Saturday, November 3, 2012

Island Paradise: What's Your Grid, Orkney?

A few weeks ago, I posted about my successful quest to get a grid reference for the SYHA Aberdeen hostel. Having stayed in Orkney previously, my previous digs were on my list of places to get a grid reference for during my return trip. I also had to get a grid for this weekend's digs, and I decided to take some additional data that I'll discuss presently.

Both were great successes. I was already staying at the one place this weekend, and I fortunately remembered to get a grid for it. I found the other place without much challenge using road signs and some Ordnance Survey maps that I found at the Cotswald Outdoor location in Union Square mall. So as far as Scotland goes, that leaves only Edinburgh and Glasgow. I'll be in Edinburgh in about two weeks (sweetthesound, I hope you like Rugby and you're free two weeks from tonight), and I may wind up in Glasgow in early December, so I should be able to get both of those sorted out in fairly short order. To protect my various hosts, I'll refrain from posting the grid coordinates themselves, but pictured are the aerial images from Wikimapia.

I also took some additional GPS data. In August of 2009, I came across an article on the Danger Room blog (which I don't actually recommend since the Senior Reporter, Spencer Ackerman, is a dyed in the wool twerp) about "Honesty Traces". An honesty trace is a system whereby the routes used by military convoys are compared in order to identify avoidable choke points that could be used by insurgents to set IEDs. They use USB-capable GPS handsets to record the route data. In August of 2011, I supplemented my existing non-USB Garmin eTrex with a USB-capable Garmin eTrex Vista. I'm not so worried about avoiding IED attacks in Aberdeen, but I'd like to use the opportunity to teach myself the functionality so that I can run honesty traces in the future, or use GPS data for other functions. Once I have some time to download and manipulate the data, I'll try to put it in map form and post it.

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