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simon3
2007-11-09 10:36:05
OS on the wireless
I had a listen to this. The format is .smil which required me to download the free Real player - tedious but perfectly feasible.

The production included a review of OS mapping from the formation of the state in 1922. For hillwalkers there is some interesting background such as about the erection of the trig pillars (mostly in the 1960s) and the re-mapping to use the national grid in the 1970s. And of course there were funny stories such as the one about the surveyor that bought a ball of wall and used it likeTheseus escaping the Minotaur to find his way back. Only the wool had been broken and he got lost, which around Cuilcagh could mean a longish tramp on a huge bog with dangerous sinkholes.

There was some mention of the half-inch series which were the maps that were all that were available until the 90's Really they were very hard to use and had some infamous errors in the contours such the one near Binn Chaonaigh in the Turks.

The 1:50,000 maps we now use are really much better, in particular in the contours. They stand well for readability in comparison with maps such as I have used in France and in Spain, though of course the layer tinting used here works much better in a territory such as Ireland where the maximum height is only around 1000m.

The OSI 1:50k maps are made by aerial survey which is responsible for the better contours. On the other hand, given that there is little surveying in person, there are different forms of error - too many in my opinion - such as errors of detail in river courses and errors about tracks through forests.

Still I wouldn't swap my 1:50k or Trailmaster maps for the half-inch. I rarely use the half-inch at all now though sometimes it is a convenient scale for driving with an eye to the landscape.

Thanks Moac for pointing out something well worth listening to.
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