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Making a map of Leicester

Tomorrow the world
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(+20, -1)
  [vote for,

As I've previously pointed out, geography is in a very unsatisfactory state, due largely to the poor arrangement of tectonic plate boundaries (see link).

However, there is a more immediate problem on a more local scale. As you cannot failed not to have missed noticing, maps are seldom an accurate reflection of local features. Clearly, this is not a fault of the map-making in most cases. The good officers at the Ordnance Survey, for example, have produced exquisite renderings of the United Kingdom, showing exactly how it ought to look. There are contour lines, clearly-named roads, and consistent symbols for things like escarpments, churches, tumuli, historic battle sites and the like. Such maps are a joy to read.

Yet the English countryside is, at best, a sloppy and incomplete representation of these maps. Many churches, for example, are a completely different shape to that represented on the maps.

This cannot be allowed to stand.

MaxCo Geographical Rectifiers, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Buchanan Hand-Cream and Tyre) is seeking public funding to expand its ongoing scheme of geographical rectification. Work has already begun in Leicestershire, and we hope to begin operations at several other sites in the UK.

As a first step, gridlines have already been excavated across an area of almost 7000 square miles. Each line is quality- controlled for width (50.4 metres, this being a scale representation of the 0.2- point line thickness used on the reference maps), straightness and spacing. Work is underway to have all gridlines filled with slate chippings of the appropriate blue- grey colour.

The road-painting scheme is also well advanced, with all motorways and A- roads, and the majority of B-roads, now the correct colour. Dashed trenches have been dug along almost 2300 linear miles of footpaths and bridleways. Although some local archaeology groups have raised objections, excavation of standard 500- metre five-pointed stars at 23 tumuli, and of crossed 800-metre-long sabres at 17 historic battle sites, has gone largely without a hitch.

Greatest effort, of course, has gone into the lettering. Although it has taken longer than first hoped to train and deploy the necessary teams of calligraphic earth- moving contractors, lettering is almost complete for all towns with populations above 25,000. In those cases where lettering overlaps major roads, there has of course been some disruption, but this has been kept to a minimum. (The typographical error at Thurmaston has been blown out of all proportion by the local press, of course.)

The regularization of churches, as expected, was a major sticking-point but, with appropriate incentives, most communities have accepted the inevitability of the remodelling, and have managed to add their own personal touches to the standard square-and- cross design. We are also particularly proud of the completion of a series of over 25 public telephone symbols, whose excavation (often deep into bedrock) was particularly difficult at times.

Contour-lining, and the correct colouring of urban areas and farmland, of course, will represent an order of magnitude increase in the workload, and will place heavy burdens on our resources. Nevertheless, a few pilot areas have been completed already; over 670 acres to the south east have, in fact, been completed in all respects.

Given what has been achieved so far on limited funds, I trust that you will not hesitate to lobby for government funding to enhance and extend this scheme. Tomorrow, the world...

MaxwellBuchanan, May 06 2008

A better but costlier approach to geography Rubik_27s_20Earth
[MaxwellBuchanan, May 06 2008]

Europe http://www.themanwh...eep.com/france.html
as it should be [DenholmRicshaw, May 07 2008]

Diligent Line Painters at work ... http://photo.net/ge.../2463951/possum.jpg
[batou, May 08 2008]


       Someone wrote a sci fi story like this, set in some post-apoclyptic America, where religious zealots went around "correcting" landscape features that did not conform to their historic texts.
DrCurry, May 06 2008

       lester today - tomorrow, who knows.
po, May 06 2008

       Why here? Are you here too?   

       You just seriously freaked me out, man.   

       Middle class, middle of the road, middle of the country.
nineteenthly, May 06 2008

       You're there? I was born there, but now I'm here (Derby).
david_scothern, May 06 2008

       Well i am, along with [Minimal] apparently, [eleventeenthly] obviously, and historically [theleopard].   

       Oh, and there's a Thurmaston, Thurcaston and Thurlaston near here for some reason.
nineteenthly, May 06 2008

       Ah, but all people who leave Leicester are destined to die, even if they come back. I'm not actually from here.
nineteenthly, May 06 2008

       There's a big airplane symbol near my house. If you could make that a functioning giant airplane, I promise to bring it back whenever anybody needs the map. [+]
baconbrain, May 06 2008

       I once woke up on an air strip in the Leicestershire countryside, with a small bi-plane hurtling towards me attempting to take off. So stunned at my situation was I that I entirely failed to move and instead watched in utter bewilderment as it flew over me and into the bright morning sky.   

       Now, I didn't have a map with me when I chose that particular spot to bed down for the night, but had this area of Leicestershire been appropriately converted, that field would have been clearly marked with large black granite planes on the ground.   

       You have my 2 cents worth [Max].
theleopard, May 07 2008

       Presumably all train lines would have to be converted to massively-wide-gauge monorails?
hippo, May 07 2008

       I see you've started to paint the A5025 with the correct shade of red. Shame you ran out after a couple of stripes.
wagster, May 07 2008

       A 0.2mm grid line would only be 10 metres wide for the Landranger 1:50000 range.
coprocephalous, May 07 2008

       Fantastic. Imagine the clarity you'd get on Google Earth...
lostdog, May 07 2008

       Maybe we could design a big ink-jet orbital satellite printer that will do the job for us quickly? No - it'll never print through the atmosphere. A squadron of robot ink-jet UAV's - that'll do it.
wagster, May 07 2008

       Worthy of a tagline, [wagster].
normzone, May 07 2008

       Please can we use the map I've linked to?   

       Some terraforming will be required.
DenholmRicshaw, May 07 2008

       // with a small bi-plane hurtling towards me attempting to take off. //   

       That was YOU ? You bastard, you scared the shit out of us ! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ? Do you know how much it costs to repair the undercarriage on a Tiger Moth ? You selfish, unthinking cad, sir.   

       By the way, the jar of hand cream we recently purchased seems to have some curious and disturbing physical and chemical properties. Where shall we serve the court papers for our class action for damages ?
8th of 7, May 07 2008

       I don't know where I am half the time and the other half I am directed by TomTom, leaving me clueless but where I want to be.   

       I'll give you a bun for best written idea in some time.
zeno, May 07 2008

       Thanks, [DenholmRicshaw]. You have now raised the ghost in me of seeking to write the English tongue without the beshmirching of words from that land, a task i erstwhile undertook as a child who hated that speech as taught in school.
nineteenthly, May 08 2008

       I think MaxCo had better halfbake some special paint to mark the channel tunnel.   

       That reminds me of the planned shutdown periods that I saw at one company. The operators had diligently painted the yellow lines to mark the walking areas. They had even painted through the puddles. Such devotion to duty!
Ling, May 08 2008

       //halfbake some special paint to mark the channel tunnel//   

       [Ling], see the floating chalk-line in The Naked Gun.
theleopard, May 08 2008

       [nineteenthly] don't mention the crois***argh
DenholmRicshaw, May 08 2008

       Oh no! I take it all back. I humbly beg forgiveness.
nineteenthly, May 08 2008

       A passenger on a flight over the eastern US looks down to see the various states clearly labeleled and in pastel-ish greens, pinks, yellows etc. Brilliant. [+]
Gamma48, Jun 20 2009

       Wouldn't it be easier to use Google Earth as your map?
Bad Jim, Jun 20 2009

       //Wouldn't it be easier to...?//   

       I think you've identified the downside of your suggestion right there. This is the Halfbakery.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 20 2009

       //This idea would make those kinds of defensive measures rather difficult to implement, don't you think?//   

       Ah, but that's where you're you're wrong. If the bombers are ever flying over Blighty looking for Leicester, we actually just wait until they are over Basingstoke. Then squadrons of trained pigeons are dispatched carrying Ordnance Survey maps of Leicester. The pigeons fly alongside the bombers and beneath them, and (working in teams of four) spread out the Leicester map. The bomb crews will then think they are over Leicester, and release all of their bombs where they can , in reality, do only good.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 20 2009

       Well, there's always Slough, which isn't fit for humans now.
nineteenthly, Jun 20 2009


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