More old mapping – Glasgow 1945

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From our library of old maps, here are some extracts from the 1945 Bartholomew’s Pocket Plan of Glasgow.

At PCGraphics we used these maps as the basis to create royalty free maps for clients in the UK by adding new, up to date information gleaned from street surveys and aerial photography.

This methodology has today largely been superseded by the widespread availability of street level photography, such as Google Street View, meaning that we don’t need to visit every town, city and area in the UK which we map. This saves time and, more importantly, money for the client.

Click on any of the thumbnails to view a larger image.

 

You can find out more about how we create our maps at PCGraphics by following this link to our website.

There are also other pages of old maps here on this blog:

Birmingham – as it was 60 years ago
More old maps
London 1939
Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Edinburgh
Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Glasgow

If you pop over to our Pinterest boards, along with loads of samples of up to date maps produced by PCGraphics, there’s also a whole board dedicated to old mapping.

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We’re not a Limited Company anymore…

Well, here’s some news.

On 15 August 2017 we closed our Limited Company called PCGraphics (UK) Limited.

But, that’s only half the story. Read on…

Admin, admin, admin. Yes, a lot of it is necessary but, especially with a small business, you can easily get swamped by it. The last straw was probably being forced to go through the motions of setting up pensions (we’re a one man, one woman team who don’t employ anybody else – we use subcontractors when necessary) when patently neither of us wanted them. And yet the government insists you do it.

Then there’s the filing of accounts and Annual Returns every year, VAT every quarter, plus other admin and associated costs of simply running a Limited Company. And, get it wrong or file your returns late and you get fined by HMRC.

Anyway, enough to say that for the size of our business we were getting bogged down by the administration associated with it.

So, we closed the Limited Company. ‘Dissolved via voluntary strike-off’ it’s called, incase you’re wondering.

But, we’re still in business. Still drawing maps. Life continues.

Now we’re trading simply as PCGraphics. We shortened the name and our bank account has changed, but that’s about it. Oh, and we don’t have to file returns to Company House or pay accountants (although, having said that, our last accountant, Nicola Jones at My Accountant Online  was very good. We recommend her.) And, as there’s two us us, we can spread the income and keep our turnover below the threshold where you have to charge VAT. Again, much simpler.

Since August, we’ve been operating as Sole Traders or self employed as most people call it.

So, yes, the Limited Company is gone but we’re still here.

And that’s the news flash over. Have a great day!

 

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More photos from Visit Isle of Wight

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Four miles off the south coast of England sits the Isle of Wight. The Island has a milder sub-climate than other areas of the UK and has been a holiday destination since Victorian times.

The main towns on the Isle of Wight are:

Newport is situated in the centre of the Island and is the county town or capital of the Island.

Ryde is the Island’s largest town with a population of around 30,000. Ryde has the oldest seaside pier in England and miles of sandy beaches.

Cowes is famous for the annual Cowes Week and is an international sailing centre.

East Cowes is best known for Osborne House, once the home of Queen Victoria.

Sandown is a popular seaside resort and is home to the Isle of Wight Zoo and the Dinosaur Isle museum which is built in the shape of a giant pterosaur.

Shanklin, which is now virtually joined to Sandown, attracts tourists with its high summer sunshine levels and sandy beaches. Shanklin Chine is the Island’s oldest attraction.

Ventnor on the south coast of the Island is built on the steep slopes of St Boniface Down.

The Isle of Wight also has it’s own flag which was registered on January 9th 2009.

Flag_of_the_Isle_of_Wight.svg

And, what’s more, we also have hovercraft!

hovercraft

Photos below courtesy of Visit Isle of Wight.

seaview

Above: Seagrove Bay in the north east of the Island.  (View more photos on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page)

shanklin

Above: Beach huts at Shanklin at night. (View more photos on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page).

Shanklin is situated on Sandown Bay, which stretches from Yaverland in the North to Luccombe in the South.

It was in Shanklin that Charles Darwin wrote his Origin of Species, which was published in 1859.

needles

Above: The Needles at sunset. (View more photos on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page).

The Needles is a row of three chalk stacks that rise out of the sea to the west of the Isle of Wight. The Needles takes its name from a fourth needle-shaped pillar called Lot’s Wife, which collapsed in a storm in 1764.

NeedlesOnTaylorsHampshire-1759

Above: The needle-shaped pillar (Lot’s Wife) can be clearly seen in this engraving from a map of Hampshire published in 1759.

appley1

Above: Appley Tower, to the east of Ryde. (View more photos on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page).

Appley Tower was built around 1875 as a folly in the grounds of the estate owned by the politician Sir William Hutt. A folly tower is a tower that has been constructed for ornamental rather than practical reasons. Appley Tower is one of the few surviving buildings from the estate and was built just above the beach in the form of a castle tower.

 

Did you know? The Isle of Wight is one of the richest dinosaur localities in Europe, with over 20 species of dinosaur having been recognised, some of which were first identified on the Island. Compton Bay, near Freshwater, features dinosaur footprints which are visible at low tide. (Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight, Wikipedia)

 

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Spot the Differences – the answers

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Last week we gave you two maps with 10 differences, how many did you find?

Here’s the answers, ringed in red on the map.

Screen Shot answer

(Map contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2016)

The map, above, is copyright Ordnance Survey. So, who are the Ordnance Survey? Here’s a very brief history.

The O.S. is the national mapping agency of Great Britain and is one of the world’s largest map producers. Ordnance Survey came about because of the lack of decent maps of Scotland following the Jacobite rebellion in 1745 and the threat of war with Napoleon.

The survey of Great Britain was originally carried out using triangulation methods but, more recently, aerial photography has become the chief source for updating and creating new mapping.

In April 2010, Ordnance Survey made available large amounts of data which, whilst still being O.S. copyright, is free to use. Ordnance Survey copyright lasts for 50 years, meaning that, currently, any O.S. mapping pre 1965 is now out of copyright.

Since 2011 Ordnance Survey’s headquarters have been at Adanac Park, Southampton, England.

 

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Police Interceptors (or not)

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More thoughts, submitted on an occasional basis by our Guest Blogger:  Jack Diamond.

 

I’ve been watching the television recently. Yes, you might say that was my first mistake but, actually, it was quite enlightening. Let me explain.

I was watching a programme called Police Interceptors (other police programmes of a similar nature also exist, I’m not necessarily recommending this one!).

You probably know the type of thing the programme is about. A policeman in a car notices another driver acting suspiciously or it gets flagged up by the ANPR system in the police car (ANPR is something the police have in their vehicles which automatically checks number plates and flags up any vehicles which aren’t taxed, insured etc).

Quite often the baddies decide they don’t wish to stop when requested by the police and press the pedal to the floor, racing through streets and across the countryside (even through the countryside in some cases).

The police have a difficult job now, trying to stop the vehicle whilst at the same time being aware of public safety. One car racing through a built up area at 90mph is bad enough but having two, three or more doing the same thing brings some obvious problems.

And the more the police chase the vehicle, the harder the bad person tries to get away so he (or she, for the sake of equality etc) drives faster and more recklessly.

In a number of cases, where public safety is deemed to be at risk, the police give up on the chase and let the baddies depart. Obviously this isn’t a very satisfactory outcome.

Well, and here we come to the point of my ramblings, why is it not possible for the police to have some safe method of stopping the vehicle? And, I mean an electronic method, not the ‘stinger’ (a roll of spiked metal designed to puncture the tyres of a car as it’s driven over it) which they use at present.

A 'stinger' or spike strip

(Stinger or spike strip – photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons)

Cars these days are full of electronics, from your key fob to open the door to the engine management system (a small computer) under the bonnet. In this day and age it can’t be beyond the realms of possibilities to have an override circuit built in to the management system which can be cut out to bring the car to a safe halt. Why can’t cars be built with this installed and the police given the power to press a switch (like a key fob) which will kill the engine of a vehicle which is being pursued?

It seems so obvious that you wonder why it isn’t being used already.

Yes, you could argue that criminals might get hold of these fobs and be able to stop other vehicles, but to what end? Surely the benefits of the police being able to end any vehicle pursuit whenever they want (and whenever it was safe to do so) would override any other concerns?

But then, if they did that, what would we watch on the TV on a wet Thursday evening?

Thanks for reading.

Jack Diamond.

 

(The views expressed in our Guest Blogs are personal opinions only and do not reflect the views of PCGraphics.)

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More photos from Visit Isle of Wight

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The Isle of Wight, home to Queen Victoria, is also famous for boat building, flying boats, the world’s first hovercraft (developed by Sir Christopher Cockerell), and the testing and development of Britain’s space rockets.

Approximately half of the Isle of Wight is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Photos courtesy of Visit Isle of Wight.

Below: Ventnor, on the south coast of the Isle of Wight, photographed at night.  (View on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page)

ventnor

Below: Bembridge Lifeboat Station, Isle of Wight. The first lifeboat service from Bembridge began in 1867. The new lifeboat station, below, was completed 2010 at a cost of £7,650,000. (View on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page)

rnli

View towards Bembridge, the easternmost point of the Isle of Wight. (View on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page)

bembridge

Did you know: The 1970 Isle of Wight Festival was by far the largest and most famous (or infamous depending on your viewpoint) of the early music festivals in the UK. The high attendance, many of them without tickets, led the UK Government to pass the ‘Isle of Wight Act’ in 1971 preventing gatherings of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special licence. The attendance at the 1970 Festival held at Afton Farm has been estimated at around 600,000.

festival1970

(Image, above, courtesy Wikipedia)

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2015 – a review

…or, what we’ve been doing the past 12 months

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January 2015

On Foot Holidays

We work with many tour operators and tourism companies and the winter months are usually quite a busy time for us, updating maps for inclusion in next summer’s brochures.

These were just two of a number of new maps for On Foot Holidays.

OFH Template RGB OFH Template RGB

February 2015

We are fortunate to have worked with a number of clients over a period of many years. Solent are one of our regular clients.

Solent IW

March 2015

We began working with Assura back in 2013, creating walk maps for display in Doctor’s Surgeries and Health Centres.

A4 Assura template

April 2015

This is the third year we’ve worked with Open Studios, producing maps of towns and villages across the Isle of Wight highlighting the location of artist’s studios etc.

Template Template

May 2015

During May we worked on 50 maps for Tramlink Nottingham. This project consisted of 27 new maps plus revisions to the existing 23 maps which we also produced by PCGraphics.

New Style template 2015 New Style template 2015 New Style template 2015

June 2015

This month brought more work from the publishing company Goldeneye. This time it was amendments to their map of Kent.

goldeneye

July 2015

Holiday time for our kids, Seamus and Sean

Here they are being hatched from dinosaur eggs (that’s where children come from, right?) at Blackgang Chine, Isle of Wight.

Seamus and Sean

August 2015

Another regular client, Helpful Holidays, asked us to update the maps for their 2016 brochure.

Help Hols 2015 railways pathsHelp Hols 2015 N Cornwall pathsHelp Hols 2015 N Devon paths

September 2015

We first worked for Kirker Holidays about 15 years ago and, like many clients, they decided to use our services once again this year.

Kirker Athens Kirker template

October 2015

Our project for Kirker Holidays stretched into October as well, updating and creating new maps.

Kirker templateCPM2 Region Template.ai

November 2015

November brought another opportunity to work with a client we’d worked with back in January this year, On Foot Holidays.

OFH Template RGB OFH Template RGB

December 2015

New maps for New Experience Holidays, (do you see what we did there?), another existing client, were created in December.

NewExAndorra

New Experience template

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The BBC – and how it’s always easier to spend other people’s money

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More thoughts, submitted on an occasional basis by our Guest Blogger:  Jack Diamond.

 

Did you know that the British Broadcasting Corporation (the BBC) spends less than half its budget on making programmes for TV and radio? The BBC has an annual budget of £5.1 billion but just £2.4 billion of this goes on making programmes.

So where does the rest of the money go?

Well, apart from rather a lot of inflated salaries (100 of the top BBC staff earn more than the Prime Minister of the UK), a recent report revealed that £230,000 of licence fee money was spent on tea. Yes, that’s tea, as in the beverage.

Plus, every week, and again I’ll repeat that, every week the BBC spends £100,000 on consultants. These are, apparently, management and public relations consultants. One would have thought that, out of a staff of 16,672 (as at October 2014), there would already be enough managers and public relations people. But no, apparently not.

Oh, and there was that £470,300 which was paid to George Entwistle, the former Director General (the boss in other words) who only held the position for 54 days. I’ll have to leave someone else to work out Mr Entwistle’s hourly rate but I bet it comes in substantially above the UK Government’s Minimum Wage.

The BBC – that’s the British Broadcasting Corporation (please take note of the emphasis on the word British) – also likes to advertise the fact that it offers news in 27 different languages. Now, I know we live in a multicultural society here in Britain, but I rather think the BBC should be aiming its broadcasts at people who speak English i.e. the residents of Britain.

BBC_languages

Why does it feel the need to provide news in Swahili or Uzbek or Urdu or even Gaelic? And I haven’t even mentioned Sinhala (what or where is that?) or Kyrgyz or Vietnamese. I’m just wondering how many people in Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan are actually tuning in to this? What’s the BBC’s target market in these countries and, quite honestly, is it worth the time, money and resources?

Just for your information, here’s the languages that the BBC thinks it’s a good idea to spend our (the licence fee payer’s) money on:

Africa

  • French
  • Hausa
  • Kirundi
  • Somali
  • Swahili

Asia (Central)

  • Kyrgyz
  • Uzbek

Asia (Pacific)

  • Burmese
  • Chinese
  • Indonesian
  • Japanese
  • Thai
  • Vietnamese
  • UK China

Asia (South)

  • Bengali
  • Hindi
  • Nepali
  • Pashto
  • Sinhala
  • Tamil
  • Urdu

Europe

  • Azeri
  • English
  • Gaelic
  • Russian
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Welsh

And, whilst I wouldn’t want to encourage the BBC to offer its news service in any other languages (for surely 27 is enough already), what about our European neighbours in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Denmark, Norway etc etc etc? Why offer a service to people in Vietnam and Burma but not those closer to home? Honestly, where’s the logic?

Now, here’s a definition from the dictionary for you:

Junket
Noun: an extravagant trip or celebration, in particular one enjoyed by government officials at public expense.
Verb: attend or go on a trip or celebration at public expense.

Which, I should point out, is in no way relevant to the following:

In 2014 the BBC sent 300 staff to Somerset to cover the annual Glastonbury Music Festival in Somerset, UK. Now, I’m sure you need a fair few people to operate the cameras and do interviews etc, but 300?

Let’s be clear, obviously I’m in no way suggesting that there were any hangers-on, simply tagging along because it was a music festival and there would be lots of alcohol and other stuff freely available, but it does seems like an awful lot of people to cover a weekend music event in the English countryside. I’m left wondering how many of those 300 were lining up to head off to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq or Libya when events perhaps more worthy of some in-depth investigation were taking place. Not too many I’d guess.

And then we come to the BBC’s sponsorship of the African Footballer of the Year.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/34779711

An African footballer of the year, fine, why not, but why is the BBC involved? How does an  African Footballer of the Year relate to Britain and the British Broadcasting Corporation?

Yes, a few of the players nominated for the award play in the English Premiership but many don’t. Surely the whole ethos of the BBC should be that it should be for the benefit of people in Britain. There must be companies in Africa who could be sponsoring this event, after all it is to celebrate an African footballer not a British one. Why is the UK BBC licence fee payer picking up the bill?

Thanks for reading.

Jack Diamond

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3123867/BBC-spends-half-cash-programmes-Critics-demand-inquiry-staggering-waste.html

(The views expressed in our Guest Blogs are personal opinions only and do not reflect the views of PCGraphics.)

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Liverpool 1946

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A year after World War 2 has finished and here we have one of the first post war maps of Liverpool to be produced.

This was a John Bartholomew & Sons map produced in late 1946. The map code B46 in the top left corner of the map gives a clue to the date. The letter B indicates the second half of the year and the number 46 gives the year.

This Bartholomew map of Liverpool is just one of many old maps we hold at PCGraphicsWe originally acquired full coverage of the UK in 50 year old, royalty free mapping to give us a base to work from when creating copyright free UK maps.

liverpool_coverliverpool_1liverpool_2liverpool_3liverpool_4liverpool_5liverpool_6liverpool_7liverpool_8liverpool_9liverpool_10liverpool_back_cover

The map below shows the original seven streets of Liverpool. This image was sourced from Wikipedia Commons. Below that is roughly the same area from the 1946 map. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Original_7_streets_of_Liverpool.jpg)

The third map, below, is from up to date 2015 Ordnance Survey data.

Original_7_streets_of_LiverpoolOriginal_7_streets_of_Liverpool_1946Original_7_streets_of_Liverpool_2015

Liverpool Castle, which can be seen towards the right hand edge of the original seven streets of Liverpool map, was built in the early part of the 13th century. In 1715 it was decided to demolish the castle and build a church in its place. Construction of St George’s church was completed in 1734. By 1825 the church had been pulled down and a new one built. In 1899 the church was again demolished and the Victoria Monument (marked on the 1946 map) erected in 1902.

You can find out more about how we create our maps at PCGraphics by following this link to our website.

There are also other pages of old maps here on this blog:

Birmingham – as it was 60 years ago
More old maps
London 1939
Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Edinburgh
Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Glasgow

If you pop over to our Pinterest boards, along with loads of samples of up to date maps produced by PCGraphics, there’s also a whole board dedicated to old mapping.

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More photos from Visit Isle of Wight

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The Isle of Wight, the largest island in England, what a beautiful place to live.

Photos courtesy of Visit Isle of Wight.

appley

This is Appley Tower, towards the eastern end of the long sandy beach at Ryde on the Isle of Wight.  (View on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page)

shanklin chine

Fisherman’s cottage on the beach at the bottom of Shanklin Chine, Isle of Wight. (View on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page)

duver

The duver at St Helens, Isle of Wight. A duver is an Isle of Wight dialect term for a large sand dune and there are several duvers around the Island. (View on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page)

 

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A Quick Tour Around…

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Egypt

In the past we’ve shown what we called a ‘Map of the Day,’ which featured a single map of one location from around the world, and published it on our Facebook page. But we’ve done it differently here.

Instead of one map, we’ve taken several maps and put them all onto this page on our blog.

Today it’s Egypt that we’re taking a quick tour around. Hope you enjoy your visit!

TR Land Template

Above, a general view of Egypt, showing the major cities and placing it in context amongst it’s neighbours Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Libya.

Egypt has more than 88 million inhabitants with the vast majority living in or around the Nile Valley.

TR Walk Template

Next we have central Cairo. Cairo is currently the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Middle East. We say ‘currently’ because plans have been announced to build a new capital city to the east of Cairo – read more details here on Wikipedia.

TR Walk Template  TR Walk Template  TR Walk Template

(You can click on any of these maps to view larger versions)

No visit to Egypt would be complete without a tour around the pyramids and tombs. Above we have, on the left, a plan of the pyramids of Giza. The map in the centre shows Saqqara (alternatively Sakkara or Saccara, depending on your preference), this being the vast necropolis for the ancient city of Memphis. On the right, a plan of Luxor which includes the site of Tutankhamun’s tomb and Howard Carter’s House.

TR Walk Template

Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great around 331 BC. As well as being a tourist destination today, it is also a major seaport with 80% of Egypt’s imports and exports passing through it.

For more information on our maps, how we draw them and many hundreds of samples of our work, click on any of the social media and website links below.

 

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Nottingham Trams – Phase 2

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Phase 2 of the Nottingham Trams network – the extension of the tram lines to Chilwell and Clifton – is due to be completed in summer 2015. PCGraphics are proud to have been awarded the contract for producing the mapping for this project.

Several years ago we created the mapping for the original routes (you can see some samples on our website here) and we were very pleased when Tramlink Nottingham asked us to produce the new maps.

Each of the maps show an area covering 5 minutes walking time from every tram stop. In total we’ve created 50 maps – 27 new maps this time plus revisions to the original 23 maps.

All 50 maps are based on Ordnance Survey data and were created in the graphics programme Illustrator.

Despite a tight schedule, all the maps were supplied on time and within budget, something which we pride ourselves upon.

Many of the existing 23 tram stop maps can be seen on our Pinterest Board here.

Below, we’re pleased to preview 4 of the new maps produced for Tramlink Nottingham. Click on any of the images to view a larger version.

New Style template 2015   New Style template 2015

New Style template 2015   New Style template 2015

 

Visit the Nottingham Trams website for more information concerning the tramlines.

Details about the construction of Phase 2 of the tram service can be found here.

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Walk the Wight 2015

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Walk the Wight – 25th Anniversary     Sunday 10th May 2015

Every year thousands of people walk the length and breadth of the Isle of Wight to raise money for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, the Isle of Wight’s only Hospice. The event has raised more than £3 million pounds over the past 25 years.

“The target in 2015 is to raise £250,000 towards our community nursing team, who provide care at home for people facing the end of their lives.”

You can help by raising money through sponsorship.

There are 4 separate walks to choose from:

  • The Full Walk: Bembridge to the Needles at Alum Bay (approx 26.5 miles / 8 to 12 hours)

  • The 1st Half: Bembridge to Carisbrooke (approx 12.5 miles / 4 to 6 hours)

  • The 2nd Half: Carisbrooke to the Needles at Alum Bay (approx 14 miles / 5 to 8 hours)

  • The Flat Walk: Sandown Bay Academy to Thompsons Trees, Shide (approx 8 miles / 2 to 3 hours)

Full details on the walk and how to register can be found on the Walk the Wight website

www.walkthewight.com

Walk the Wight is a fundraising event for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice. Visit the Hospice website here:

www.iwhospice.org

Walk_the_Wight

(PCGraphics (UK) Limited map of the full Walk the Wight route – Bembridge to the Needles)

 

 

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Birmingham – as it was 60 years ago

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Birmingham, the UK’s 2nd city with a population of around 1.1 million, has changed enormously over the years. The maps here date from approximately 60 years ago, which was around the time that a major redevelopment of Birmingham was planned to start.

From our library of old maps at PCGraphics, we’ve scanned some extracts from Geographia’s map of Birmingham and, as a comparison, the same area as shown on Google Maps today.

birmingham cover

You can click on any of the maps to view a larger version of the image.

First we’ll look at the area around Bournville, built by Cadbury in 1879 as a model town to house workers from their chocolate factory.

birmingham 4
birmingham 4 google
(Top: extract from 60 year old Geographia map of Birmingham. Below: Google map of the same area today. © Google 2015)

Next, an area covering Aston Park (next to Aston Villa Football Club) across to Gravelly Hill (now a major motorway junction, nicknamed spaghetti junction).

birmingham 1

The next four images form four quadrants around the central area of Birmingham.

The north west, Snow Hill station to Hockley.

birmingham 3.1

Going eastwards to Saltley.

birmingham 3.2

South west quadrant, New Street station to Ladywood.

birmingham 3.3

The south east, Moor Street to Bordesley and Small Heath (Small Heath being the original name for Birmingham City Football Club).

birmingham 3.4

This Geographia map of Birmingham is just one of many old maps we hold at PCGraphics. We originally acquired full coverage of the UK in 50 year old, royalty free mapping to give us a base to work from when creating copyright free maps.

You can find out more about how we create our maps at PCGraphics by following this link to our website.

There are also other pages of old maps here on this blog:

More old maps
London 1939
Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Edinburgh
Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Glasgow

If you pop over to our Pinterest boards, along with loads of samples of up to date maps produced by PCGraphics, there’s also a whole board dedicated to old mapping.

The best of 2014

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___________________________

…or, what we’ve been working on over the past 12 months.

 

January

Croatia

In January we produced maps for a new client, Dalmation Destinations, a tour operator based in London who specialise in chartered boats trips in Croatia and Montenegro.

February

Basic CMYK

February saw more maps for a regular client, the Assura Group. This particular map was for a walk route around Blyth.

March

ATG 09 design template

More maps, 17 in total this time, for another regular client, Audley Travel, all based around south east Asia.

April

EUROPE_JIGSAW

In April a new client from Ireland asked us to create an A2 size map of Europe to be used for a jigsaw.

May

Trouville_Sandown

Much closer to home in May when we produced this map of Sandown for the Trouville Hotel.

June

IHM NEWPORT 2012 final KP

Another regular client, Island Holiday Media, came back to us in June for maps covering Cowes and the River Medina.

July

Print

We produced this map of Liverpool Walks for the History Press in July.

August

DSCN2731

In August we once again visited sunny Spain – well, Menorca to be more precise. Seamus and Sean take a dip in the hotel pool.

September

Priory_Hospitals

This was one of two maps supplied to Priory Healthcare showing their locations around the UK.

October

helpful holidays

October, and another client who we’ve worked with over a number of years, Helpful Holidays. These were maps for their 2015 holiday brochure.

November

Capable_Travel

A new client, Capable Travel, wanted a 7 foot tall map of the UK for projection at a presentation they were doing.

December

CPM2 Region Template.ai

Another new client, this time On Foot Holidays, requested an initial 10 maps for their website followed by a further 14.

 

Loads more, literally hundreds, of samples of maps we’ve produced for clients can be found on our Pinterest boards

Have a good 2015!

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If you’ve landed on this page and wish to go to the first page of the blog, click here

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Follow PCGraphics on other social media:

PCGraphics website – customised digital mapping
Pinterest boards – currently over 500 samples of our work
Twitter
Facebook
Linkedin – PCGraphics showcase page

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Fancy something different to read? Try the new novel from Paul Webb – available now from Amazon.

A steamy concoction of passion, jealousy, greed and naivety from the writer of Bare Bones, also available on Amazon.

“…at less than £1.25 for the Kindle version, well worth a read.”

“…this one stands out from the crowd. Try not to miss it.”

“It doesn’t disappoint”

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More old maps…

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We’ve taken our lives in our hands once again, ventured into the dusty corner of the office and raided the filing cabinet to bring you some more scans of old UK maps, this time it’s from a book called ‘The Popular Road Book of Great Britain’.

The Popular Road Book is undated but, judging by some of the information on the maps, it must have been published just before the Second World War, so the late 1930s is our best guess (apparently, it was after the war that the Western Avenue in west London was changed from the A403 to the A40; the London map shown here has the Western Avenue as the A403, hence our rough guess for the map being mid to late 1930s).

The original book is quite battered and brown/grey now (after about 80 years it’s not surprising) but we’ve cleaned these scans up a bit in Photoshop so they look somewhat better.

If you look back through this blog you’ll find lots of other old maps and guide books which we’ve put online from time to time.

We originally purchased our library of old maps to help us create royalty free UK mapping. Going back a few years, Ordnance Survey was very restrictive, and expensive, to base any new mapping upon, so we were forced to go to great lengths (buying maps more than 50 years old plus street checking every town and city and, more latterly, using GPS to plot motorway alignments around the country) to make new maps.

Since April 2010 however, a lot of the restrictions have been lifted and it’s easier and cheaper to use Ordnance Survey data as the basis for any new UK maps.

The maps shown here are Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry,
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester,
Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Portsmouth,
Sheffield, Southampton and Stoke.

Click on any of the maps to enlarge them.

Birmingham BradfordBristolCardiff Coventry EdinburghGlasgowHullLeedsLeicesterLiverpoollondonManchesterNewcastleNottinghamplymouthPortsmouthSheffieldSouthamptonStoke

Remember, you can find out about all our NEW maps on our website.

If you’ve landed on this page and wish to go to the first page of the blog, click here

 

PCGraphics on other social media:

PCGraphics website – customised digital mapping
Pinterest boards – currently over 500 samples of our work
Twitter
Facebook
Linkedin – PCGraphics showcase page

Fancy something different to read? Try the new novel from Paul Webb – available now from Amazon.

A steamy concoction of passion, jealousy, greed and naivety from the writer of Bare Bones, also available on Amazon.

“…at less than £1.25 for the Kindle version, well worth a read.”

“…this one stands out from the crowd. Try not to miss it.”

“It won’t disappoint”

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New, revamped website goes live

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We’re very pleased to announce that PCGraphics new, revamped, super-duper website has gone live!

With more samples of our work than you can shake a stick at, plus a design which blends in more easily with our social media sites – Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and this pcgblog too – it should enable all users to find what they are looking for more easily and give a much enhanced user browsing experience.

In other words, we think you’ll like it much more than the old site!

website_slides

 

Our other social media sites include:

pinterest_page_1 facebook_page_1
Pinterest     and     Facebook

twitter_page_1 linkedin_page_1

Twitter     and     Linkedin

 

If you’ve landed on this page and wish to go to the first page of the blog, click here

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PCGraphics on other social media:

PCGraphics website – customised digital mapping
Pinterest boards – currently over 500 samples of our work
Twitter
Facebook
Linkedin – PCGraphics showcase page

 

From the air…

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Bembridge Harbour, on the Isle of Wight, was previously known as Brading Haven – the harbour inlet stretched inland to where the town of Brading is now situated. After several abortive attempts, Brading Haven was eventually drained and Bembridge Harbour formed by the building of the causeway which can be seen in the foreground of the photo.

The causeway is now a road but was originally built as a rail line linking the towns of St Helens and Bembridge.

brading_haven

Yarmouth, below, on the Isle of Wight, is one of the smallest towns in the UK with a population of around 800. The pier in the foreground is the longest wooden pier open to the public in the UK.

The Wightlink ferry (taking cars and foot passengers between Yarmouth and Lymington) can be seen to the right of the photograph.

yarmouth2

 

Both photos courtesy of Visit Isle of Wight. More superb photos can be found on their Facebook page.

 

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Pinterest update

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pinterest

We’ve been very busy on Pinterest recently and added loads more samples of our work.

We use Pinterest because it’s easy to upload files and show samples of what we do. A website can be a bit limited when you’re producing hundreds of maps and want to display them, but Pinterest fits the bill perfectly.

And, when we say hundreds of maps we mean, literally, hundreds of maps.

Over the past week or so we’ve added around 400 images to our boards on Pinterest. We now have separate boards showing samples of Transport Maps, Location Maps, Walk Maps and now UK Town & City Maps (347 of these alone) – all in addition to our original Customised Mapping board.

So, if you’re looking to see what type of maps we can produce it’s certainly worth taking a look at what we have on Pinterest. And we’ll be adding more as and when time permits.

Here’s the link to our Pinterest boards

http://www.pinterest.com/pcgraphics/

If you have a Pinterest board of your own and would like to re-pin any of our maps, feel free. That’s why we put them there.

 

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The PCGraphics ‘Who’s Who’ of Tourism Companies

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We mentioned (ok, boasted) recently in a blog post about the number of Tour Operator and Tourism companies we’ve worked with over the years. Well…we decided to see just how many we could find in a quick search through our records. Ok, so we were bored and had a few minutes to spare in the office!

It reads a bit like a Who’s Who of tourism. There’s some big names in there, plus some smaller outfits too.

Have a quick look and see if we’ve drawn maps for your holiday company.

Deep breath, here we go…

Accoladia
Accommodation Line
Acorn Ski
Affinity Villas
Africa & Asia Venture
Africa Travel Centre
American Holidays
Audley Travel Group
Bailey Robinson
Balfour France
Belfast International Airport
Bonnes Vacances
British Airways Holidays
Bufo Ventures
CARIBTOURS
Cassis Travel Services
Castaways Holidays
Citysightseeing
Classic Crete
Colours Of Oz
Consort Travel
Croatian Villas
Crossgates
Dilos Holiday World
Driveline
Edwin Doran’s Travel World
Emerald Global
European Travel Commission
Farside Africa
Fast Track Holidays
Fens Tourism
First Choice Holidays
French Golf Holidays
Geodyssey
Getaway UK
Helpful Holidays
Holiday Options
Holidays 4U
Honeymoon Worldwide Holidays
Hotel Connect
Hotels Abroad
Ian Mearns Holidays
IMS Travel & Consultancy
International Chapters
International Travel Connections
Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring
Isle of Wight Tourism
Kerala Connections
Kirker Holidays
Kuoni Voyages
Lupus Travel
Major Travel
Mallorca Farmhouses
Manos Travel
Mayo Naturally
Med Hotels
MyStay
New Experience Holidays
Not Just Villas
Ocean Explorer
Quark Expeditions
Quest Travel
Recommended Hotels
Regent Holidays
Room Service
Routes Online
Russia Revealed
SAS – Scandinavian Airline System
Select Apartments
Shearings Holidays
Shetland Island Tourism
Ski Activity
Ski Class
Something Special
Sovereign Holidays
STA Travel
Sunways
Swan Hellenic
The Caravan Club
The Peru Experience
The Responsible Safari Company
The Ultimate Travel Company
Thomson Travel Group
Tim Best Travel
Tony Backhurst Scuba Travel
Travelbeam
Travelbound
Traveleads
TUI
Venue Holidays
Vintage Travel
Virgin Holidays
Visit Norwich
Voyager Zambia
Wanderlust
Western Oriental
Westport Tourism
Wilderness Dawning Safaris
Worldwide Holidays Direct
WOTIF.COM
Yes Travel

falklands CPM2 Template landscape.ai peru Botswana Rwanda-Uganda ATG 09 design template IHM NEWPORT 2012 final KP Croatia Capable_Travel

For some of these clients we’ve already been busy creating new mapping and revising existing maps for their 2015 holiday destinations – and it’s only the end of October 2014 as I write this. We actually started the first of the maps for 2015 back in July!

So…and here comes the sales part (look away now if you’re of a nervous disposition)…if you work in the tourism industry and would like to talk to us about some new maps for your website or brochures, then don’t hesitate. We can handle last minute requests but it makes it easier all round, for us and for you, if we get a bit more time to produce exactly what you want.

For enquiries, either skip over to the contact page on our website, or email us. It’s dead easy really. And we’re very friendly too.

Oh, and enjoy next year’s holiday too, wherever you happen to be going and whoever’s map you are using.

 

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Location Maps – why do we need them?

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Location_Maps_thumb

We’ve been in business since 1998 and, almost since Day 1, we’ve been producing location maps for businesses on a regular basis. The question though is why do businesses, and people in general, need location maps when it seems like just about everyone has a smart phone with access to Google Maps or similar apps?

Well, there’s obviously a need for them. We don’t produce location maps for fun, we produce them because people approach us and ask us (oh, and pay us to produce the map too, that’s important!).

I suppose a better question might be, why doesn’t Google Maps, or whoever, fulfil this requirement?

Perhaps it’s because it’s seen as a lazy way of interacting with a client who wants to visit your business location, office etc. Here’s our address, now go and look it up for yourself on the internet to find out how to get to us.

Also, if you are trying to contact potential clients through a print medium – a retail store advertising in a newspaper, for instance – you have to use a location map.

So, location maps do work and people need them, which probably explains why we’re still producing these types of maps even though Google has mapped (almost) the whole World.

The next question, having decided that it would be best if potential clients knew where to find your business, is ‘What kind of location map do I want?’

Well, there’s as many different styles of location map as there are businesses. Well, ok, not quite, but you get the general idea. You can have whatever size and style and colours you like. Everything from a map of the whole country showing your multiple locations…

Priory_Hospitals

To a map closely centred on your location, such as this one we produced for the St John’s Ambulance a few years ago…

Basic CMYK

You can also have direction to your offices, which helps if your location is a bit more difficult to find or where there is particular car parking areas to use, or one-way streets etc to navigate. All these can be shown on the map or on a panel next to it.

Shoreham_Port

Or, do you fancy more of a street map, showing the surrounding area, streets etc? This particular sample was for the Wrenwood Hotel in Boscombe, near Bournemouth. Invaluable for guests travelling to the hotel.

Wrenwood_LOCATION

And here’s another example. This one was produced for Audley Travel – one of our tour operator clients, situated at the end of the very picturesque New Mill Lane, just outside Witney in Oxfordshire. Audley use the location maps on their website.

audley_location

Walsh & Co, a firm of solicitors based in Cornwall, asked us to produce this map to highlight their location. Again, it’s also on their website.

Walsh&CoMap

Closer to home – closer to our home, anyway – this black and white location map was created recently for the Trouville Hotel in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight…

Trouville Sandown

And even mapping companies need location maps too. This was ours when we had offices in Old Woking, Surrey…

PCG_WOKING_LOCATION

And, remember, it doesn’t have to be for a business. We get requests for location maps for weddings, village and town hall events, museums and galleries and just about everything else you can think of. If people need to find you, then you probably need a location map.

If you like any of our sample maps here and think you’d like something similar for your own business, then do contact us. We’re more than happy to give you free advice and a quote for your map. All we need to know is a rough idea of what style of map you want, any logos etc to be included and whether you want directions to your location. Oh, and the address would be handy too!

There’s more info about location maps on our website, or drop us an email info@pcgraphics.uk.com

 

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Happy Birthday

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Happy Birthday…to us!

On the 1st October 2014 PCGraphics celebrated it’s 16th birthday. Yes, we started way back in 1998.

happy_birthday

We’ve been through some highs and lows in that time. Some of the highlights of the past 16 years were:

• Employing some great people

• Managing to get through those first difficult years when most new companies fail

• Winning some good contracts and having clients who actually become personal friends

• Having fun along the way

 

And, some of the less good things included:

• Employing a few people who simply weren’t interested in working

• Dealing with all the admin and red tape of running a company

• Trying to understand Balance Sheets

 

But, we must have been doing something right as we’re still around and doing business when a number of our competitors have gone to the wall.

So, Happy Birthday to us as we start year 17. Here’s to the next 16.

 

the_hall

(Where it all began – The Hall, Guildford. Our first offices)

 

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Company Director profile – Sally Cooney

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This is the second in our PCGraphics Company Director profiles. The first, for Paul, can be found here.
 
Here’s what Sally, our Production Director, has to say for herself.
 
I was born and brought up in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. For those in the know, its where the TV show Last of the Summer Wine was filmed in the 70’s 80’ and 90’s – Compo, Clegg, Foggy etc. When I left home at the age of 19 to go to University, I’d make a point of watching Last of the Summer Wine to remind me of home.
 
last_of_the_summer_wine
(Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
 
I was very studious at school all the way through my GCSE’s and A Levels, a bit of a swot by all accounts. I don’t mind saying that A Levels were quite probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done (including what I studied at University) – I did manage B,B,C in Geography, Social Biology and Maths / Statistics respectively. I also managed to find the time for another GCSE while I was doing my A Levels – GCSE in Russian, but don’t ask me to speak any of it now though!
 
 Those results were enough to get me to a decent red brick university to study Geography – in Southampton. Just about as far away from Holmfirth as you can get, but I didn’t mind that, I wasn’t planning on coming home mid term and the climate is significantly better down south!
 
You can read more about my work choices and how I ended up in cartography by following this link to another of our blog posts.
 
And so to life on the Isle of Wight – what a gem of a place to live! In between drawing maps and bringing up 2 young boys, I spend my time gardening, baking, running and dabbling on the sewing machine which was gifted to me by a kind neighbour. It’s a 1920s Singer crank handle manual sewing machine and its a work of art.
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
 
On Saturdays, whenever possible, I like to participate in a Park Run at Newport which is a timed 3 mile route around Seaclose Park, the site of the annual Isle of Wight Music Festival. Occasionally the venue is moved to Appley Park in Ryde which is lovely – what could be better than running alongside the beach? I even manage to do some advertising with my PCG t-shirt on – you’ve got to take these opportunities where you can!park_run(Sally, left, sauntering past some back markers in the Park Run at the Appley Park site near Ryde)Well, that’s enough about me…probably more than enough!If you’ve landed on this page and wish to go to the first page of the blog, click here

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London 1939

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In our blog this week we’re looking again at a publication from the collection of old maps which we hold at PCGraphics. This time we’re off to London and it’s 1939, mostly looking at the areas of north and east London. These are taken from an Atlas of London (the London Pocket Atlas and Guide), produced by John Bartholomew & Son Ltd in 1939. It’s similar in format to the Ward Lock Red Guides which we’ve shown previously on here (indeed it also looks very similar to those books in that it is approximately the same size and also has a red cover). This Bartholomew guide, however, has many more maps (perhaps that’s to be expected, as Bartholomew are a mapping company) and less descriptive text than the Ward Lock offerings and no adverts.

There is still some interesting things to read within the covers and the scans below are an example, particularly the derivation of some London place names.

barts_london1

barts_london2

(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

A testament to the most popular form of long distance transport at this time is show in the extract below, where there is a listing of shipping companies plus the main docks within London. Contrast this with the much shorter list of civil aerodromes and it is clear that most people travelled by sea.

Heathrow is listed but, at this time, it was only a minor airfield, being upgraded to a larger military airport around 1944. Obviously, when the war ended a year later, it changed to become a civil airport and grew to be what it is today – the busiest international passenger airport in the World.

barts_london3

Next we move on to some of the maps from the guide book. Firstly, the areas around Rotherhithe, Poplar and Greenwich, much of which has been rebuilt lately.

barts_london4barts_london4a

(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

Now, a look slightly further east to Woolwich and Plumstead, which, again, has undergone a lot of building work since 1939.

barts_london5

(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

Moving north to Tottenham, Walthamstow and Leytonstone, things haven’t changed quite so much.

barts_london6barts_london6a

(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

Below is the area from Highgate up to Wood Green, as it was in 1939.

barts_london7

(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

North west London now, around Hendon, Neasden and Golders Green. If you looked at a modern map of this area today you’d notice that a lot of the open areas of land in 1939 have disappeared.

barts_london8barts_london8a

(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

And, finally, ending with a scan from some of the text, this one informing us of some of the Museums and Art Galleries we could visit along with other places of interest.

It’s quite interesting to look at some of the entries, for example:

•  Bethnal Green Museum – this is now the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood.
•  The Diploma Galleries are now part of the Royal Academy.
•  Home Office Industrial Museum – heaven knows what this was! Can’t find any records of it.
•  Apothecaries’ Hall – The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (you may need to refer to Wikipedia for this one).

barts_london9

(Click on any of the images to see an enlargement)

That’s about it for London in 1939. More to come in the future as we make our way through a filing cabinet full of old maps!

 

Remember, if you need up to date, custom drawn maps, visit our website.

 

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Career Choices

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Author – Sally Cooney, Production Director at PCGraphics (UK) Limited

Some Thoughts about Career Choices
(or  How I Became a Cartographer)

It was back in 1995 and I can remember sitting in the Careers Office of Southampton University in the January of my final year. They say that any student who reads Geography at University doesn’t know what career they what to go into, and they were right!

I’d had a great time at Southampton, including an expedition to the Arctic for a month (you can read more on that topic here), but I was looking for a career. I knew that I’d always loved geography, maps and drawing and set about trying to find something which combined all three. I had a flash of inspiration when I thought about the Cartographic Services within the University Geography Department, maybe I could make a career out of that?

I was accepted on an accelerated Masters course at Glasgow University which would “convert” me in to a Cartographer. As this was my second degree, I had to fund myself with a Career Development Loan (£6000 at that time) to pay for course fees and living for 12 months. Believe me, there’s nothing like paying for the course yourself to concentrate your mind! I had to be pretty sure that I’d get a job at the end of it all. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy much of my time in Glasgow, for me the spirit of being a student didn’t really apply as a postgraduate.

BSc_Graduation

Just before I finished my course in Sept 1996 I was offered my first job at ESR, a cartographic company in Byfleet, Surrey, as a Junior Technician. I was amazed that I could be paid for something I loved doing. It hardly seemed like work!

As a junior, the pay wasn’t great but I was making some headway in paying off my Career Development Loan. I spent most of that year drawing town plan maps for Thomson Directories, 400+ of them all over the country! I loved it, and the in-depth knowledge of that project would become very useful to us in the years that followed.

In October 1997, ESR was falling apart and a select few were invited from ESR to join Lovell Johns in Oxfordshire. This was a big step for me with a steep learning curve, but I advanced from a junior technician to be running some significant projects.

In September 1998 an opportunity became available to be more than just an employee. At 25, and with only 2 years cartographic experience, Paul, who had been my manager at both ESR and Lovell Johns, asked whether I wanted to be involved with his newly setup company, PCGraphics. I didn’t take long to decide. I wasn’t especially happy living away from home all week at Lovell Johns and this meant that I could move back to Surrey permanently where I’d bought a house in 1996.

Being a Director took some getting used to, especially in the early days of the company, but now we’re master of our own destiny, as they say, and life is a bit easier.

Cartography has been a great career for me but whether it’s so easy to get into these days is open to question. One of the previous articles on this blog talked about the demise of many of the larger cartographic companies over the past 15 years or so and, while there are still a number of mapping companies around, very few of them are the size they used to be, which does cut down the number of opportunities. But, if you’ve got a degree in Geography and, like me, don’t quite know what to do with it, then cartography is probably still worth considering.

 

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Cartography – a dying art?

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Cartography, the art and science of making maps, has been around for many thousands of years. Indeed, the oldest known map is dated at several thousand years BC. So, why would something that has been with us for such a long period of time be dying out and is it actually the case that the art of cartography is dying?

The short answer is no, cartography itself isn’t dying. There are probably more maps available today than at any time previously. Just look on the internet and you’ll find, without much effort at all, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps and countless others too, all covering the whole world and all available in various levels of detail. But, and this is perhaps the important part, it’s arguable that even though there’s so much cartography around, the profession of cartographer is becoming extinct.

So, what do we base this assertion on, that the there are less cartographers around these days even though there are maps just about everywhere you look?

One method is easy, just look at the employment figures from the largest map producer in the UK, Ordnance Survey. Over the years their numbers have dropped considerably. From published figures, in 2006 there were 1470 employees (and very few of this number would be cartographers) yet by 2011, only 5 years later, numbers had dropped by about a quarter to 1132, and that number is no doubt considerably lower today.

According to Wikipedia, the roots of Ordnance Survey go back to 1747, when the compilation of a map of the Scottish Highlands was proposed. From there, the Triangulation of Great Britain took place between 1783 and 1853, which gave us the basis of the Ordnance Survey maps we see today. 

Ordnance Survey is still a large organisation by most standards but most of the smaller cartographic companies have reduced in size too. Indeed, many small and medium sized cartographic companies have fallen by the wayside over the past 20 years. Even here at PCGraphics, going back 14 or so years, we used to permanently employ around 15 or more cartographers, whereas these days we operate a very small team and use freelancers when necessary. And all this when the number and variety of maps in the marketplace has risen dramatically.

MCE

(Back in the 1970’s, Mapping and Charting Establishment – MCE(RE) – was perhaps second only to Ordnance Survey in the number of cartographers it employed. This was the intake of new, trainee cartographers in 1972, around 50 of them, which was the usual number of trainees taken on each year at MCE. How many organisations take on that number of cartographers each year these days? None.)

What we have now though are huge databases of maps and satellite imagery (e.g. Google maps and Google Earth) and very few companies producing customised maps.

It would also be easy to argue that, even if cartography itself is not dying, the art of cartography is possibly dying. Why? Computers are certainly a part of it. Few would disagree that 30 years or so ago, when maps were drawn ‘by hand’, that it was an art. In fact, it was also very laborious, painstaking and expensive but it definitely was an art. These days, much of the art has gone out of cartography. Extracting an area from a large database and changing the specification (the colours, line widths etc) is hardly the cutting edge of artistic design.

There still are maps out there which have been artistically designed but, and here’s another part of the reason why they are in decline, they cost an arm and a leg to produce.

Occasionally at PCGraphics we get asked to produce what we term illustrative maps. These are maps that are not strictly cartographic but look more artistic and even, in some cases, hand drawn. These maps can be very pretty to look at, but the fact is that they aren’t always so user friendly and are very expensive to produce. Hence we don’t get asked to produce them very often.

So, there’s still a small number of cartographic companies such as us at PCGraphics out there producing customised mapping. But is what we are creating ‘art’? Possibly not, but it’s still a pretty good profession to be in, and, fortunately for us, there still is a market out there for people and companies who don’t want the same ubiquitous Google map as their competitor.

 

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Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Edinburgh

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Following on from our look at vintage Glasgow, Bath and Harrogate guide books, here we take a trip back to Edinburgh in 1952, courtesy of Ward-Lock’s Red Guide.

edinburgh_front_cover

Maps are an important part of any guide book but there were only three maps in the Red Guide to Edinburgh, which is quite surprising by today’s standards, especially considering that the Guide Book is getting on for 200 pages long.

The first map was an overview map of the area surrounding Edinburgh. Then, further into the Guide, came the map of central Edinburgh (an extract of which we’ve shown below) and, near the end, a map of the Portobello region.

One of our own maps of Edinburgh is shown here for comparison.

edinburgh_map

(Extract from the 1952 map of Edinburgh included in the Ward Lock Guide Book)

Edinburgh_Town_Plan

(Our own map of Edinburgh produced a few years ago for Thomson Local Directories)

Although the maps are interesting – and pretty essential in any guide book both in 1952 and today – the adverts in the Red Guides are also of interest and give a unique insight into the way things were then and how they’ve changed today.

In 1952 the predominant advertisers in the Guide Books were Insurance Companies, not something you’d find in too many Guide Books these days. In fact, there were six individual adverts for insurance, most of them full page advertisements, in the Edinburgh guide. There were also three adverts for Banks – the Westminster Bank, National Provincial Bank and the Standard Bank of South Africa.

edinburgh_advert_4  edinburgh_advert_3edinburgh_advert_2

The text in the Guide Book can be quite amusing too. Does anyone in the UK remember when shops used to close for a half day once a week? How about fishmongers closing on Monday afternoons; drapers and jewellers on Tuesdays; bakers, butchers, grocers, chemists, hairdressers and stationers on Wednesdays; plus most of the shops on Princes Street in Edinburgh on Saturday afternoons? Imagine having to keep track of that lot and arranging your weekly shop around when they were actually open! No wonder supermarkets, opening 24/7, took over.

early_closing

And, just in case you wanted to know how you should visit Edinburgh, we’ve included here the text from a few of the pages – all written in what seems like a rather quaint way, but this was probably standard for the time.

Edinburgh in Half a Day is typical of this:

If one has but half a day to devote to Edinburgh and no private car to speed – or hamper – one, it is possible (with the occasional aid of public conveyances and without overtaxing one’s legs) to ‘do’ most of the major sights, after a fashion; but while the New Town openly displays its charms and its story is such that he who runs may read, it must be borne in mind that the Old Town hides many of its rarest treasures in obscure corners – courts and closes, wynds and vennels – which baffle the hustling globe-trotter and can only be explored on foot.

 

how_to_see_edinburgh in_half_day_2

Some of the places of interest listed for Edinburgh in 1952 included the Public Library, the Register House and the Signet Library (but, please note that use of this library is granted only to applicants who have been ‘suitably recommended’).

places_of_interest

At PCGraphics we have many more of these Ward Lock Guide Books, plus other maps and tourist books, all more than 50 years old and some as old as 100 years. They were originally bought to give us ‘royalty free’ source material for creating town and city plans of the UK. That requirement has now been largely made redundant by the freeing up of Ordnance Survey data but they are still a fascinating insight into times gone by.

(You can click on any of the images above to view them at a larger size)

 

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Open Studios 2014

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If you’re interested in art then you will surely be interested in Open Studios 2014. The event, on the Isle of Wight, is held across two weekends in July and it’s a unique opportunity to see the work of over 130 artists and craftspeople as they open the doors of their studios to the public. And, what’s more, it’s all absolutely free.

Work on show includes paintings in oil and watercolour, pottery, jewellery, textiles, sculptures, glasswork plus much, much more.

Open Studios is on between Friday 18 July and Monday 21 July 2014 and again between Friday 25 July and Monday 28 July 2014.

To find out more about Open Studios 2014, follow the link below:

http://www.isleofwightarts.com/openstudios/

For a list of all the participants, along with samples of their work, follow this link:

http://isleofwightarts.com/yearbook.php

PCGraphics (UK) Limited are pleased to have supplied the maps for Open Studios, locating more than 130 artists across the Island.

 

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Isle of Wight Festivals

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There’s loads of festivals across the Island throughout the year. Below are just a few of the one’s on during 2014 – the big ones are obviously the Isle of Wight Music Festival and, later in the year, Bestival. Having said that, the Garlic Festival over the weekend of 16 & 17 August attracts around 20,000 visitors and several thousand scooterists turn up for the International Scooter Rally, also in August.

Isle of Wight Festival
12 – 15 June 2014
Featuring, amongst others
Biffy Clyro; Calvin Harris; Red Hot Chili Peppers; The Specials; Kings of Leon; Suede; Boy George; Inspiral Carpets; Alison Moyet
https://www.isleofwightfestival.com

iw_festival
(Isle of Wight Festival 2013)

Bestival
4 – 7 September 2014
Featuring, amongst others
Outkast; Foals; Chic featuring Nile Rodgers; Beck; Disclosure; Major Lazer; Busta Rhymes; Paloma Faith; Basement Jaxx
http://www.bestival.net

bestival
(Bestival 2013)

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival will take place from 3rd to 18th May 2014

The Old Gaffers Festival at Yarmouth takes place from May 30th -1st June 2014

old_gaffers
(Old Gaffers 2013)

There’s a Festival of Flowers at Barton Manor on Sunday 8th June

The Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea will take place over five days between Monday 16th and Monday 23rd June

The Garlic Festival is on from 16/08/2014 – 17/08/2014

The International Scooter Rally comes each year to Isle of Wight. This year from 23/08/2014 – 26/08/2014

V-Dub Island is on from 14/08/2014 – 18/08/2014

Isle of Wight Cycling Festival is between 13/09/2014 – 28/09/2014

Literary Festival, across the Island from 16/10/2014 – 19/10/2014

The Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival 24/10/2014 – 27/10/2014

Plus, many of the towns and villages have their own festivals and carnivals, including illuminated and children’s carnivals.

You can find out more about what’s on across the Isle of Wight on the Visit Isle of Wight website.

bembride  towards_culver  culver2
(Left – the beach near Bembridge; Centre – view towards Culver Down; Right – Culver in the foreground with Bembridge in the middle distance).

Images courtesy of the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page.

 

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Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Glasgow

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This is the third in our series of glimpses into the Red Guide Books produced by Ward-Lock. This particular title, Glasgow, was published around 1939-40. The books don’t tend to be dated anywhere obvious i.e. not on the cover or the publisher’s credits page as might be usual. Sometimes they require a little bit of searching to find the publication date and, in this edition, it can be found at the foot of one of the pages of adverts. Occasionally the maps within the Guide Book are dated and this can also give a clue as to the date of publication.

glasgow-cover

(Above, Ward-Lock Glasgow front cover)

(Below, Ward-Lock Glasgow introduction page)

glasgow-introduction

(Click on any of the images to enlarge)

The Introduction to Glasgow page (above) is quite interesting. In the first line we’re told that the population, in 1939, is ‘well over a million’. I think most of us would expect that figure to have increased, perhaps substantially, over the last 75 years but the official figure is now around 625,000. Some of this can be put down to boundary changes but Wikipedia also gives the following explanation:

Glasgow’s population peaked in 1931 at 1,088,000, and for over 40 years remained over 1 million. However, in the 1960s the population started to decline, partly due to relocation to the “new towns” in clearings of the poverty-stricken inner city areas like the Gorbals.

For those who don’t know Glasgow, the Gorbals was a notorious slum area on the south side of the River Clyde with a high population density, many living in tenement buildings. The Gorbals was often referred to as the most dangerous place in the UK in the 1930s.

glasgow-map

 

Mapping in the Glasgow Guide Book, as in previous books, was provided by John Bartholomew and Son, the Edinburgh based cartographic company. The name of Bartholomew is still around in the mapping world today, albeit only as part of Harper Collins – the name Collins Bartholomew is given to Harper Collins cartographic datasets. The map extract, above, shows an area around Kelvingrove in Glasgow.

Adverts from these Guide Books are always entertaining and the one below is no different. Take a look at the Salvation Army advert on the right hand page, below. Who could resist the plea to send a gift to ‘Slum mothers and Children’ so that they may go on a ‘Slum Holiday’?

glasgow-advert2

The advert for the National Provincial Bank (later to become the National Westminster and then NatWest), below right, attempts to paint the bank in a somewhat different light to how we perhaps perceive banks today.

“Not the least of the attractions of the city of London, are the half-hidden by-ways and alleys, so rich in historic association. The ancient rights of way, thus jealously guarded against the encroachments of the master-builder, are a permanent witness to the great traditions of the city. Amongst the institutions proud to share in such a heritage is the National Provincial Bank.”

glasgow-advert1

 

All the Ward-Lock Red Guides used photographs as well as maps to illustrate the publication. The photos were black & white and usually of well known landmarks or scenic views. The picture below shows George Square in Glasgow from the 1939 Guide.

 

glasgow-georgesquare

 

So far we’ve covered Harrogate, Bath and now Glasgow with our look back at the Ward-Lock Guide Books. More of these come in the future.

 

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Transport Maps

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Buses, trams, trains – most of us use these at one time or another and many of us need maps to help us navigate the various transport systems, especially when the town or city is unfamiliar to us. Transport maps were therefore an important and high profile addition to the range of maps we could offer our clients.

We began producing maps for transport companies back in 2004 when we created our first maps for the Nottingham Tram Consortium. The initial project consisted of a system overview map plus detailed maps of each tram stop with each map showing the surrounding streets etc.

Nottingham_Trams_System   nottingham_system_extract

(Left, the system overview map and right, an enlarged extract showing the level of detail on the map)

In total there were 23 tram maps and these all followed a similar style to the Old Market Square map shown below, and all incorporating local information including pubs, museums, Council Offices, libraries, tourist information centres etc.

Old_Market_Square

tram_photo

(Above, trams at the Old Market Square on the Nottingham Tram network – photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Next we moved on to buses and in 2006 we began work on a large project for Yellow Buses in Bournemouth where we mapped every bus route across the conurbation of Bournemouth, Boscombe, Poole and parts of Christchurch. The network map, below, covers the complete area and shows not only the bus routes but most of the main roads across the whole of the area.

Bournemouth_Network

In addition to this, we also created what were termed Spider Maps, along with schematic maps and route maps for each individual bus route on the system.

The schematic map was a stylised map of all the bus routes – similar in design to the iconic London Underground maps, and a simple way to find your way around Bournemouth by bus, but not, of course, geographically accurate.

Bournemouth_Schematic

(Above, Yellow Buses schematic map)

The Spider Maps took the schematic map and highlighted each of the major bus intersections in a separate map with detail on where to board each individual bus. The map below shows the Boscombe Spider Map.

Spider_Boscombe

(Boscombe Spider Map)

We also created route maps for Yellow Buses where every bus stop on the bus route was shown. The route map below is a good example and is for the number 5 route from Bournemouth Town Centre to Kinson.

route_map

All of the maps above were based on Ordnance Survey material, rather than royalty free, as this was the quickest and easiest method for producing them.

A few years after the Yellow Bus maps we produced a map of the Isle of Wight showing all the Southern Vectis bus routes around the Island. Our client for this project was Island Holiday Media (now trading as Solent) whom we still work with today. This was just one of many maps of the Island which we worked on before moving over here in 2010.

southern_vectis

We’re hoping to be producing more transport maps in the not too distant future, possibly airline route maps – something which we haven’t covered as yet.

(Copyright notice – Some of the maps above contain Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2014)

 

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Premiership Football

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Premiership football is hugely popular, not just in the UK but all around the World, so we were extremely pleased a few years ago to be asked to produce the maps for a Premiership Handbook which was being published.

Our part was to create maps showing the location of every Premiership football club in the UK plus plans of each stadium showing the stand names, away supporter sections etc.

The Handbooks were produced a couple of weeks prior to the start of the Premiership season in August and we worked in conjunction with Pica Design who were running the project.

A spin off from this was a giveaway in the Sun, a national UK newspaper, called the Premiership Fans Guide, which ran to a similar format as the Handbook.

These guides were published for several years with new maps and stadium plans being created for each football club promoted to the Premiership.

As with nearly all our work, the maps were created copyright and royalty free – meaning that no copyrighted sources had been used to make the maps thus keeping the publisher’s costs down. This was especially important in this instance because of the large print runs involved.

 

Man_utd_stadium     Chelsea_Stadium

Stadium plans of Manchester United (left) and Chelsea.

Liverpool     Everton

Location maps for Liverpool (left) and Everton.

Because of the royalty free aspect of the map production, each football ground had to be visited to collect the names of streets etc surrounding the grounds. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any football matches whilst doing the field checking!

Along with the maps and stadium plans we also created mileage chart diagrams and written directions to each ground.

Apart from the Fans Guide, Pica Design work on several other football related publications and more information can be found on their website.

Of course, not all of us support teams in the Premier League. To find the team that some of us follow you’d have to look a lot further down the Football League, somewhere around 90th place at the moment unfortunately. Can you guess who?

 

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London in maps around 1908

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This is part of an ongoing series on our blog looking back at old maps in our library. We have hundreds of old maps which we’ve collected over the years and which have helped us compile today’s new custom designed, copyright free maps.

Bacon’s Large-Print Map of London and the Suburbs was published around 1908. The map isn’t dated (some publishers still don’t put publication dates on their maps as people don’t want to buy ‘last year’s’ map) but, looking at some of the detail on the map, it’s possible to come up with a pretty good idea of the date.

london-title

In 1908, London hosted a Franco-British Exhibition which attracted 8 million visitors and celebrated the Entente Cordiale signed in 1904 by the United Kingdom and France. The Franco-British Exhibition was held near Shepherd’s Bush in West London, an area now called White City. Looking at the old map below you can see the exhibition site is marked, from which the map can be dated.

Below this we show the same area as it is today and it’s interesting to see how the area to the west of London has built up over the past 106 years.

london1

london1-new

(New map: Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2014)

The publisher of the map, George Bacon, was actually originally from New York State but moved to Britain in 1861 after which he set up numerous companies – everything from sewing machines to maps. Most of these ventures failed but the cartographic publishing company continued until it was later taken over by another firm. George Bacon operated from 127 Strand, in London.

This particular map of London was drawn at a scale of 2.5 inches to the mile. The two images below show the area to the north of the River Thames, very much as it still is today.

london2 london3

The extract below is of south west London, from Barnes out to Brentford. At the time of this map, Brentford was a separate town, not part of the urban sprawl of London.

london4

Next, are the Chelsea, Battersea and Wandsworth areas of London. If you know this area you’ll realise that, apart from a couple of new main roads, you could navigate pretty well by this 106 year old map today.

london5

The same can be said of the extract below, from Victoria in the north to Clapham Common in the south. The road layout is still almost the same today as it was in 1908.

london6

london7

Docklands in the east end of London has obviously changed dramatically, but go south of the river to Greenwich and beyond and things aren’t quite so different as they were a century ago. Which does all go to show why these old maps have been so useful to us in the past as the basis for our royalty free maps. In many areas, about 90% of the road network hasn’t changed at all which means, when you’re producing a new map which is copyright or royalty free, you only have to find and identify 10% of the roads which obviously saves a lot of time and money.

Apart from this George Bacon map of London, we have literally hundreds of other old maps which are out of copyright. The copyright on an Ordnance Survey map, and many other maps too, lasts for 50 years after which you are free to use them as sources etc without paying O.S. for the privilege. John Bartholomew and Son maps are slightly different, only because they attempted to change the copyright of their maps to 75 years about 10 years ago.

Previously in this series covering old maps we’ve looked at Ward Lock Red Guide Books to Bath  and Harrogate. More to come in the future.

 

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Starting a Business

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Many of us dream of working for ourselves, being our own boss and making all the decisions instead of working for someone else. But how many people actually do it? This is our story of how we got started, the pitfalls, the traumas (and there were a few along the way), the things we’d never, ever do again and the satisfaction when things went right.

Our story actually started a short while before we formed the company in 1998. All three of the Directors who started the company had worked for other cartographic companies in the past, and we’d all also worked together at one time or another.

Our reasons for wanting to start the company were probably all different – whether it was dissatisfaction at where one of us was working, someone needing a new challenge or just the thought that we really couldn’t do any worse than some of the previous bosses we’d had and would hopefully actually be a bit better.

Anyway, the suggestion was made that we should go our own way and the three of us took the idea and ran with it. I’m not quite sure we knew where we were running to, but it felt good.

Then came the reality of company formation, accountants, Articles of Memorandum, business bank accounts, commercial Estate Agents, leases and solicitors. And, on top of that, work was coming in and maps had to be produced.

We struck lucky on the bank account, opening an account with the NatWest purely on the basis that one of us had a personal account with them. We were allocated a Business Advisor by the name of Brendan Minihane and he helped us enormously through those first months, and even for years afterwards. I know it’s not fashionable to praise banks these days, but some of his advice was invaluable and set us off in the right direction. Yes, he did try to sell us various add-ons, insurance and the like but I think he quickly got used to the answer ‘No, thanks’. Can’t blame the man for trying though.

The next big hurdle was office space. None of us had any experience of renting office space so we were flying by the seats of our pants. Fortunately, we fell on our feet with decent, modern offices in a converted church hall in Guildford and a flexible lease. It was at this time that we won our first big contract, with Thomson Directories. We had many other clients as well but it was the sheer bulk of work for Thomson’s that enabled us to quickly expand.

the_hall

(The Hall, Woking Road, Guildford – our first offices)

In fact, we expanded so quickly that within a short period of time we were employing fourteen full time staff and a number of freelancers too. Which was a problem in itself.

The problem wasn’t so much in actually employing people (we’d have input from solicitors and Human Resources experts to help with the legal side of things) and had many applications for employment. No, the real problem was finding the right people. We quickly learnt that a  University Degree was no guarantee of a person’s competence or even their ability to work in an office environment. Added to that, we were also looking for an ability to draw maps. We found some very good staff, but we found an awful lot of very poor ones too.

With the number of staff rising we made the decision to move to larger offices, this time to Old Woking, Surrey. We also took on two new salesmen and looked at finding new markets for our maps. Some time before this one of the Directors dropped out and we were down to the two Directors we have today, Sally and Paul Cooney.

westminster_court

(1 Westminster Court, Old Woking – our offices up until 2008)

With hindsight, moving offices was probably a mistake. But our biggest mistake was taking on a 10 year lease on the new offices. No-one can foresee the future and 10 years is an awful long time in business. It’s not that we weren’t doing ok, we were, but we kept thinking of the higher costs (higher rent, higher business rates, service charges etc) for the larger offices than we had previously and how much better off we’d have been.

Eventually we took the plunge and bought ourselves out of the remainder of the lease and changed the set up of the business, moving to using more freelance cartographers rather than permanent staff.

This had an immediate positive effect on the Company and we had some of our best years ever. It also coincided with the massive downturn in the UK economy (we’re talking 2008 here) but now, with our overheads substantially reduced, we were fairly immune to the forthcoming recession. Fortunately, we also had some major contracts during this period and the Company remained buoyant.

Switching away from permanent staff and working with freelancers also gave us the opportunity to move away from where we had been based in Surrey to the much more relaxed location of the Isle of Wight, which is where we are now.

Which brings us just about up to date.

We’ve learnt a lot over the last 16 years since starting the business. We’ve had a lot of highs and a few lows along the way. We’ve enjoyed drawing maps for a lot of household name companies (British Airways, Virgin, IKEA, Automobile Association, Thomson Directories and Thomas Cook to name but a few) plus thousands of much smaller businesses. Would we do it all over again? Almost certainly, but wouldn’t it be great to do it with the benefit of hindsight too!

 

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Socially Speaking

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As well as this pcgblog, which we try and update every week, you can also find more information and samples of PCGraphics custom designed maps on a number of social media web sites:

We’re on   Facebook   facebook

Also on   Pinterest   pinterest

And    Linkedin   linkedin_icon

Not forgetting   Twitter   twitter

Plus, of course, the   PCGraphics website   pcg_small

 

We’d love to meet you on one, or even all of them!

 

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Walk Maps

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Writing in our blog recently about  Walk the Wight, part of the Isle of Wight Walking Festival, it gave us the idea of looking back and seeing the variety of walk maps we’ve produced at PCGraphics over the years.

Walk Maps are always popular and we’ve done a number of these, some for publishers others for Local Authorities.

The map below was actually produced for the Isle of Wight Walking Festival a few years ago and is the index page to all the main walk routes on the Island.

Route_Index

One of the earliest walk maps we produced was for Shetland Island Tourism. This was a series of walks around Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands. The maps were produced royalty and copyright free, meaning we had to visit the Island and walk every street to ensure we didn’t infringe copyright. Shetland is more than 100 miles (160 km) off the north coast of mainland Scotland and, as we were based in Surrey at the time, quite a trip for our cartographers.

Lerwick_Walk_Map

We’ve produced a quite a few maps for The History Press (Pitkin Publishing) and the example below is one of a number of London Walk maps we created for them. With busy areas such as this it’s best to keep the detail to a minimum (i.e. not showing all the roads) otherwise the route can easily become lost amongst all the other detail. Major landmarks and main roads are all that is usually required.

Walk B

Pica Design commissioned these maps of Kingston and Chessington in Surrey from us back in 2009 as part of a series of six maps. Other maps included Richmond Park and a Thames Walk map.

Basic CMYK  Basic CMYK

For Thomas Cook Publishing we produced literally hundreds of maps to go in their guide books (City Spots, Hot Spots and Drive Around guides). The example below is of a walk route around Taormina in Sicily.

Taormina

For Isle of Wight Tourism we produced a complete booklet of walks around the Island including text, photographs and graphics. As with most walk maps, these were custom designed and produced royalty or copyright free, meaning that we had to walk all these footpaths ourselves. The maps folded down to a pocket sized DL booklet and are still offered as digital downloads from the Visit Isle of Wight website.

yarmouth-brighstone

 

A different style of walk map now, this time what we call a pictorial map. This particular map is of a walk route in Usk, south east Wales, and was one of a number of maps created for Monmouth County Council.

USK

 

Over the past few months we’ve been producing a range of walk maps for Assura for display in the reception areas of Health Centres, Doctor’s Surgeries etc to encourage patients to take more exercise. These are short walks around the local area and are printed at A1 size and encapsulated in acrylic for display in the reception areas. Each map has two walks and also includes a QR Code so that people can download the walk onto their mobile devices.

Basic CMYK  A4 Assura Template

 

The walk maps for Assura are based on Ordnance Survey data, meaning that we don’t have to go out and actually walk around each route – which is a bit of a shame sometimes as some of the walks are quite pleasant and we were getting just a little bit fitter.

Which just about brings us up to date with walk maps as we currently have a new map in production for Assura.

 

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Mapping your holiday

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If you’ve booked a holiday or trip abroad through a Travel Agent or Tour Operator in the last 16 years or so, the chances are that you’ll have seen or used one of our maps.

PCGraphics have produced a huge number of maps for the travel industry, very probably more than any other cartographic company in the UK during that time. From small locator maps for holiday brochures and websites to large format printed maps of tourist destinations for sale in shops, online and on cruise ships etc, we’ve been asked to produce all manner and sizes of maps.

ATG 09 design template  CPM2 Template landscape.ai

(Left, Audley Travel Thailand and right, Vintage Travel Rhodes)

We’ve created maps of holiday locations on every continent. Maps of everywhere from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and from North and South America to Asia, along with most places in between.

So, if you’ve been on holiday with many of the big names in the Travel Industry such as TUI (including Thomson Holidays, Airtours, Quark Expeditions, First Choice etc), British Airways Holidays, Virgin Holidays, Thomas Cook and many others, to smaller Tour Operators such as Vintage Travel, Audley, Ultimate Travel, New Experience Holidays, Helpful Holidays and loads, loads more, you will have probably seen our maps at some stage of the booking procedure.

peru

(Produced for The Peru Experience)

To give you an idea of some of the numbers of maps involved, for British Airways Holidays alone we have produced around 120 maps of holiday destinations around the World and for TUI the total is well over 160.

In our Job Records, which keeps track of each and every job we do, there are 459 unique records for Tour Operators and some of those individual jobs can have more than a hundred maps in each project. Which, by any standard, is a whole lot of tourist maps.

Maps for the Travel Industry come in a variety of sizes and designs, They can be small locator maps, perhaps showing where a particular town or village is within a country or region, or they can be highly detailed maps for tourists to find their way around a foreign city. Over the last couple of years we’ve had a lot more requests for customised maps of areas of Africa showing Nature Reserves, Safari Lodges etc and so, based on that, we’d guess that tourism to the wilder parts of Africa is probably becoming increasingly popular. One thing about all our maps though is that they are all custom designed maps, individual to each client.

Botswana   ATG 09 design template   Rwanda-Uganda

(Produced for Wilderness Dawning Safaris, The Responsible Safari Company and The Africa Travel Centre)

Many of our clients come back to us again and again for new maps or updates to existing maps and we’ve worked with some Tour Operators for well over 12 years.

We really enjoy working with Tour Operators and the Travel Industry in general. Producing maps of tourist destinations is always fun and interesting and, even if we can’t actually get to a lot of the exotic places around the World ourselves, the next best thing can be to draw maps of them.

 

Just a very few of our valued client from over the years. Some well known names in here:

Acorn Ski Ltd,   Affinity Villas,   Africa & Asia venture,   Africa Travel Centre,   American Holidays,   Audley Travel,   Bailey Robinson,   Bonnes Vacances,   British Airways Holidays,   Citysightseeing,   Consort Travel,   Croatian Villas,   First Choice Holidays,   French Golf Holidays,   Helpful Holidays,   Hotel Connect,   Kerala Connections,   Kirker Holidays,   New Experience Holidays,   Quark Expeditions,   Scandinavian Airline,   Shearings Holidays,   Ski Class,   STA Travel,   Sunways,   Swan Hellenic,   The Responsible Safari Company,   Tony Backhurst Scuba Travel,   TUI UK,   Vintage Travel,   Virgin Holidays,   Voyagers Zambia,   Worldwide Holidays Direct………… and many more!

 

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Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

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Great view of Yarmouth from the air (courtesy of Visit Isle of Wight), with the ferry leaving for Lymington at the top of the photo – click on the photo to enlarge it.

Yarmouth is situated in the west of the Island, see the map below, and is one of the smallest towns in the United Kingdom. According to the UK Census in 2001 it had a population of 791.

yarmouth

yarmouth_map

 

Courtesy of Visit Isle of Wight

Visit their Facebook page

 

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Thomson Directories – a tale of 400 towns

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It was in late 2000 that we first started work for Thomson Directories (TDL) at PCGraphics. We had only formed the company two years earlier in 1998, so taking on a prestigious contract such as this for TDL was a big step for a small, newly formed cartographic company.

thomsonlogo      pcg_small

The contract was to produce more than 400 detailed maps of UK town and city centres which were to be used in the TDL Directories that are delivered annually to nearly every home in the country. The Directories at that time had up to four or five maps in each publication.

Previously, TDL had used the Automobile Association Cartographic Department for the supply of maps but, for a number of reasons, TDL decided to look elsewhere for a supplier.  Fortunately, PCGraphics were in a good position as several of our cartographic staff  had already worked on the TDL maps – the Automobile Association subcontracted the drawing of the maps to a cartographic company in Surrey where a number of us had worked previously.

The requirement was to create ‘royalty free’ maps of each of the 400+ locations. At that time, to produce a royalty free map (which means a map free of all copyright issues), we had to purchase aerial photography and, after taking it into a graphics programme (Macromedia Freehand initially and, later, Adobe Illustrator), trace all the roads and other linear features. The only way to obtain all the names of roads etc, without infringing any other publisher’s copyright, was to send staff to each location where they would annotate a printout of the map line-work with all the names from street signs etc.

This was obviously an extremely time consuming task as an average map could take up to one whole day of walking around every street writing down all the names – and we had more than 400 to do. Larger maps, such as London and other major cities, obviously took a lot longer. This street checking had to be done in sun, rain or snow as we had a tight schedule of map production to keep to.

Torquay-Battersea

Two of the smaller size maps created for Thomson Local Directories – Torquay and Battersea

Most of the production work – both the street checking and the actual map production – was carried out by permanently employed PCGraphics staff members. Several times though we did have to use freelance cartographers for elements of the work and, occasionally, this did cause us problems. One incident which is still indelibly burnt into our memories is where a freelancer, as far as we could make out, simply copied an old map of the town centre we asked them to produce, along with all the errors and omissions in that old map, and passed it back to us as a new map (which was supposed to have been drawn from scratch and street checked). This caused us enormous problems at the time as we had to independently check this freelancer’s work and then redraw the map ourselves.

One other error which slipped through the net was when a Sikh Temple in Huddersfield was wrongly marked on the map as a Mosque. This, understandably, provoked an adverse reaction from the Sikh community and the map had to be quickly amended. Interestingly, this map was also produced by the same freelancer as before. Unsurprisingly, we haven’t used that freelancer ever again!

But, fortunately, mistakes with the mapping were very few and far between. Keeping the majority of the work in-house meant we were able to apply a high level of quality control to the project which was essential with that number of maps and the tight schedule.

After the initial three year period producing the maps, the contract rolled on with updates to the maps, more new maps and improvements.

The contracts with Thomson Directories ran for nearly eleven years, the last work being done in 2011, and we are extremely grateful to Mike Callaghan, Steve Arnold and all the others at TDL whom we worked with over the years and who had faith in PCGraphics back in 2000 when awarding us that first contract.

Michael Callaghan, previously of Thomson Directories, writing on Linkedin:

Whilst working for Thomson Directories a few years ago, we had a requirement to change our cartographic supplier.
Speaking to Sally and Paul at PCGraphics we were impressed.
They were professional, realistic on timescales achievable, well organised, good communicators and the quality of their work was of the highest standard.
Our requirement was for over 400 town plan maps to be generated to a tight schedule.
Sally organised the ground surveys and generation of maps and we were very pleased with the end result which incidentally, was on time.
I would not hesitate to recommend Sally and the wealth of experience she brings to her work.

 

 

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Ward-Lock Red Guide Books – Bath

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This is the second in an occasional series highlighting the Ward-Lock Red Guide Books, which we used at PCGraphics until a few years ago as copyright free bases for UK map information. The books have a wealth of information and give an interesting insight into life getting on for 70 years ago in the UK.

Published in 1950, this particular Guide covers Bath, Cheddar, Wells, Glastonbury and the surrounding towns.

bath_cover

bath_map  map_os

(Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2014)

The main map of Bath in the Guide (above, left) was a reprint of a John Bartholomew & Son map of the city. Above, right is approximately the same area today, taken from Ordnance Survey digital sources. You can see that the basic layout of the roads (plus the road names etc) are pretty much the same as they were 70 years ago, which is why these old maps have been an invaluable source for us to produce out of copyright maps from. We’ve illustrated this below by merging the 1950s map with the up to date Ordnance Survey map.

map_os_merge

Similar to the Harrogate Guide Book which we covered previously, this Bath Guide also contains some, in comparison to today’s Guide Books, unusual advertisements. Take the one below, for instance. How many times do you see an advert for a light bulb in a Thomas Cook, Lonely Planet or Rough Guides tourist book? Pretty much never I’d guess. Well, 70 years ago, apparently this was pretty normal as Osram, the light bulb manufacturer, used to take a high profile advert on the back page in many of the Red Guides. Obviously, when you are away on holiday, one of the things you always needed to think about was light bulbs.

bath_ad1

And then there’s the radioactive hot springs after which Bath was named. The level of radioactivity is, very probably, harmless but back in 1950 it was thought to be a positive selling point for the springs and had it’s own section in the Guide Book. It did give me cause however to look up the radioactive element radium on Wikipedia and it states:

Radium was once an additive in products such as toothpaste, hair creams, and even food items due to its supposed curative powers. Such products soon fell out of vogue and were prohibited by authorities in many countries after it was discovered they could have serious adverse health effects.

The French physicist Antoine Becquerel carried a small ampoule of radium in his waistcoat pocket for 6 hours and reported that his skin became ulcerated. Marie Curie experimented with a tiny sample that she kept in contact with her skin for 10 hours, and noted that an ulcer appeared several days later. Handling of radium has been blamed for Curie’s death due to aplastic anaemia.

Perhaps we’ll give the radioactive hot springs a miss next time we’re in Bath. Just in case.

bath_water

 

But, luckily, if the radium in the springs does, unfortunately, have an effect on you, you’ll be pleased to find that there are at least six adverts for Insurance companies in the Bath Red Guide. Mind you, by that time it might be too late to be calling an insurance company.

 

bath-insurance

 

Below is an extract from the road map included in the Guide, again produced by John Bartholomew & Son and used under licence. Not as user friendly as road maps produced these days, being only in black and white with a blue tint in areas of water. But then, motoring was probably a lot different too in 1950.

bath-road-map

 

We’ll be continuing this series in the future with other Ward-Lock Red Guide Books from our library.

If you are interested in old maps of the UK, you may like to know that we are gradually selling off our collection of Ordnance Survey One Inch maps. We have collected almost a complete set of these over the years, all of them over 50 years old, and are selling these individually on eBay as time permits. The maps are in varying condition depending on how much usage they have had over the years. Most of these historic maps sell for around £10 – £15. If you would like to enquire about a particular map or to purchase one, please contact us.

 

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Walk the Wight

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Walk the Wight – Sunday 11 May 2014

Each year around 12,000 people gather on the Isle of Wight to Walk the Wight, helping to raise funds for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight.

The Earl Mountbatten Hospice provides end-of-life healthcare for the Isle of Wight community and is the only hospice on the Island. The hospice receives a grant towards the costs of providing this care but needs to raise over £2m a year to provide all of these services. Sponsored events such as Walk the Wight help towards raising these funds.

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Walk the Wight, Tennyson Down (Courtesy of WikiMedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tennyson_Down_during_Isle_of_Wight_Walking_Festival.jpg)

The main route for the walk is from Bembridge in the east, via Carisbrooke to The Needles in the west of the Island and is approximately 26.5 miles. Walk the Wight has been running for 19 years and is now the biggest sponsored walk in the South of England.

This main walk is also broken down into two stages.  There is a 12.5 mile stretch between the start at Bembridge to the checkpoint at Carisbrooke, and a 14 mile walk from Carisbrooke to the finish at The Needles and walkers can complete either of these two shorter walks or the full 26.5 mile route.

There are many other walks apart from the main route across the Island. There is even a Schools Walk the Wight, where Island school children walk the equivalent of the 26.5 miles but in shorter sections over several weeks.

This year’s walk is on Sunday 11 May 2014.

Walk_the_Wight

More information on Walk the Wight:

http://www.iwhospice.org/walk-the-wight.aspx

Registration:

http://iwhospice.org/register-now-for-wtw.aspx

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Ocean Explorer Maps

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Ocean Explorer Maps – 14 years of maps

We get on extremely well with all of our clients – we enjoy creating their maps for them and hopefully that comes across in what we produce – but just occasionally a client comes along who we like to think of as a friend.

When Nigel Sitwell approached us back in 2000 with the idea of a map of Antarctica aimed primarily at cruise ship passengers, we were pleased to take on the job. It seemed like a nice job to work on, combining maps with informative text and interesting photos. Little did we realise how that one project would evolve into a whole series of maps spanning nearly 14 years.

We also knew nothing at the time of the background of Nigel. It’s only over those 14 years that we came to realise that he had been the editor of Wildlife magazine (which became BBC Wildlife) for many years and that he was an Expedition Leader on Antarctic cruises for 14 seasons. Or that he had been awarded the Order of the Golden Ark by HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands for services to conservation. Or that he was Chairman of the Galapagos Conservation Trust from 1997 – 2006. Or that he was the author and editor of many books specialising in natural history. But, best of all, that he’d flown a military plane between the Needles at the western tip of the Isle of Wight!

So, Antarctic Explorer went into work and had it’s first printing in 2000 and a reprint followed shortly afterwards in 2001. This popular map is still in print today, along with a German version in 2001 and a Japanese version in 2002 which was our first venture into working with the Japanese language.

antarctic antarctic_german antarctic_japanese

Antarctica set the style for all the other Explorer maps to follow. One side has an overview of the whole of the continent surrounded by short biographies of important figures (explorers etc). Side two shows an enlargement of the Antarctic Peninsula along with photos of the wildlife, information on Treaties etc.

antarctic_map  Antarctic_peninsula

Spitsbergen was the second in the Explorer series and went into work in 2001. It was reprinted again in 2010. In the latter part of 2001 we created a popular German version of the map which has had two subsequent reprints.

Producing Spitsbergen Explorer brought back memories for our Production Director Sally, who, in 1994 had spent four weeks on this Arctic island on a glacial research expedition. Read the blog entry here.

spitzbergen  spitzbergen_german

spitsbergen

After the success of Antarctica and Spitsbergen, Nigel commissioned us to produce Alaska Explorer in 2002. Again aimed primarily at cruise ship passengers, Alaska followed a similar format to Antarctica with an overview map on one side and an enlargement on the reverse with more photos and information.

alaska

Alaska_Map_Side  Alaska_Cover_Side

Also in that year we started work on a new title in the series, South American Explorer. This focused mainly on southern Chile and, in particular, the fjords which are very popular with cruise ships.

south_american  CHILE_INSET_MAP

2002 was another busy year as we also created Falkland Islands Explorer and South Georgia Explorer. These were slightly smaller format maps than Antarctic and Alaska (750 x 460cm as opposed to the larger format 1000 x 690cm) but still contain a wealth of information and colour photographs.

falklands  FALKLANDS_MAP_SIDE

south_georgia  South_Georgia_ map

Caribbean Explorer was next on the list, going into production in 2003. This gives an overview of the Caribbean Islands along with a timeline of historic events, information on wildlife etc and is ideal for the many cruise ship passengers in this area to plot their trips.

caribbean  CARIBBEAN_ISLAND_SIDE

Galapagos Islands Explorer followed in 2006 and such is the popularity of the map of this unique group of islands that it has been reprinted twice, in 2009 and 2012.

galapagos  Galapagos_Map_Side

2006 also saw us producing Mediterranean Explorer – another large format map at 1000 x 690cm, covering the whole of the Mediterranean area, north Africa and parts of the Middle east.

mediterranean  Med Map

In 2007 we moved back to the Arctic with the commencement of Greenland Explorer, with a further reprint in 2012.

greenland  Greenland_Mapside

Over the years many different versions of Explorer Maps have been produced for various travel companies, including Swan Hellenic, Gap, Quark Expeditions, Peregrine and Adventure Fleet, with their own branding on the maps.

Right at this moment we have a new title in production, which will have to remain under wraps until it is published, hopefully later this year.

These publications have been a delight to work on as they incorporate not only detailed maps of interesting places but also photographs, text and diagrams and bring all these elements together into an attractive design.

If you’re visiting any of these areas, and not just on a cruise ship, it’s certainly worth checking out these publications before you go. They’re also ideal for armchair explorers, which, I guess, is the majority of us!

A few quotes from customer’s who bought Ocean explorer Maps online

Galapagos:
“Excellent map of islands for visitor plus info on people, fauna and flora, geology and history. Local guide said it was the best map he had seen and wished he could buy it in the islands so I gave him my first copy when there last month and bought this 2nd copy for myself on return.”

South Georgia:
“loads of interesting facts about this amazing little island”

Falkland Islands:
“as someone who works in the Falklands, this is the map that I always rely on”

Antarctic:
“this map is the most detailed of this area I have seen”

Spitsbergen:
“Having checked all available maps of area, this was clearest and best presented”

Alaska:
“First class product”

You can buy Ocean Explorer Maps online at these and other stores

http://www.longitudebooks.com/find/d/50097/mcms.html
http://www.nhbs.com/ocean_explorer_maps_sefno_103383.html
http://www.mapsworldwide.com/ocean_explorer_maps_2836pub0.htm
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=nigel+sitwell

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Fascinating (Isle of Wight) Facts

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Some fascinating facts about the Isle of Wight that you probably didn’t realise that you wanted to know…..

  • The island has more overseas visitors per year than it does residents – 2,467,909 visitors in 2010/11 with a population of only about 138,400.
  • The Island has more sunshine hours than any other UK resort with on average 1800–2100 hours of sunshine per year, which is more than some areas of northern Spain.
  • The Isle of Wight is said by some to be the most haunted Island in the world.
  • The trains on the Ryde to Shanklin line are ex London Underground tube trains and were built around 1938 – making them older than some of the heritage steam engines on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.
  • The Isle of Wight was called Vectis by the Romans who settled there.

Brading_Roman_Villa
Brading Roman Villa mosaic (Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brading_Roman_Villa_15.jpg) 

  • The Isle of Wight is England’s smallest county when the tide is high – Rutland being the smallest when the tide is out on the Island.
  • The world’s first radio station was set up by Marconi, at the Needles, on the western tip of the island in 1897.

Needles_Old_Battery

The Needles Battery (Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Needles,_Needles_Old_Battery_-_geograph.org.uk_-_644576.jpg)

  • The Needles battery was also used as a site for the testing and development of Britain’s space rockets.
  • Blackgang Chine, in the south of the Island, was establishment in 1843, making it the oldest amusement park in the UK and, some say, the World.

Blackgang_Chine
(Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blackgang_Chine_main_entrance.JPG)

  • According to audits, the local newspaper, the County Press, is read by approximately 90% of the Island’s adult population.
  • The tallest structure on Isle of Wight is Chillerton Down transmitting station, whose mast is 228.9-metre (751 ft) high.
  • The Isle of Wight is home to the Isle of Wight music Festival. It attracted an audience of 700,000 in 1970 with Jimi Hendrix headlining at the site at East Afton Farm.
  • The world’s biggest gathering of vintage and modern scooters, The Isle of Wight International Scooter Rally, is held on the Island in August each year with between 4,000 and 7,000 participants.
  • Adgestone Vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in Britain.
  • The hovercraft was invented and developed on the Isle of Wight by Sir Christopher Cockerell, who lived and worked in East Cowes.

hovercraft
(Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Portobello_Solent_Express1_2007-07-28.jpg)

  • Formed in 1967, and active in the early 1970s, The Vectis National Party was a political party which sought independent status for the Isle of Wight, on a similar basis to other islands such as the Isle of Man.
  • The well known model village at Godshill incorporates a model village of itself. It is so detailed that within that second model there is a third, even smaller, model of the village.
  • Flying Boats were developed and built by Saunders-Roe Limited at their Columbine Works, East Cowes.

flying_boat
(Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saro_Princess_G-ALUN_Farnborough_1953.jpg)

  • The Isle of Wight is one of the richest dinosaur localities in Europe, with over 20 species of dinosaur having been found on the Island. Dinosaur footprints are visible at Compton Bay, near Freshwater, at low tide.
  • When the dinosaur fossils were laid down, between 125 and 110 million years ago, the island was at a latitude similar to that of North Africa today.
  • Osborne House was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat and the Island became a major holiday resort for fashionable Victorians. Queen Victoria died at Osborne House in January 1901.

Osborne_House

Osborne House (Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Osborne_House_02.jpg)

  • PCGraphics have worked on 94 projects requiring customised maps of the Isle of Wight for various clients since we started back in 1998. That’s roughly one every two months or so.

 

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Ward-Lock Red Guide Books

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Harrogate

Over the years at PCGraphics, we have collected more than 20 of these Red Guide books produced by Ward-Lock covering various tourist resorts and areas of interest around the UK.

They all contain maps and information regarding the area and were produced by Ward-Lock between about 1900 and 1960.

These were mainly used by us as the basis for royalty or copyright free mapping in the UK. We also have a complete set of 1:50,000 (or 1 inch maps as they were called then) covering England, Scotland and Wales along with some from Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Apart from their use as a basis for current day maps, the Guide Books also give a fascinating insight into how the UK was in times gone by, not only from the text, old maps and photos, but also from some of the adverts.

We’ve scanned below a few of the pages from the Harrogate Guide Book and a selection of short transcriptions of some of the text. The Harrogate Guide is undated but, from reading the text, it would appear to have been published in the early 1940s i.e. possibly during the Second World War.

Attached to one of the first pages in the Guide is a small insert of paper stating
“The Publishers regret that owing to War-time difficulties, it is not at present possible to include the customary complete set of maps and plans in this Guide.”

harrogate_cover

 

harrogate_ad4

Above is an extract from the George Philip and Son map which was included in the Guide. No motorways, obviously, in those days.

harrogate_ad5

There are some parts of the text in the Guide which would, perhaps, be frowned upon today. Take, for instance, the extract above which states that ‘Many people are under the impression that because Harrogate is a Spa it is overrun with invalids in bath chairs or on crutches and that a general air of resignation pervades the place…’. I’m not sure that would appear in a Guide Book these days.

Some of the adverts are quite interesting too. An advert for Table Salt is possibly not what you’d expect in a Guide Book you bought today.

harrogate_ad1

harrogate_ad2

The advert above was for Dr. J. Collis Brownes Chlorodyne. Apparently it cured everything from influenza, asthma and bronchitis to coughs and catarrh as well as ‘Acting like a charm’ in diarrhoea, stomach, chills and other bowel complaints. Chlorodyne was also used as a cure for insomnia. On looking up Chlorodyne on Wikipedia, it appears the principal ingredients were a mixture of laudanum (a form of opium), cannabis, and chloroform. Not surprising then that it helped with sleep problems.

harrogate_ad6

Harrogate was, at the time of the Guide Book, famous for its spa waters and, apparently, there were 88 wells within two miles of the town. One of the ‘benefits’ of taking the waters was that the Barium Chloride present in the water ‘has a great effect in raising the arterial blood pressure’. Funny how the perception of what’s good for you has changed over the past 70 years or so. I can’t see the local Tourism Department using ‘Come to Harrogate for higher blood pressure’ as a marketing slogan anytime in the near future.

All the Guides also ran adverts at the back of the books for Hotels etc in other areas of the country. The St. Ives Bay Hotel in Cornwall were keen to point out in their advert that they had hot and cold running water in all bedrooms. They also make a special mention of ‘Electric Lights’. As they say in the advert, an ‘Up-to date Hotel of Comfort and Charm’.

harrogate_ad7

 

For more information on Ward-Lock Red Guides try these websites:
http://www.wardlockredguides.co.uk/page/aboutRG.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Lock_travel_guides

Ward-Lock Red Guides can occasionally be found for sale on Ebay and Amazon.

 

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harrogate_ad3

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World Facts

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Some interesting World facts

First the hottest, coldest, wettest and driest places on Earth.

Hottest Place – Danakil Depression, Ethiopia, where the annual average temperature is 34.4°C. The average daily maximum temperature during the same period was 41.1 °C. However, on July 10, 1913 weather instruments measured 56.7°C in Death Valley, California, but this was a peak temperature, not an average.

Coldest Place – At the Plateau Station, Antarctica, the annual average temperature is -56.7°C. The coldest one-off temperature was -93.2 °C, recorded on 10 August, 2010 again in Antarctica.

Wettest Place – This is Assam in India, where the annual average rainfall is 11,873 mm (nearly 39 inches of rain per month).

Driest Place – The Atacama Desert, Chile, has negligible rainfall on an annual basis. There are parts of the desert which it is believed have received no rainfall whatsoever for hundreds of years. Which is, perhaps, surprising as this is a coastal area.

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The most populated countries in the World, based on the number of people per square kilometre, are possibly not what you might expect:

Monaco         16,205
Singapore       6,386
Malta               1,261
Maldives         1,164
Bahrain           1,035
Bangladesh    1,002
Vatican City       920
Barbados          648
Nauru                621
Mauritius          603

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And, by way of contrast, those with the lowest density of people per square kilometre:

Mongolia      2
Namibia       2
Australia      3
Botswana    3
Iceland         3
Suriname    3
Libya            3
Mauritania 3
Canada        3
Guyana       4

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And now, the World’s largest countries, by area:

Russia              17,075,400 sq km
Canada              9,330,970 sq km
China                 9,326,410 sq km
USA                    9,166,600 sq km
Brazil                 8,456,510 sq km
Australia           7,617,930 sq km
India                  2,973,190 sq km
Argentina         2,736,690 sq km
Kazakhstan      2,717,300 sq km

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And the smallest countries, again by area:

Vatican City                0.44 sq km
Monaco                       1.95 sq km
Nauru                        21.20 sq km
Tuvalu                        26.00 sq km
San Marino               61.00 sq km
Liechtenstein         160.00 sq km
Marshall Islands    181.00 sq km
Seychelles                270.00 sq km
Maldives                   300.00 sq km
St. Kitts and Nevis  360.00 sq km

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The oldest countries in the World, and when they were formed:

San Marino     301 AD
France              486 AD
Bulgaria           632 AD
Denmark         950 AD
Portugal        1143 AD
Andorra         1278 AD
Switzerland  1291 AD

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The most widely spoken languages:

Chinese (Mandarin) More than 1 billion
English                         512 million
Hindi                            501 million
Spanish                       399 million
Russian                       285 million
Arabic                         265 million
Bengali                       245 million
Portuguese               196 million
Malay-Indonesian   140 million
Japanese                    125 million

你好    Hello    नमस्ते    ¡Hola    Алло    مرحبا    হ্যালো    Olá   Halo    こんにちは

 

The population of the World is estimated at  7.14 billion people of which 19.1% live in China and 17.4% in India.

Did you know that the surface of our planet is 70.9% water?

sea

 

Sources/credits:  www.worldatlas.com / wikipedia.org / Google translate

 

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Island Life

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It was back in June 2010 that we moved to the Isle of Wight. Sally and I had been considering a move for some time before that – the nice little canal-side cottage where we were living in Ash Vale, Surrey was becoming too small for a growing family.

ash_vale

Businesswise, we were free to move anywhere. A few years previously we’d changed from directly employing staff to using a team of skilled freelancer cartographers which meant that we weren’t tied to a particular area or having the problem of relocating staff.

So we came up with a shortlist of possible places to live. And, because of the way we work, we felt we weren’t necessarily restricted to living in the UK. Actually, it started off as a pretty long list – we took a list of English speaking countries off Wikipedia and began crossing off places we thought unsuitable.

Australia sounded good but a bit of a long trip to see family and friends at weekends. The same for Canada and the USA. So we looked closer to home.

We had a brief discussion about Gibraltar before moving on to the Channel Islands – until we looked into the problems of buying a house over there and the prices asked for very modest properties.

But, the idea of living on an island had formed in our minds.

One of our other criteria was to move south if possible. Warmer summers and milder winters were a definite attraction, so all of the more northerly islands surrounding the UK were ruled out. Eventually, one of us (and I’m not saying who) suggested the Isle of Wight.

We went through the usual thoughts of ‘Isn’t the Isle of Wight only for grannies and retired people?’ and ‘Aren’t they about 50 years behind the times over there?’ before remembering the great beaches, the scenery, the slower way of life (we’d had holidays on the Island previously) and the slightly warmer weather.

And there was the added bonus that house prices were considerably cheaper on the Island too.

So, we moved.

We’d only been on the Island a short while before ‘island mentality’ set in. I doubt if this is in any way unique to the Isle of Wight, but living on an island does make you think in a slightly different way. Islanders, we quickly noticed, tend to stick together. Everything is very island-centered. There may be around 110,000 people on the Island but you feel you know everyone and people tend to be much friendlier than a lot of places we’ve lived on the mainland.

While everyone else, it seems, is going global, living on an island makes you think very local. From local food and drink to employment for local people.

And then there’s the quirky things. Like the fact that the trains on the Island are ex London Underground trains of around 1938 vintage. They can’t run any other trains because the bridges on the Island were built too low. And they run well too – we actually have the most punctual train service in the UK, notwithstanding the fact that there is only about 8.5 miles of railway line! There are no motorways and only one stretch of dual carriageway about half a mile long. But, apart from during the times of the music festivals, there’s rarely a queue of traffic anywhere.

underground
Island Line train (formerly a London Underground train) at St Johns Rd Station, Ryde

dinosaur_train
An Island Line train in dinosaur livery

No self respecting Island would be complete without its fair share of eccentrics. The clear leader in this field on the Isle of Wight is David Icke. A former professional footballer and sports presenter on the BBC, it all went a bit pear shaped for David around 1990 when the spirit world began, allegedly, to pass messages to him. He followed this up in March 1991 with a press conference where he announced that he was a “Son of the Godhead”. Several books followed, with one making the claim that a secret group of reptilian humanoids called the Babylonian Brotherhood controls humanity, and that many prominent figures are reptilian. The Queen and Tony Blair are, apparently, reptiles. We have our doubts about one of those but are willing to believe it about the other.

David has his own youtube channel where you can view his videos and he does sell-out tours  – he is doing an all day presentation at Wembley Arena in October 2014. Tickets are available online.

Local newspapers are always interesting to read and the County Press is no exception. We’re always amazed at the somewhat trivial stories which manage to make the ‘news’ pages. Take these three for instance:

http://www.iwcp.co.uk/news/news/man-stuck-in-window-37209.aspx

http://www.iwcp.co.uk/news/news/man-freed-after-trapping-arm-43083.aspx

http://www.iwcp.co.uk/news/news/man-freed-from-window-46511.aspx

Perhaps there’s something about folk from the Island and windows, but a worryingly high number seem to have problems with them. Or, maybe, they just have problems with doors and use the windows instead? Who knows? We’ll report back in a few years time when we’ll probably be using the window to get in and out of our house. And calling out the fire brigade when we get stuck.

Along with the lack of motorways, there’s also a complete lack of shopping centres on the Island. What we have are High Streets. Remember them? Their demise everywhere else in the UK has been well documented but here, on the Isle of Wight, every town has its High Street and all have more than their fair share of small, independent shops.

Yes, there’s a very large Tesco where, over time, you’ll bump into just about everyone you know on the Island but there’s also a huge number of small, local food stores and delicatessens, coffee shops, restaurants, greengrocers and fish mongers.

Hey, you know what? It does sound like England from 50 years ago!  And, you know what else? It’s actually none the worse for being like that.

 

Credits:
Island Line photos: Wikimedia Commons 
David Icke: Wikipedia

 

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More stunning photos from the Visit Isle of Wight website

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A few more photos published recently on the Visit Isle of Wight Facebook page and website.


castlehaven
 Castlehaven, near Niton

newtown_creek Newtown Creek

freshwater_bay_2
Freshwater Bay just after the recent storms

yaverlandYaverland Beach, near Sandown

 

Photos courtesy of  Visit Isle of Wight.  More photos on their Facebook page.

 

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The demise of royalty free mapping

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When we started PCGraphics back in 1998 one of the most common requests from clients was for ‘royalty free maps’. What people were looking for was maps which were produced from copyright free sources which they wouldn’t have to pay royalties on every time they used them.

At the time, Ordnance Survey would charge a royalty fee of around 5 pence per A3 size printed copy if the maps we produced were based on their sources. For a 10,000 print run this would add another £500 to the cost – and this would be payable every time they printed the maps, usually every 6 or 12 months.

royalty_fees

To get around this we were often commissioned to produce royalty free maps. These were initially more expensive to produce, but there were no on-going royalty or licence fees, and in the longer term they were more cost effective.

To give an idea of the scale of the demand for royalty free mapping, one client alone spent over half a million Pounds with us on royalty free maps. This was, obviously, for a large number of maps and huge print runs but it does go to show the lengths some companies were forced to go to in order to avoid paying royalties to Ordnance Survey.

Then, of course, came web maps and no-one was printing quite so many maps anymore. Things had to change and, in 2010, Ordnance Survey changed their licensing and much of their data became free to use.

Almost overnight this brought to an end the requests for royalty free mapping.

These days, nearly all our customised UK maps are produced from freely available Ordnance Survey data and we rarely, if ever, get asked to produce a map ‘royalty free’ anymore. We’d guess that the days of half a million Pound contracts to produce maps free of royalties are a thing of the past. But, as with all things, you should never say never!

You can read more about royalty free maps and Ordnance Survey on some of our other blog entries:

How do we make maps?
A few words about Ordnance Survey

 

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