Category Archives: Mapping

Curious – Me?

What would you add?

Suffolk is in the news for the most curious of reasons. [For the ITV news item take a look here] The gist of the story is that Condiment working with Visit Suffolk have come up with the title The Curious County as part of a campaign to attract visitors to the county.  When I first heard about it over the weekend I liked the idea, Suffolk is so much more than Beach Huts, Tractor boys, bucolic scenery and Newmarket racing (not that there is anything wrong with any of those) ~ but you do have to lift up the rug to find what’s under there.  As the battle between the reported views of the MPs ‘Dangerous – got to go – negative, idiotic’ and a significant chunk of the twitter community who are #proudtobecurious I was getting ready to pen a letter to the EADT, the MPs or some other body. Then I decided don’t shout, show.  So if you click the picture above or below it will take you to my particular take on Suffolk The Curious County, an ever growing Pinterest board of the things I find make me curious in Suffolk.

What would you add?


Bubble-Stack-Draw-Swim-Carry On – Five Fun Apps

Time for a little review of five fun applications for the i-Phone; igobubble, Stack the CountriesDraw Something, Splash Path, Keep Calm and Carry On.



The first, igobubble is very new and certainly underused in the area where I live. I love the concept, it combines some of the features of geocaching and social networking but adds more besides.

The basic idea is that you create a video, message or photograph, edit if you wish and release it as a bubble. Other igobubblers can, once they are physically close enough, capture it and if they chose clone, take on a journey, inflate or deflate it as well as add comments. You can track bubbles you have created or interacted with.

One of the smartest things is that once released you can not guarantee what happens next, rather like releasing trackables for geocachers, you might ask that something happens but you can’t guarantee it.

I’ve released a few in wild and woolly areas of Suffolk, these may never be found. A couple of shots are of detritus thrown from cars, with “Don’t be a Tosser” on them in tribute to @MarkGlennMurphy and his anti-litter campaign. Also some in Ipswich, which lovely @easternsparkle has collected and I’ve bagged some of her’s which I’ll drop somewhere. I’ve also set up and will continue to add, a series called ‘Where in Framlingham’ some are straightforward, shots of the castle, college and town sign some are more obscure like the one below, which I hope people might see as a treasure trail (@DancingGoatFram might be able to help you with this one).

I really like this app, I love the graphics, actions and ideas behind it and I really hope it takes off. It could be used for anything from just releasing nice thoughts, videos or snaps (uses aviary for photo editing on the move too), to campaigning and a little social theory testing, it is quite intriguing.  The only downside for me at the moment is rather like being the only person with a cocoa tin and a piece of string there are very few local users and with poor signal strength in our rural patch uploads take ages.

Stack the Countries

This is a nice simple game, multiple choice, identify countries.  They are released and stack up, once you reach the target you win a country. A great little diversionary app and if it means I do better on geography and flag identification questions at quizzes I’ll be happy.

I like this app, it’s a bit of fun. I’m slightly suspicious that a few of the countries are a bit smooth (as if not properly mapped) but it is only a very few, hopefully they’ll sort them out later.

Draw Something

I probably don’t need to say anything about this one; it feels like everybody is playing it.  Basically Pictionary meets hangman – draw sketches others to guess what they are, earn coins to buy extra colours and bombs to make the guessing easier. It is easy, addictive and improves my drawing not a jot. I’m using the free version and it seems the vocabulary bank is a bit limited, so once you have seen a word before it is likely to come up again in future games.  Occasionally games become corrupted, like the one below and the available letters do not form the word being guessed but it is easy to delete the game and start again.


Splash Path

One for swimmers who like to log their miles in an entertaining way. Just type in the name of your pool; easy for public pools – I’m logging as Stradbroke in Splash Path but actually swimming in Framlingham Pool as not listed. I’m currently ‘swimming’ the Loch Ness challenge.  Sadly the college pool was closed for a while so I’m in danger of having my toes bitten by Nessie.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Such a simple app to finish with – create your own Keep Calm and Carry On style posters and share, the only limit is how clever you are with your ideas and the range of logos.

I hope you enjoy them……..

Eighth Day – the maids are on their break

Happy New Year

It was a bit of a heavy night last night and the poor maids had to be up early milking.  So they are off on their break now. Assuming everyone is also hung over, what they need is comfort food; something that goes right to their roots, home spun and soothing.

I wish to create a map of local delicacies, those things that just don’t exist elsewhere.  Here in this bit of Suffolk I guess it would be rusks.  Where I grew up it would be lardy cake.  So what food and where did it originate from would you recommend for the milk maids?  I will create a map, lets see if we can cover it with comfort eating.

The playlist for today is here

Your game of the day is deceptively simple yet…… well try it and you’ll see here

And finally the Russian Roulette Question:

Sarah Nelmes milked Blossom – why were they important?

If you are new to this, a brief explanation.  The #12DCP is a virtual Christmas party.  A post a day will appear on the Grethica.  You respond by way of comments.  Each comment creates an entry into my prize draw, for a money can’t buy prize (because it’s mostly stuff that’s been given away by others).  The Russian Roulette questions are quiz style questions, the comments you leave to those will be posted at the end of the 12 DCP.  However the danger with a Russian roulette quiz is that if you answer a question wrong – all of your answers become null and void.  The good news is though you have time to go back and post answers to previous days, right up to the end of the 12th day.

Enjoy – thanks to those that have taken part so far… keep up the good work

Spent – Over the Rainbow – Illustration Friday

The topic for Illustration Friday last week was ‘Spent’, I was away so have only just completed the IF. The little figures are cut outs from copies of English ten and twenty pound notes. Don’t worry no money was harmed in the making of this picture. I had in mind the spent athlete at the end of a long run, but also that we as a nation and others seem to be spent at the moment; chasing for the pot of gold at the end of the mythical rainbow has left nothing in our reserves. So like athletes are we exhausted yet exhilarated, or will this be our last marathon?

The picture also links to a Twitter discussion about mnemonics and how people remember the colours of the rainbow. I learnt “Richard of York Gained Battles in Vain” and never questioned that there were other versions. It seems many learned that Richard ‘gave battle’.  Others learnt the ‘I can sing a rainbow song’; this is a worry as it has pink and no indigo.  Top marks go to John Peel via @martincampbell2: who apparently learnt “Virgin in bed get your organ ready”.

Click on the map below to go to the version with detailed tags

And HERE is a Spotify playlist to go with this post, including the dreaded rainbow song, guaranteed to help you unlearn the colours of the rainbow.


There is a new craze doing the rounds of Twitter; daily papers created from the links people tweet to your account.  You create the paper at a site called  At first I wasn’t very inspired by the concept, but then I received a link to Nick Shore’s Suffolk paper and quite liked the idea.  So turn on your Spotify, turn up the sounds on the playlist and sit down to my version of the Sundailies.  The Sundailies are all the Sunday supplements in one place, updated daily.  For me an easy was to summarise hat has been going on in my bit of the Twitterverse whilst my back has been turned.  As these are links they will update each day.

First the Vivia daily – the top news stories across the whole of my timeline today

Then local news in the Suffolk Daily – I hold great hope that one day Felixstowe Port will tweet ”

QUINQUIREME of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine


A little sports news from the Swimmy-types and the Cyclists

Then on to lighter topics The clebs are all in the-A-Z-list section

A bit from the arty-crafty and foodie types

News from abroad in the Italy section and then the mostly-green-gardens

For the moment I can not create; news-sport-tech, maps-and-that, writerly or news from the librarians as the limit is 10 papers, but I will as soon as the limit is increased.

In the meantime I leave you with the dfaolbilts section – it is likely to be quite random -dfaolbilts stands for “don’t fit any other lists but I like their style”- enjoy


Missing presumed lost ……. without a map

Following yesterday’s move to the brave new world of WordPress I have encountered a few problems.  The first is that the maps I had created during the 12 Days of Christmas have not travelled over.  Despite going back in and re-entering the html code they still do not appear. At the moment this is the best I can do:

The Pub Cricket Map

The Dap Map

The Sixth Day of Christmas – Wither Shall I Wander, Up Tyley’s Bottom? – I would like a Dap Map

On the sixth day of Christmas we have six geese a laying. My thoughts went to goosy, goosy gander and wandering. One of my fascinations is anything to do with maps and walking, discovering, treasure hunting and map related puzzles. My present to you this sixth day is a collection of links to map related quests, so arm yourself with your post code, map co-ordinates or GPS info and see what you learn about your area: (Health warning, if you are easily distracted, make a cup of tea now and if you have Spotify click here for the playlist, you may be here some time)

MapZone – breaking you in gently, this is an interactive resource aimed at children from Ordnance Survey but so fabulous, map jigsaws to match county and country maps; the squirrel’s nuts (takes me back to Day 1), crosswords and so much more.

Ordnance Survey select – create your own paper map with your home at its centre.

Geograph – The Geograph British Isles project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland and you can be part of it.  Take a photo, submit it and if they like it, your photo will become part of the database.  Beware their standards can be quite exacting.
Ordnance Survey Explore – find routes, create and share routes. Here is a special present from me, a walk for anyone with strong legs and time in the Cotswolds. Called ‘Up Tyley’s Bottom’, which is funny enough, but for some who read this might be even funnier.

Bench – Marks – now if ever a geek award was to be offered for things map related this would have to be a suitable candidate. Small brackets attached to buildings such as schools and churches, find them, log them, their condition etc. At the time of writing The database contains13,000 non-pillar flush brackets, consisting of 2,947 2GL brackets, 5,143 S-series,4,893 G-series, 16 L-series, and 1 other

Geocaching – The hiding of small boxes, marking them with GPS co-ordinates, setting clues and tracking their contents as they move around the globe. I love this stuff, really anoraky, embarrasses the children; ticks all the boxes actually.

Land Registry – Not so much a game of hide and seek, unless of course you are interested in arguing about ownership, boundaries etc. It is amazing how much information is held and publically available at little or no price.

Then of course there are a host of others for example Weather maps, Flood Maps, Public Health

For the iphone there are a huge range of map related Apps, my favourites so far are geocaching, MapMyRide GBLocate and PhotoOverlay.

Adding maps to blogs and websites – I have yet to perfect this but you can use Get-a-map and OSOpenspace – one of my New Year’s Resolutions will be about mastering that lot.

By the way the most ‘boring square’ in the UK maps is at Ousefleet, in the 1:50 000 scale map, just below the word Ousefleet is a square with just a tiny bit of pylon line. Here it is:

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

All of this and I haven’t even touched on Google Maps and mashables; if you’ve got the rest of your life to do nothing else, work your way through this lot…..

And if you are stuck in 20 feet of snow and want a little something to read I recommend Map Addict by Mike Parker

My quest for you all, in the last 24 hours I have been much exercised by those little black or white shoes; with or without laces that were essential wear for PE at school. I would quite like to map what they are called in different parts of the country. I went to school in the South Cotswolds and called them daps. Where did you go and what were they called? I would like to create a Dap Map!

Oh and one other thing, would you like to add yourself to the visitors map on the right there? Thanks.

For those that are still following the legs quest another 32 arrived today; so far 92 have been delivered.

And……. drum roll……… here it is so far…The Dap Map

The North Wind Doth Blow – The World in the Middle of December – White Wine in the Sun anyone?

When I started my blog back in Mid May, I wasn’t sure if I would a) keep it up and b) find a voice. In the meantime I have wittered on about all sorts of things, quite a lot of food, but all sorts of other stuff too, see the index of sorts on the right. The common theme tends to be the passing of the seasons. This time of year always finds me reflective, probably writing the Christmas letter has something to do with it. Certainly when I wrote the 2008 letter I did not expect to decide on a complete job change; a lot has happened this year. One of the pleasing sides of blogging is seeing that people choose to view the blog from around the globe. The map above is the analytics for the blog since it started. Not surprisingly mostly from English speaking countries and parts of Europe where I already have friends or family; but plenty of other places too. The one thing I haven’t written much about is my love of all things map related, so one of my 12 days of Christmas blogs will redress that. In the meantime if you are keen on maps, mapping and cycling this is your official invite to join the 12 Days of Christmas Party #12DCP.

The wind is whistling around our house at the moment driving icy blasts from the North and we have had intermittent slow flurries today and yesterday with a severe weather warning for tonight and tomorrow. The complete opposite to the Tim Minchin White Wine in the Sun Christmas, he is attempting to challenge the x factor et al songs for the top spot – see what you think.

Spotify link for the post (doesn’t include the Minchin) here – list in words in first comment.

Pub Quiz – Round 3, Seek and Ye Shall Find, in which……

..the questions are based on maps, mapping and directions. Remember this quiz was set for Saxtead Old Mill House, a pub in Suffolk. For the last three questions people were given a printed picture, I will try to set up links to the original sites; which will make your job very easy!


What do the letters GPS stand for?


An international treasure seeking game where participants track down hidden treasures based on their GPS co-ordinates is known by what name taken from the words for earth and a hidden storage space


What is the name for the medieval map kept in Hereford Cathedral?


Harry Beck designed a simplified topographical map of where?


Dava Sobel wrote a book with the sub title The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time; what was it called?


This hobby is reputed to have begun in South West England in 1854 when a Victorian gentleman named James Perrott hid his calling card in a jar in a remote area by Cranmere Pool on the moors of Dartmoor


There are nearly 13,000 flush brackets around the country all logged on the ordnance survey database. What is the term used for them, which is also used for any standard by which something can be measured or judged?


The Geograph British Isles project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland, and you can be part of it.

Where are these stocks and whipping post?


Where are these roof tops?


Where is this iconic image?

%d bloggers like this: