Archive for the ‘First Geograph’ Category

Crossing Borders

Horse In the New Forest area, it’s hard to point a camera without finding a horse.  Technically, we’re just over the border here, in Wiltshire.


Spring has Sprung

It looks to me as though Spring is here anyway .  This week I was down in the New Forest for about the 4th or 5th time this yearNew Forest and was greeted by blue skies and sunshine, rather than the normal low cloud and rain.  I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures for geograph while I was there.

Closer to home I also got some pictures of Norbury Park.  When I was there the temperature was around 15C (around 60F), and the daffodils are starting to put their heads up in various places.

Revisiting Old Haunts

Redlands Wood, TQ1545Yesterday, I drove over to Redlands Wood (near Coldharbour in Surrey) to go running.  It’s a beautiful spot of dense woodland, but also it’s on the edge of a high hill, so it has views of Surrey to the East.  As it turns out, it’s nearly a year (all but 6 days) since I first took a photograph here, and claimed TQ1545 on the Geograph site.   You can see the picture here, taken with my Treo phone. 

View from the edge of Redlands Wood

Anyway, I’ve added another three pictures to this square for a bit more depth, and I also strayed a little bit into TQ1645 and TQ1546, and added a couple of pictures there.  On this trip I had a real camera with me, the brilliant (and now discontinued) Fuji Finepix F10, so the latest pictures are much better quality.

South of England in Geograph

Geograph South of England

This map from Geograph today shows that around London to the South and West is pretty much done (claimed Geograph sqares are in red). So to find unclaimed squares (for First Geograph photos) is tough now, needing a trip in the car. The number of people Geographing has ramped-up pretty fast during 2006: back in 2005 when I started, I could walk out of my door and claim squares, but there are many more cameras clicking away now, and of course in the densely populated (and rich) South, people tend to have digital cameras and broadband Internet.

Currently on Geograph, you only get points for First Geographs (this is the competitive element). Of course you can add further geographs to already taken squares, i.e. adding depth of information to a square, but there are no points for that, only the satisfaction of having added more interest to a square. There are also pictures classed as Supplemental, which to summarize means that they are technically good photographs, but just not showing a characteristic feature of that square, or not with enough context. For example you will find pictures of butterflies and farm machinery, but of course these things can move from one square to another, and they do not identify the square or help to recognize it again. Supplementals also carry no points.

Looking at the stats today, 47% of the country has so far been photographed, but a lot of the open squares are in rural areas (Norfolk, Wales, Scottish Highlands etc). So far over 303,000 pictures have been uploaded, which I work out to be a database of around 58 Gigabytes of UK photographs, an incredible legacy for the future, showng how the UK looked in the 2000’s.

Lonely Square in Bucks

I was pleased with this picture, in Buckinghamshire.  The square SP9000 is nearly all taken up by Rook Wood. Rook Wood, near Great Missenden To get to the square means walking down a footpath or track, which no-one had yet done, even though every other square for miles was already geographed.  So now, it’s mine, and SP9000 is actually a memorable name for a square, about the only other one I every remember is the one I live in.


The holiday season has seen me in Bucks, Berks, Sussex, London, Norfolk and Notts, Fields near Malthouse Broad in Norfolkbagging at least 8 new squares.  At first glance, the map of Norfolk looks pretty promising, almost as though you could point a camera in any direction and find a square not so far taken.  Not so, in fact.  On the ground you find that a lot of things you thought looked good (churches, lakes, windmills etc) have already been shot and uploaded. 

On the trip across country from Norfolk to Notts, I took a few shots (and GPS readings, of course) alas, a lot of the pictures suffer from camera shake, poor light, or they’re just plain boring.  Rather than just claim these squares, I think I’ll just leave them for better photographs to come along, or perhaps a future project….

Boxing Day Geographing

After the usual family excess of Christmas Day yesterday, it was good to get out into the countryside and takeFootpath some pictures.  There was a little cluster of squares that I’ve been wanting to grab for some weeks, a group away from the main road, and really best attacked via footpath.  A lot of these squares remain unclaimed because a large number of geographers don’t like to stray far from their cars (in fact some are taken without ever getting out of the car).   Sometimes I like to go running and take the camera with me, and this is what I did today.  Armed with map, GPS and camera, I followed some footpaths, visiting squares TQ0621, TQ0721, TQ0821 and TQ0620, which were all unclaimed.  In the last square, I was looking for a Roman Villa (although I don’t know how much is left visible), but didn’t find it.  The view was nice though, and I got a nice picture of the footpath.

Lonesome Square in Sussex

TQ0828This square was the only one unclaimed in this area until last week when I stopped at Five Oaks and walked through the woods along the footpath to get a couple of snaps: