Durness to Dover

Tuesday, 19 April, 2011

I’m turning 40 this summer (body feels far older!) so to “celebrate” I thought I would do a BIG bike ride. In the UK, Lands End to John O’Groats is the most common one as it connects to two farthest points on the UK mainland, however that seemed at bit “common”. So instead the idea of “top-left to bottom-right” emerged (rather than “top-right to bottom-left”). I needed a co-conspirator (Adam) and from there a route and some dates emerged. I’ve set up a website over at Durness-to-Dover where we give some background blurb and a map of the route. And if you feel inclined, please do sponsor us for the worth East Anglian Air Ambulance where you literally will save a life.

Just another Fedex delivery….

Monday, 4 April, 2011

The Journal of Maps had a shipment of atlases delivered to Canada recently (our 2010 Best Map winner). Fedex came in cheapest so we shipped 3 boxes with them… I was impressed with the speed of collection and within 24 hours they were awaiting clearance in Toronto. Great stuff. I needed to do some extra clearance paperwork, but all on target. The next time I checked they were then in Stansted, then proceeded to Memphis because (I assume) making their way by road back to Toronto. You can see the state they arrived in with some considerable water damage. I think the term “logistics” might be laughable in this instance, as would be “due care”. Clearly our boxes were the ones that didn’t matter.

Then came the fun of claiming…. we had gone through a broker who denied any responsibility because they had been signed for, even with photographic evidence. They had actually gone through another broker, so I approached Fedex direct. They were actually genuinely helpful. We needed to transfer the claim to ourselves (which carries it’s own risks) and at this point its worth saying that if its valuable, get it insured!! Fedex work on the principle of the proportion damaged out of the total shipment and have a maximum payout of ~23 Euro per kg. Given paper is quite heavy we pretty much got a pro rata payout for our costs plus the cost of shipping back (still waiting for that because… yes, its gone to the broker’s broker!).

Plenty of morals to take away here… package well… insure… keep the paperwork etc etc. These things happen, quite how such a bad delivery could take place baffles the mind.

GLONASS Smartphone

Monday, 4 April, 2011

I original thought this an April Fool when I saw it reported over at Very Spatial in that the original report snuck in on April Fools’ Day, however the original product release was December last year….. so, what the heck. Anyway, the general topic of GNSS supporting mutiple networks is clearly on its way, but perhaps sooner than some thought.

Indices of Multiple Deprivation

Monday, 4 April, 2011

The 2011 Indices of Multiple Deprivation have recently been published. The Guardian Datablog has a good summary of the data; brief LA level summary data is available for download, but you’ll have to hunt around the DCLG website (which is linked) for the actual data itself and also request the super output areas from the ONS to make any sense of it (or go to UKBORDERS for the 2001 borders). However the hard work has already been done in that Alasdair Rae up at Sheffield has already put the whole of the UK data in to Fusion Tables and linked it to Google Maps here. Very good stuff…. the next stage is to add in previous years!