So, the Regent’s Canal has a new bridge across it – the Meath Bridge, connecting Meath Gardens in Bethnal Green, to Mile End Park in Bow, opened this morning. It was built partly with funds from the Sustrans Connect2 award – as one of the 70 or so projects in the scheme, that won the BIG Lottery fund TV competition at the end of 2007.
The bridge isn’t quite as useful as it could be, as an east-west link, because both the approaches to it are from a northerly direction – the eastern access ramp curves north to avoid the access road to Mile End Climbing Wall, and the western access ramp curves slightly north to avoid the new housing development on the south side of Meath Gardens. In fact it’s probably most useful for getting from Stepney Green to Victoria Park (i.e. a SW-NE link). Still, it’s a nice crossing to have, and in orienteering terms is particularly exciting, because it will allow future orienteering events in Mile End Park to easily include Meath Gardens, significantly increasing the “green” area of the map. Now, if only the link under the railway bridge to Queen Mary University could be opened…
My GPS didn’t acquire a good signal for the first couple of km, so I recreated my route using the following:
Using Bike Route Toaster I drew my course out. Important – the Data setting *must* be first set to “OSM”, to ensure you don’t inadvertently introduce copyrighted mapping data to the OSM project. You will probably also want to set the By setting to “Foot”, the map view at the top to “Street”, and toggle on/off the Auto-Routing option when you encounter paths not on the map.
I then downloaded it as a GPX file, using the link on the website in the Download panel.
I uploaded the GPX file as a trace into the OpenStreetMap project’s website (you need to be logged in to do this) and marked it as a public trace. The resulting tracklog number was noted down.
I went to OJW’s Static Maps website and set up the map, panning, zooming and resizing it as appropriate, entering the tracklog number, and adding a point to show the start/finish.
One caveat is that the trackpoints only appear where you pass junctions or other nodes on the OSM mapping data – the Static Maps process doesn’t join the dots.
An easier process is to use the OSM WordPress plugin – if you have it, and WordPress, and don’t mind having a dynamic map in your post:
(N.B. I’ve hacked the plugin to pull in map images from the new OOC OSM server of historic Ordnance Survey maps.)
I ran in a rather unusual orienteering event yesterday – a maze cut in a field of maize. It was the Maize Maze-O Challenge, taking place at the National Forest Maize Maze in the Midlands and organised by Stodgetta of WCH. I’d never heard of maize mazes before, but there are several throughout England. They generally have a new design each year, the crop is planted, the pathways have their crop removed, the field grows and the maize appears, before being cut down for animal feed at the beginning of October.
The format of the race was two qualifying runs, both less than a kilometre straight-line but well over 2km by the shortest path. These were in the afternoon, there was then a pause while the sun went down (and the competitors took advantage of the local catering – burgers from cows fed on last year’s maize) and then the finals – in the dark! A first at night-orienteering for me, but I just about made it around, along with around 100 other connoisseurs of unusual orienteering races!
The map and pic (of Mike G from SLOW entering the maize maze for the night final) is on the WCH website. The GPS trace is of my night final route.