Friday, 24 April 2009


Hobnob and I are engaged! We did a bit of playing around yesterday evening to take the obligatory ring shot so here it is :)

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Hotel Review - Park Inn, Nottingham

So you can't write a hotel review on TripAdvisor without registering... here's mine.

The room was fine. Nicely but cheaply decorated, it looked a little like a student room or yes, perhaps something from Ikea. I didn't really see too much wrong with this - at least they weren't hideous. Bright, modern with a nice large window. Unfortunately, the doors to some rooms seemed quite noisy leading to a few disturbances as people got going earlier in the morning than I had intended.

Apparently the room has good swimming and gym facilities but I didn't use them so can't really comment. It is well located, about a 30 minute walk to Nottingham centre, quicker by car/bus/tram (it's got a car park and is close to bus stops etc). Wireless internet was fortunately free as part of the conference I attended but Joe Average visitor is charged £6.50 for a total of 60 minutes access in 24 hours - not cheap. No wired internet is available.

What I can very positively say about this hotel is the friendlyness of the staff. This was demonstrated several times by various members of their staff throughout our stay and was a real plus for this hotel.

Visit their web site.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


As part of the Ubicomp Spring School I've been attending this week in Nottingham, I spent this afternoon looking at Locative Gaming using Mscape. Looking at their last few blog posts, I spotted this:

mscape at State of the Map 2008

"For my latest adventure around the world with mediascapes I went off to the OpenStreetMap Foundation’s second annual conference, entitled State of the Map. This year the conference was held in Limerick, Ireland - cue an obligatory limerick competition (the winner of which I unfortunately didn’t write down).

For those you haven’t already heard, the driving force behind the OpenStreetMap idea is that the online maps that many people believe are free, such as Google or Yahoo maps, are actually far from that. Yes, you can look at them for free, and can build mashups where your own data is overlaid on top, but you cannot extract the maps images and use them offline in any way, you can’t print them in paper brochure and you cannot add, update, or alter them without falling foul of the licence restrictions all of these sites include. That is, all of them except for OpenStreetMap.

Essentially it’s the wikipedia of online mapping, built using crowd-sourcing - a large-scale online collaboration where anyone can add to the map, or fix errors they find. The way it is done is that people cycle around with a GPS that logs their path, and record the street names, locations of parks, pubs, shops or restaurants they pass using using a camera or pen-and-paper. Back home they upload the GPS log and use one of OSM’s mapmaking tools such as potlatch or JOSM to draw in the streets, paths, & junctions over their route, and enter in the other point-of-interest data.

We first looked at OpenStreetMap a couple of years ago but found that the data was so sparse that the maps really were not all that useful. Fast-forward to the present though, and the 46000 registered users have done an amazing job so that the quality of maps in major cities like Bristol is often more detailed and up-to-date than the equivalent Google map..."

(from the mscape blog, read the rest of this post here)

They then go on to present the following side-by-side example:

It does look quite good. I think I may have to take a look at my local area and see what the data is like.


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