Deep Snow

Snowy Road at SK0057Up in Leek in Staffordshire, some heavy snow had blown in just prior to my arrival.  The thaw happened quite quickly and here you see some of the snow drift and meltwater. I took this picture while around some country lanes on a trainining run.


Snow Day

Snow in Surrey 

Hard to believe, but it did actually snow today in the South. 

See TQ1850 and TQ1951

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.

Personal Coverage Map

A nice feature of the profile page in Geograph now is that it shows you a map of the UK, but only with thumbnail pictures of the squares you have contributed. So you can see at a glance where you’ve been in the country, and admire your own coverage map.  Here’s my map of Berkshire, with Ascot racecourse on the left and Viginia Water on the right:

The Age Before Digital

Somewhere I have photographed a lot over the years is the town of Leek in Staffordshire, where I have family ties.  Tittesworth ReservoirI’m relatively new to digital photography, but have boxes full of 35mm negatives going back to the 1980s.  Sorting through some pictures the other day, I found some shots of Tittesworth Reservoir from 1999 (all my negatives are already sorted by date from a project a few years ago).  This one was nice, so I fired up the 35mm scanner, and scanned it in.  The square (SJ9959) already has a first geograph, but I thought it was nice enough to warrant uploading another one.

I also found a historic picture of a rather beautiful building that got demolished for the Glaxo Smithkline HQ in Brentford,  London (gridref TQ1777).  Trico Factory, Brentford

Taken on B&W film, this looks like an ancient photograph (actually the negatives are not in a great state), but it was only taken in 1990.  For some reason the moderator didn’t think this warranted being a geograph so it is only classified as a supplemental image.  Arbitrary, and a bit dispiriting really.

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.

RSS Feed

I’ve only just recently spotted that Geograph automatically export an RSS feed for all the pictures I upload.  I’ve added it to my blogroll, I just have to figure out how to make wordpress show my blogroll now…

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….

Vote Geograph

Geograph is nominated on the Yahoo UK site in the “Finds of the Year, People’s Choice Award 2006”.  Click here to vote for Geograph.