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"So long and thanks for the maps"

Update2:   This article   vindicates all the work I put in last 3 yrs. around sea level rise in East Anglia:"Sea levels have risen by ...

Friday, 8 July 2022

"Something happened on my way north from Londonium..."

 ... said Caïus, "this young noble went charging by in his chariot, but 20 milia north between the tumulus and the circular fort ruins, I had to retrieve him from the bushes... His chariots had crashed going straight and missing the jog in the road". "Jog in the road?" asks Severus. "Yes", replies Caïus, "the road is misaligned NW and SW at that point, and there's a 20 pedes section at a sharp angle joining them". "How odd" retorts Severus, "We build perfect roads... why that misalignment? Did the Gods have fun and push them aside to catch speeding charioteers? Surely the indigenous, if there are any, couldn't sabotage a road: they barely build huts of reeds, never mind challenging our glorious engineering... Ave, Caesar!", he salutes, "I must go." [Click images to enlarge]

Location map, follow the red Google markers

So where are we? We're halfway between London and the North Sea, in East Anglia known for its Iron Age forts and dykes and its Roman Roads - see also maps here - the satellite imagery above clearly shows the Roman Road cutting a straight line NW - SE in this particular area. The red circle is the spot in question, with the "fort ruins" known today as Wandlebury Iron Age Hill Fort at centre left of the picture above, and the tumulus called Copley Tumulus now the bean shaped wooded area a little below and to the right of the circle. 

Looking SE along Roman Road, walking fron Wandelbury hillfort toward Copley tumulus

This is what it looks like walking along the Roman Road. You'd hardly notice it, except that in my 8 yrs high school Latin and classic history, and later work with surveyors in GIS, I had heard what I took for an urban legend about route misalignments for cross-country projects like Roman Roads - the most famous being a pipeline  built from both ends to save time, ended up being 30' apart at planned junction, so were simply twinned continuing parallel to finished sections! - but that likely urban legend is the clue to this situation here: Romans could carry road building materials around the East Anglia coast to the Wash somewhere near current Kings Lynn, so they could start building south from there. Likewise the other section may have been built starting from current London Docks northward (see also Edward Rutherfurd's "London", Crown Publishers, 1997, for couleur locale). And while Romans were skilled engineers and survyors, it could be that over 50+ miles they mis-surveyed by 10+ feet at the junction point we're looking at. Et voila! the jog the poor charioteer missed and crashed into the bushes (that definitely is an urban legend LOL). 

Google Earth view looking SE of same locale

When I shared this picture, a GIS friend suggested a drone be flown to reconnoitre the area... That made me wonder: would Google Earth provide enough detail and a perspective view on this jog? It is not mapped on Ordnance Survey App I have on my phone I used to guide me on my walk (see below). The jog is clearly visible in the pespective view above - see it in your browser here, no app required  - even if it's obscured by modern roadworks - later reworking is the scourge of historians and archaeologists!

OS Maps App of area, contains OS Data (c) Crown Copyright 2022

Friday, 20 May 2022

Fun with puzzle maps

 Look what I found!

Having taken a vacation from work and social media, I found a puzzle box in my late Dad’s old office, while visiting my Mum:

The Puzzle of the Plates
Spilhaus Repeating World Maps
1985 American Geophysical Union 
Created by Athelstan  Spilhaus

Monday, 10 January 2022

"So long and thanks for the maps"

Update2: This article  vindicates all the work I put in last 3 yrs. around sea level rise in East Anglia:"Sea levels have risen by around 16.5cm (6.5 ins) since 1900, but the Met Office says the rate of rise is increasing. They are now rising by 3-5.2mm a year, which is more than double the rate of increase in the early part of last century."

Update1: See a mirror wrap-up post on Medium here.

"So long and thanks for all the fish, I meant maps (apologies to Douglas Adams)" was the last post in my #30DayMapChallenge reported below, not incl. an extra one at the end. As my life situation has changed, however, this proved to be prophetic: I'm withdrawing from social media, activism and geo work until I sort my life out. It’s been a pleasure participating in mappy adventures with y’all. Ta for now.

Friday, 19 November 2021

Satellite data help for local housing issue

 The #30DayMapChallenge Day 23 challenge is "GHSL data", here is the section in the story map that will chronicle the map challenge when it's finished:

Global Human Settlement  for Northstowe controversial development NW of Cambridge UK, monitoring housing probability (GHS-BUILT-S2, 2018) and housing footprint (GHSL-ESM, 2015) against Esri 2020 Land Cover map extract with OpenStreetMap detailed base-map. Various blended overlays 'bake' the layers into a screen pattern allowing to compare and contrast past built areas vs. currently probably built against submissions. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

More map art

A few years ago I used Charlie Frye's online lesson Explore future climate projections to learn how to use NetCDF and map temperature regimes - it's shown below in Patterson & Savaric's Equal Earth Projection. It became the basis for carbon emissions map just updated in the last blog post.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Carbon emissions reloaded

[ Updates:  watch the updated bubble map video wrapping this all up at the bottom! ]

Late 2019 I wrote in A tale of two maps

LSE’s Leslie Sklair asked me recently to produce carbon emission snapshots for an upcoming book. I had already mapped CDIAC’s CO2 emissions since 1751, I updated with BP Stat. Review current data, and I created in Esri web mapping platform some dynamic counterparts to Carbon Atlas’ static maps.

 Those 2018 data were recently updated up to 2020, and further fuels listed by CDIAC were added to create this map, using Esri's improved web mapping:

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Return East Anglia Peatlands to being carbon sinks

Community Engagement 12345678910111213, 141516171819 & 20

[ Update 4: actual Fenlanders interviewed in this fab blog post

Update 3: peatland restoration by numbers, Indonesian example

Update 2: soil degradation and climate change masterclass, TEDtalk pointers

Update: added Why we should all be obsessed with Peatlands at the end of the story map below ]

No. 20! Isn't it fitting that chronicling East Anglia challenges & opportunities w.r.t. climate emergency - risk of flooding, sea level rise,  vulnerability indices and now pandemic - uncovered the greatest opportunity yet: returning local peatlands from carbon emitters to original carbon sinks could dwarf any individual effort to mitigate CO2 emissions, currently the major driver of climate change.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Sea Level Rise Maps #reloaded

[ Update 2: at bottom is the comprehensive water web map that followed this...

Update 1: near the end of the story map, see how you can style your own DEM tiles ]

 East Anglia Flood Defences Final showcased in a story map the entire flooding infrastructure framework for the region, both from rising sea levels and risk of flooding, complete w flood defence infrastructure.

Online discussions in the wake of the IPCC 2021 report broadened that scope back to an original posting almost two years ago Sea level rise models show ins&outs of climate change science. Here is that update expanding to England and NW Europe, wrapping in all the lessons learned along the way. 

Monday, 13 September 2021

'Emo' vs. 'Goth' map looks

Recently updated this story map Maps like 3D Prints: Emo or goth? A map tour of special effects - adding to existing Ice Mountain hillshade style (augmented with Misting - the Emo part), a Sunrise Hack (in fact more like sunset - the Goth part) - all John Nelson's on Esri Living Atlas Terrain layers.

Monday, 30 August 2021

"Start me up" reloaded

[ Update: watch this creepy reprise by Rolling Stones & Boston Dynamics on the 40th anniversary of the Tattoo You album ]

The 25th anniversary of Win95 launch reminded me of the cringy launch party livestreamed where I was then in Calgary. What struck me was in Rolling Stones' lyrics including "you make grown men cry" in the launch party was clipped in later adverts...