Geograph Blog ::

Breaking records

By David Howard

My maths is something which evaporates as soon as a sum starts manipulating figures. I can however arrange them and happy with statistics, and as a result had a very good chance with the OS grid map to work out all the criteria required for maximum results and efficiency. There are various landmarks, and the most outstanding figure for me on the profile, albeit misleading, is the myriad total. Therefore using my own personal alternative criterion, measurable for each map but not recorded (a suggestion is now brewing) you can bag 8 myriads having travelled a minimum of 89 miles in two diagonal directions, but only have four in a row and travel over 240 miles for example. But as the myriads are there it was only right and proper for me to work out the most efficient routes for each of my adjacent ones (7 as the other's the English Channel)TV4798 : The sea from the Esplanade, Seaford by David Howard as although preferring my personal criterion (more to come) it is almost endless and directionless, whereas the myriad lines sit there looking at you, and each one has a specific route to reach it, TV and SZ sticking out in small promontories into the Channel with a road or two linking London where I begin. My working partner offered to share the driving, so was taken to the south coast twice while I wound down the window at lights and took anything before the car moved again to make a nice red line instead of a few dots and dashes before the border, and of course not miss the hectads every 6.25 miles. Two were covered ages ago simply as I live near the borders, but not SP as it's in the middle of nowhere, and needed two shots at that as Amersham and Chesham do not have lines drawn on the road so had to return the following day with them on my road map in pencil. SP9900 : Junction of Codmore Wood Road and Blackwell Hall Lane by David Howard Next were TM and TR, the map says Kent and Essex, but once you zoom close and ignore the road maps the node is all on the Dengie peninsula in Essex, and already recounted my dual visit there as I made the same sort of mistake trying to get TM the first time as with SP, except I didn't have a map so made my own which had a lot missing. TM0001 : Sign for Bridgewick Road, Dengie by David Howard this was how I knew I'd made it, and took it for proof.

Anyhow, I've got the 8 myriads now but look at the maps, the red on many with 4-6 is spread over a huge area while mine still looks like the high altitude result of a passing seagull on the ground. Regardless of the myriads my personal original project was compass point maximums (hence the forum thread I began), and using the topography which discovered the maximum and minimum distances for each number of myriads taken, realised the only criterion which distinguished the map coverages was the distance between the two furthest points, something extremely relevant and important for those who care about statistics, but only measurable currently either with a ruler and a rough figure, or Pythagoras and an exact one. Of course a program can be written to measure the distances by including the formula into the red dots, once it recognises the extreme points and then chooses the top through simple ranking. The only unknown is if a program can recognises the extreme points as it's not a simple formula and visually not easy to see on anything roughly symmetrical. But possible.

So now I've got the myriads the compass points have partly been covered, south by the coast and east by the combination of the sea cutting into the land and the dire roads NE and SE having been turned back from Colchester by a tailback like a picket line preventing entry to all comers. TQ6296 : Gridlock on the A12, Mountnessing by David Howard North is optional now as the one sector remaining is NW (I don't know why really, probably because the A 41 doesn't go NW and the next road goes almost north as used that already) while the only official planned trip is west again followed by a turn north if possible. Those are mainly based on the best remaining roads not yet covered where I know there won't be a Cheshunt, TL3502 : The Great Cambridge Road at the junction of College Road by David Howard Brentwood, Upminster, congestion charge, Dunstable, TL0221 : High Street South, Dunstable by David Howard Luton TL0823 : New Bedford Road overlooking Austin Road, Luton by David Howard, Hertford, Bishops Stortford TL4821 : Office block on The Causeway, Bishops Stortford by David Howard etc (been there, got the tyre marks) but a usually free run like the one last week to Winchester which (I can say it now as not going back and can't tempt fate) appears constant. Every decade each road set loses some of their free runs, as the A12 was an easy one until now, as was the A127 for most of it but two out of three were second gear jobs this year TQ8488 : The A127, Eastwood by David Howard. The A10 may have gone downhill the worst, as I'm sure last time I went to Cambridge it took just over an hour, maybe ten years later same road same traffic lights no changes, it was almost two hours just to clear Broxbourne. But all those are water under the bridge as they were directions I no longer need, and the next trip will probably add a few miles to my existing maximum distance, while any to follow are designed to make SP red instead of green and roads I know very little about but pretty lightly populated.

The limits do vary with circumstances of course, hence the lack of actual ones but personal ones, and before this project I went to football matches in a rough 50 mile circle mainly when my local team were relegated from the league so decided to see as many other grounds as possible, and after only one I used locally allowed photography didn't take the camera elsewhere, and if I had doubt I'd have taken anything except the match (especially when at night) and any station I saw on the way. Before that it was collecting used train tickets, and with the energy and cheap petrol so I often had a large comfortable saloon car instead of the tiny hatchback I had to replace the last one with when the petrol wasn't cheap and just headed on the motorways to whichever destination I needed if there was one, or the equivalent, and was still young enough back then not to get tired even after driving half the day, although I usually took a friend on the long runs and could get some to share the driving. But you can't repeat your past and had I carried any sort of camera can give my west point around Padstow, east at Canterbury, east at Woodbridge, south at around Smallbridge on the Isle of Wight and north at Leeds or Batley. Of course instead I got train tickets from there, except when there weren't any to be had, but was in some places for other reasons so just popped in the stations as a matter of course as well.

Not wanting to add my rare trips taken since then specifically for photos, when the old tickets were stopped, as they were on film and only dotted around randomly, I often went to the south coast, taking buildings, stations and straight roads in Bexhill, Pevensey, Peacehaven, Storrington and a little north in and around Basingstoke, a totally forgotten trip (I remember being there but still not why) in Cambridge where I took the camera presumably as an afterthought, and took the station as I was after tickets and the road to it as it is straight, one to Jaywick (and Clacton station) as it was built like a shanty town so unlike anywhere else in Britain, a few on the way to my friend in Newmarket I used to visit regularly so the trip became a familiar routine, and the incredible few days in the Cotswolds in 1997 where from a cottage near Moreton in Marsh went to Bath (with the camera), Oxford (without), Stratford on Avon, Toddington (for the steam railway) and Wooton Wawen, which probably covered more myriads in that period than I have in three years. But they are little spots you'd barely see, but boost the myriad count by around 100%, a few in Bath before it suddenly got dark, Bourton on the Water (we took the same view every time we went for nearly 40 years, Toddington, the flat we were staying in, Kemble station (not mine as it was part of my series of me standing by a station name sign), and I think that was it. There's also one of me outside Hythe station in Colchester which was all I had from that visit as well although at least I took the camera. Much of my records are on video mainly as my friend took it with us when I did a ticket trip, and I got one some years later I took on a few myself. But it was always the exception rather than the rule, and when I got the digital and joined here it was start again from literally square one, TQ. And it takes a lot longer when you stop every mile or so to take pictures, so unless I decide to do one without it to see how far I can get it's certainly curtailed every previous one specifically to use here, but I always think a line is far easier to see on a map than a little morse code. And ideally a new trip can be seen on the front profile page map, those are a little extra when you do.

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Fri, 13 Jul 2012 at 03:05
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geotagged! TQ2187
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