In an effort to focus my (now rather limited) spare time on a more nuanced set of web projects, I have consolidated some websites.

Three Blogs into One

I have combined two other blogs into this one:

  • – My personal blog, with notes about London, orienteering and cycling. This was my original blog “YepSport” (also known as “Yablog”) and goes right back to 2003.
  • – Writing about shared micromobility in the UK. This blog has had less writing than I had planned, as shortly after I started, I was contracted to write similar articles for Zag Daily, for the last couple of years (I have now stepped down).

I still write another blog – Mapping London – which will stay separate for now.

OpenOrienteeringMap Leaves Home

I have also switched OpenOrienteeringMap from my own server/website to David Dixon’s excellent “version 4” rewrite.

OOM has been going since 2009, with saveable maps and a UI redesign in 2013 (version 2), and the ability to generate MapRun-compatible maps (JPGs, JGWs and KMZs) in 2020, capitalising on a boom in popularity for self-run orienteering races during the early months of the COVID crisis and resulting lockdowns (version 3).

However my version had a number of limitations – it used its own copy of OpenStreetMap rather than APIs to the master copy, resulting in delays to people’s edits appearing on the map. It also had very limited contour coverage (10m contours, and GB only). Finally, the actual mapping was inflexible, e.g. you get fences whether you wanted them or not. There was no per-feature toggle.

All of these problems were fixed by David’s rewrite. The only step back is you don’t see the actual orienteering style on the screen, until you generate the PDF. But David has added a Preview button, so the software can go off and generate it on the screen after all – you just need to wait a few seconds.

BikeShareMap and the Meddin Bike-Sharing World Map

Finally, I currently run/contribute towards two websites mapping bikeshare systems around the world. BikeShareMap shows individual docking station statuses, for the ~600 systems for which there is such data. The Meddin Bike-Sharing World Map maps all the bikeshare systems in the world – but just as a single pin, per city.

I have been gradually consolidating the two projects – the first stage has been to use common IDs and split outs for each city, this is now well underway. The second step is to harmonise data input across the two websites, rather than double-keying, as at present. The final stage (which is some way off) will be to integrate the BSM function into the Meddin project.

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