Making a map
Here at MyThornbury we're contributing to a collaborative mapping project called OpenStreetMap.
With volunteers around the world collecting mapping information with GPS units, the project aims to create a detailed map of the world that's free for anyone to use.
There are plenty of commercial maps about, but if you want to use them - even if it's just to pop a map on a birthday invitation - you'll have to pay for a licence from the copyright holder. By contrast, the OSM map allows you to do more or less what you like with it. See the OpenStreetMap website for more information.
We'll be using OSM maps around the site (like here, to show visitors where the Armstrong Hall is. If you'd like to reuse any of our maps, feel free - just see the OSM license ('share-alike'), and we'd be grateful if you could could credit us or link back to this page. We're still adding to the map, and generating new images from time to time, so if you're interested in using OSM maps of the Thornbury area, drop us a line and we'd be happy to help.
Also give us a shout if you're a keen walker or cyclist and would like to help us add more detail to our corner of the map.
Note that the Ordnance Survey 2006 Get-A-Map images on our map viewer page are very definitely under copyright and are used under licence; don't copy these!
The mapping process
The first stage of the mapping process is to collect GPS data - simply a case of walking, cycling or driving around town with a little GPS logger. The GPS points show everywhere we've been (around Sibland, in this case):
If you've seen an odd figure walking round the edges of playing fields holding out what looks like a bright green mobile phone, that was probably me...
We then draw points and lines over the top of these dots to represent roads, paths and points of interest. Street names - noted down from street signs, are added to the map. Great care is taken to avoid using any copyrighted information.
The information is uploaded to a central server for anyone to download and render their own map.