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!
The launch of the paperback version of ‘It’s a hill, get over it’ went very well on Saturday evening. There was a good number of people there, and a good few books were signed and sold. Thanks a million to Lucy of Bookends for bringing the books (they only came a day or so beforehand) and dealing with sales of books (and tickets), and to Andy of Saddleback Cafe for use of the venue and the superb catering. After working the crowd – oh, steady on – I said a few words about the gestation of the book, my motivation for writing, and a couple of fell running stories, concluding (according to of one of my friends FB account) by saying ‘some inspirational words of wisdom…run more fells and follow your creative dreams into practice – don’t just dream it – do it!’.
In the afternoon I had met with Steve Birkinshaw and we had a long chat about his BGR for my next book. We were also discussing the way we are going to approach our ‘double act’ together at the Buxton Adventure Festival. If you want to hear the background to his amazing Wainwrights 6-day effort do come along to the session next month. It was especially good that he was able to come to the launch as well, particularly as he was competing in the Mountain Trial the next day.
I had also invited Kenny and Pauline Stuart to the launch and was SO pleased to see them there, as they had given a fabulous interview for the book, and couldn’t have been more helpful to me, providing some great photos of their career highlights that are in the book as well.
The book is officially published on 18 September, but is already available online, and from good bookshops. Both Bookends shops in Keswick and Carlisle, and Sam Read in Grasmere have signed copies available so please consider using these excellent shops. It is also available at Third Step Books website and from their popup shop at fell races.
As you may have noticed in the first photo I also managed some fairly unsubtle product placement for the BGR map I have recently been working on. This is produced by Splashmaps and is a wearable/washable fabric printed map, based on OS Open Data and OpenStreetMap (data which is behind the maps in the book), showing very clearly the route details of the Bob Graham Round. It is available in good sports/book shops, or can be ordered online – use code steve8 to get a 10% discount at the checkout.