I was very pleased to be asked to speak at the EDINA Geoforum 2019 event last week. The blurb said: ‘GeoForum is a free all day event aimed at lecturers, researchers and support staff who promote and support the use of geospatial data and services at their institution. Throughout the day we there will be talks and demonstrations to showcase recent geospatial developments at EDINA and opportunity to offer your feedback on the services we provide and discuss geospatial issues with the EDINA team.’
I was presenting on OpenStreetMap data, which has recently been added to the ‘Global’ layer of the Digimap portal. I gave it the full picture; OSM project history, my involvement, the data, and how it might be useful to university students in many disciplines. The presentation seemed to go well, generated a pleasing number of questions, and I didn’t fall off stage (as per the recent SoC/BCS conference disaster).
There were two outcomes for me from the day. Firstly, in one of the networking sessions I was told by the Getmapping representative that as well as releasing their aerial imagery via EDINA they would also consider releasing it to OpenStreetMap – I had mentioned that Bing, DigitalGlobe, Esri and Mapbox had done so with theirs. So, if anyone from the OSM core/foundation reads this get in touch with me and we can pursue it (I will also put a post on the OSM forum sometime soon).
Secondly, in the discussion session at the end of the day I made a rash statement that I would ‘offer to speak with university students about OpenStreetMap’, at a research forum or another appropriate occasion. I would like to think that like-minded people in the project will join me in this outreach idea, especially if the call comes the North, Midlands or far South-West, so as to reduce my travel. It would be good to get more students involved and meantime also increase the amount of detailed mapping coverage right across the country.
The event was held at the Lancaster House Hotel, which is attached to Lancaster University, and is a fine establishment. The suite I was provided with was top class, and not exceeded in my experience in recent times, probably since Alex Kent obtained a First Class upgrade for us both at the Windsor Atlantica for the International Cartographic Conference in 2015. This included the full treatment, champagne on arrival and a separate dining room!
Heads-up on what looks like a great night at the upcoming Keswick Mountain Festival in May. There is a talk and panel session on the Saturday night of the festival, with a great list of contributors (from top left in image: Steve Birkinshaw, Martin Stone, myself, Jasmin Paris and Billy Bland). Plus a showing of the film of Kilian Jornet recent BGR record. Tickets are likely to be snapped up, and are available at: https://www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk/speakers-2019/
I am pleased to have been asked by Due North Events to introduce (and MC the Q&A session) Damian Hall at an event in Penrith on Thursday 10 January. Judging by what I know of ‘Ultra Damo’ and by the title of his talk – ‘A Midlife Crisis, a Toilet and the Power Sob: what running long distances in lumpy places has taught me about life, the universe and everything’ – this should be a fascinating evening. Tickets are available from this link, or just rock up on the night and pay.
I am planning some more talking events for the rest of 2019 as well, so if you would like me to present my thoughts on fell running, and its characters, at your festival, running club, race, book club, social event, or wedding, then please contact me. The topic could be linked to any of my three books.
As FRA members await the arrival of the Winter 2018 Fellrunner magazine I will just give a reminder of a piece I wrote for the Spring issue, entitled ‘I wasn’t the best by any means, but I was a tryer’. It is a report of an evening event organised by Due North Events in which Billy Bland and I shared a stage to take questions from a full house in the Skiddaw Hotel.
It was a fascinating evening and the four page report, in full, can be downloaded [PDF file].
Xmas present(s) still needed? Splashmaps have a personalised map offer, which can be taken up until 6pm on 16th December, to be delivered in the UK by Christmas, and with a 10% discount code, due to work I have done with them (on their Bob Graham Round map).
Click the linked image and then use the code steve8 to claim 10% discount.
Personalised SplashMaps are
• Centred anywhere (world wide!)
• Given a personal title
• Printed on weatherproof washable fabric
• Stuffable/ virtually indestructible
There is a terrific double bill at the Buxton Adventure Festival this coming Tuesday (13th Nov). It will feature two top fell runners, Colin Donnelly (Cambuslang) and Judith Jepson (Dark Peak). TICKETS AVAILABLE
Colin will talk about his record-breaking running career, as well as showing a short award-winning film of his Welsh 3,000s run. I will be interviewing him on stage, talking (amongst other things) about his Buckden Pike race record (not beaten since 1988), solo Bob Graham Round, three British Fell Championship wins, and his amazing career longevity (he is still in contention in races as he runs strongly in his mid-50s, and was second in the World Mountain Running champs last year for over 55s).
Now, I have written about some keen trainers in my books, and Colin has always been something of an obsessive about getting the training in. Jonny Muir records these feats in an exchange with him in his excellent book ‘The Mountains are Calling’:
Colin once said in an interview he sought to climb a cumulative 365,000 feet every year. The maths is staggering. That figure (or 110 000 metres) amounts to 9,200 metres every month. ‘Is that true?’ I ask. He nodded. ‘The whole idea is to get 1,000 feet (300 metres) a day ……… I keep logs and some years there have been getting towards 500,000’
Colin has an incredible range of achievements, of which the following are just a few:
- He won the Ben Nevis race at his first attempt – as a teenager (image above)
- He won the British Fell Running Championships three consecutive times from 1987 to 1989
- In 1986 he had another victory at Ben Nevis in one of the fastest times ever recorded for the race, and in 1988 he won the Snowdon Race
- Also in 1988, he set a still-standing record for the traverse of the Welsh 3000s with a time of 4:19 and he has won the Welsh 1000 m Peaks Race several times.
- Donnelly finished second in the short race at the World Mountain Running Trophy in 1989 and as a vet he won the over-40 title at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in 2001.
- He still holds the course records for the Buckden Pike Race, set in 1988, and the Shelf Moor Race, set in 1989.
- He continued to win races as late as 2017, thirty-eight years after his first Ben Nevis win.
- He has completed the Bob Graham, Paddy Buckley and Ramsay Rounds, as well as the Scottish 4,000ers, South Wales 2,000ers traverse, the Manx 1,000ers and the Nant Gwrtherin to Conwy Traverse.
- He’s competed the Munros, Donalds, Corbetts and Wainrights (not all at once).
- He is currently (2018) the UK Cross Country campion for the 55-60 age group.
Judith Jepson is multiple times British and English Vet Fellrunning Champion. Her talk will a light hearted and motivating account of her life and running career, with her philosophy being that anyone can do it and have lots of fun on the way.
I will also have a few of all three of my fell running books (which all have more on Colin Donnelly) for sale, so do come and see me if interested in a signed copy of any of them.
I have been working with Splashmaps, and can now offer a 10% discount code to readers of this blog – which is valid for ALL Splashmaps products.
One of the best-selling products (5th on their list at the last count) has been the Bob Graham Round Map. Full details of the map can be seen at: https://www.splash-maps.com/shop/lake-district-bob-graham-round/?ref=457. Ordering from this link will give you 10% discount if you add steve8 in the coupon box on the ‘Cart’ page. In fact, add that code in for ANY of Splashmaps products you wish to purchase and you will get 10% discount (let me know if it doesn’t work).
About the Bob Graham Round map
Like all Splashmaps products it is wearable and washable. It has a combination of Ordnance Survey and OpenStreetMap data, with an overprint that clearly shows the 42 peaks, plus the normal circular route of the round, plus variants, at the 1:40,00 scale.
For more details of the Bob Graham Round see: The Round: in Bob Graham’s footsteps. There is also a freely usable (with due credit) black and white Bob Graham Round map included within the book which is freely copiable and available in PDF format from my Resources page. The map data is from the OpenStreetMap project and is released under an ODBL licence.