  
> street names and also POIs where I could mark them with a track  
> circle (my original GPS device did not record waypoints).  It is a  
> good legal record to show that the data was collected and not  
> copied and has the advantage that my handwriting is total illegible  
> to lawyers, :-).  Good on foot but slow on a bicycle as you have to  
> retrieve the notebook, retrieve a pencil and it is fiddle to open  
> the notebook even if bookmarked.  In a car, even I cannot  
> understand my own handwriting.

I draw a rough map as I go along:
(actually, that's Anna's rather than mine, but I do the same)

If there's a street name too long to fit on the map, I put '(1)' and  
then gloss that in the corner. I then use dotted lines for footpaths,  
little abbreviations like 'ns' for "not surveyed" (i.e. cycled up one  
end and another of a road, didn't actually do the bit in the middle,  
but can see that they join up), and so on. Mikel suggested using a  
four-colour biro, which would be an excellent refinement.

Generally, rather than a notebook, I'll use a piece of A4 folded over  
into A6, with a biro clipped to it; and file these all in the same  
place. If I'm cycling around a housing estate with lots of little  
turns, I'll keep this in hand rather than putting it back in my pocket.

The PDA/camera approach has some attractions, but I'm waiting for the  
great all-in-one convergence device before adopting it. ;)


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