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Posted By Discussion Topic: My little project - Honest opinions needed

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craigspc2000
Jul-18-2005 @ 2:17 AM                           Permalink
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I don't know how many of you can remember, but some time ago I posted a message on the forum asking for some ideas for my website.  I got plenty of suggestions and I got to work on something.

Well, although I thought I knew what I was making, the whole thing seems to have taken an entirely different path to what I was expecting, and I was wondering if any of you would mind passing honest views on whether my current project is worth continuing.

As part of something I was working on I needed a small area of water mapping out around hickling Broad.  There were lots of maps around, but I couldn't find anything which covered the marsh areas/drains which I understood had a boat trip which travelled round the nature reserve.  Considering that even if I had found the perfect map there would be copyright issues to bear in mind, so I decided to sit down and map it out myself.  

The thing is, I found it quite fun.  I was discovering new waterways that I never knew existed, so I deciced to extend the map a little.  Then a little more, then more again.  Before I knew it I was looking at a very large scale map of the entire broad.

Anyway, over the last couple of months I've got a little carried away in the hope that I could make something useful for people.  Consequently, from what started out as a map of the 'Swim Coots' area of hickling, it has since extended way beyond.  

I've now covered everything above Potter Bridge, moved all the way down to the thurne mouth, westwards along the Bure and I'm currently heading off down fleet dyke towards South walsham broad.  I know I may be mad, but this is something that I haven't lost any interest in, despite the fact that it can be quite brain numbing at times.

I've included a small sample of my hickling broad map to give you an idea of the scale.  I would just appreciate an honest opinion on whether I am wasting my time or not.  The whole thing is now to scale, with the main water plan and outer border etc being on different layers so that it can easilly be modified.

So everyone, give it to me straight please.  Have I lost the plot? I'd be happy to continue working on it, but only if this could be turned into something useful for forum members.

I'm signing off now, as it's gone 2am yet again. Gasp  .  When I first joined this forum I was always looking for another username (because Craig was taken).  Perhaps 'Nocturnal' would be more appropriate. Playful

Good night,

Craig(2)

This message was edited by craigspc2000 on Jul-18-05 @ 1:20 AM


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Richard
Jul-18-2005 @ 2:46 AM                           Permalink
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It's fantastic !!

BOF2
Jul-18-2005 @ 10:23 AM                           Permalink
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It is fantastic and it details a lot about that area that hadn't clue existed. I would look at it with great interest but I got to wondering what I use I could make of it.  How easy would it be to add even more detail?  It would have to be something special so that it doesn't become just another map. Perhaps those out of the way little moorings that have been mentioned on other threads?
Can't wait to see the Bure area which I think I know a little better - but that remains to be seen.

BOF - Clive

watermonkey
Jul-18-2005 @ 11:45 AM                           Permalink
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Craig,

What I've always wanted was a map (like yours - excellent by the way) which showed where the staithes were slightly deeper (and not private). The reason is that Sailys like Richard would then know whether they could navigate (well at least approximately) and even Stinkies like myself would have a good idea. I'm really wary of Staithes (especially on the Southern Broads) as they often go shallow with no warning (I know that's the nature of these things)

Cheers

Stu

billmaxted
Jul-18-2005 @ 12:17 PM                           Permalink
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Impressive but I suspect rather like the Forth Bridges go back in a years time and it will have changed.

I would think that the warden on Hickling might be interested and probably provide you with updates. Could be very useful if logging sightings.

The one thing which might be added is the bits that you can get down easily in a rowing boat

"I know we are up the bank, but I didn't think the ducklings were going to get out of the way"  Bill...

This message was edited by billmaxted on Jul-18-05 @ 11:20 AM

watermonkey
Jul-18-2005 @ 12:55 PM                           Permalink
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Apart from the bought maps, are there any online maps of the broads which have the pubs and/or moorings on?

I remember this being asked before, but I don't remember a definitive answer?

If not, I'm not averse to starting a web site (maybe linked here?) where we could put a map up and then put links on the pubs and moorings so that you could have reviews behind them.

billmaxted
Jul-18-2005 @ 1:02 PM                           Permalink
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Don't forget Paul's Shorebase Map

"I know we are up the bank, but I didn't think the ducklings were going to get out of the way"  Bill...

roya
Jul-18-2005 @ 2:03 PM                           Permalink
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Craig all credit ,
a big Spot on from me. Smile

roya

now about my bilges.

craigspc2000
Jul-18-2005 @ 12:13 AM                           Permalink
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Thanks for the kind comments, I feel much better now. Smile

From the current responses, I was thinking that it may be an idea to make this map a little more personalised for forum members and I really like the idea of adding features like mooring information etc.  

Considering that we already have sites like Craig’s database of boats, as well as numerous text based databases of things like pubs etc, how would you feel about the map being turned into a visual database of riverside features?  

On Bill’s point of information being out of date, this really was hard to overcome, particularly in the beginning. However, I've tried to cross reference every inch of what I've done so far with top-down satellite images that I have from around 2002.  The images I have are not always of the greatest resolution, but they've been really helpful with marking out the correct location of boat dykes/cuts etc.

Modifying, updating, and adding features to the map wouldn’t be much of a problem from my end because I have everything stored on separate layers.  However, I’d have to find some way of making usable online.  For example, Hickling broad (including Catfield dyke) is 3600x2100 pixels in size, so by the time I’m done, it’s going to be huge.

Actually, I think the only way that you’ll be able to get a feel for things is if you can see a proper sample of what I’ve been up to. Let me see if I can strip an area down to the basics and compress it a bit.  If I can get it small enough, then I’ll post a full sized sample in a moment.

<<20 mins have passed>>

Right, here you go…. If you zoom in on the image, you'll see what I mean about it bein a bit of a handful.  If anyone has a good idea on how to implement it on a website then I'd be happy to get ideas from you.  Also, if there are any ideas on how to make it possible for people to submit items for the map that would be nice too.  Perhaps Bills idea of trying to contact the Warden would be best, but I guess that this would only cover a small area of the whole map.

Cheers,
Craig(2)

This message was edited by craigspc2000 on Jul-19-05 @ 7:37 AM


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Paul
Jul-19-2005 @ 9:29 AM                           Permalink
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I think it's a great idea Craig(2).

I found download size to be the limiting factor when I did the Shorebase maps. It was in my pre-broadband days, but I found that around 2000 x 2000 pixels was the limit once detail has been added to the maps, (and even though I'm on broadband now, many/most visitors are not.) The other problem is bandwidth. Now that my site gets a lot of use (thank you  Smile  ), the 'bandwidth' has crept up to over 5 gBytes per month, which costs !  Site statistics show that it the main 'hits' are the maps, photos and tide calc.

But, a very large, detailed, scale online map of the Broads is a very good idea, especially if it can convey otherwise unavailabe information, eg casual mooring sites, good fishing spots etc.

As for ideas on how to implement it on a website, here's how I do it on shorebase. This image acts as the key map, which has 'hotspots' to open the main maps in full screen.


if you click   http://www.shorebase.co.uk/broads/menus/shorebase_maps.asp  you'll get the working key map in one of Richard's popup windows.    Smile

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