Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Government Reports (with apologies to non-UK readers)

Another week, another couple of government reports. The Pre Budget Report 2008, which came out on Monday, had something for everyone, whether you wanted it or not. The Sunday Times managed to pre-report it, but not necessarily with all the right details so I've been dealing with that at work. All sorted now.

And then on Tuesday the Place Matters: Location Strategy came out. I like the summary on the Communities and Local Government website but found the AGI info, although more 'comprehensive' more muddling. After a few courses on communicating recently I find it sad that we couch such reports with complex wording when simpler phrases are just as (if not more) effective. How does this grab you?

"The Location Strategy offers a structured approach to facilitate the effective exploitation and realisation of the value and benefits of GI as well as enabling the implementation of the INSPIRE Directive across the UK"

Or perhaps I just over-react to the words 'facilitate' and 'realisation'?

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Map Games for the Totally Bored

Am tired from too much travelling recently - meetings, training and keeping up with work e-mails simultaneously which has been hard work. So how do I relax? Bizarrely by finding this website and playing a few games. I am totally sad.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Michael Barrett Award 2008

The RICS annually awards the Michael Barrett award to an eminent boundaries expert. This year Chris Carleton, Head of Law of the Sea, UKHO won the award for his ongoing work advising on international law of the sea.

Chris has over 15 years Law of the Sea experience and I'm convinced if you wired him up for download it would take years to empty his brain. Boy, does that guy know his stuff!

Saturday, 8 November 2008


Had a great time in Liverpool at Hydro8. The hydrographic community is quite tight-knit so it doesn't take more than a few years before you start to see the same faces appearing. So, for me, 17 years in this business (I know, I don't look a day over 25) it's all friends and family to me.

As I was on the RICS stand I didn't spend much time in sessions. Enjoyed the keynote speech by the National Hydrographer of UKHO but found it hard to concentrate during the next keynote given by a local historian on the history of Liverpool docks (a slide or two would have helped).

The RICS stand had a steady tick-over of visitors. No, we weren't overwhelmed but it was paced.

On Wednesday two RICS Education staff appeared and, by then, James Kavanagh and I had lined up a group of people for them to see. It was great for RICS Education to meet and great hydrographers and to understand their professional accreditation scheme which is basically via the IHO (Cat A and Cat B courses).

We visited the Maritime Museum one evening which I enjoyed - it bought out the geek in me!rolleyes

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Tides Website Formerly Known As...

Have just been up to Liverpool for Hydro8 (more about that another day) but just wanted to blog a website I came across when talking with Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory staff. XTide is a tidal prediction programme for non-navigational use. I must confess I haven't delved into it and compared it to other tidal programmes such as the UKHO's EasyTide (global) and POL's tides (UK in the main). What amused me about this lovely site is that it's such a personal passion. Not only is XTide "formerly known as Flaterco" but there are pictures of the developer and a personal miscellany of pages such as a recipe page, 'random enlightenment' and an ignorance base. It's certainly the first time I've ever seen a hot sauce recipe on a tidal website! wink

PS. When on the POL site came across details of the new Liverpool ONE payment incorporating a 'tide pavement'.

Now is that just cool or what? cool

Sunday, 2 November 2008

GPS Fails - Yachtsmen Get Lost

Now this is a sorry, but not unexpected, tale. Mariners are continually told not to rely solely on GPS for position fixing as sometimes it fails. And when it fails you can't pull into the nearest Little Chef to find out where you are. No, you're out at sea, often out of sight of shore, on a moving vessel. At least this story has a safe ending.