Phantom roads

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by Donna Ferentes, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Donna Ferentes

    Donna Ferentes jubliado

    I was watching Map Man earlier this evening and during the course of a programme on the A-Z it emerged that there are about a hundred deliberate mistakes in that book. In order to protect their copyright, the company renames (or invents, it wasn't entirely clear to me) a number of small streets - paths, walks, i.e. places where nobody lives - so that if anybody else simply reproduces their work, instead of going round mapping the city themselves, the mistakes are reproduced in the pirated copy, exposing the copying.

    I wonder if this was standard procedure in urban cartography? I also wondered, more directly relevant to the London map itself - does anybody know, have they noticed, any of these phantom roads?
  2. tomas

    tomas was nicht ist ist möglich

    i've noticed that a-z is less then accurat but i've just put it down to english peoples tendency to never being able to do anything propperly. very anoying when you get lost because the number of roads you should pass doesn't match the map count. can't remeber where though.
  3. oryx

    oryx Sitting on the bock of the day

    There's just been a feature about this on Robert Elms (London 94.9 fm) - hopefully it might be re-playable. Just caught the end of it - all that sunk in was that Gant's Hill was deliberately misspelt Gnat's Hill!
  4. Donna Ferentes

    Donna Ferentes jubliado

    Ah, I'm sure I've mentioned that on here before! My old landlady's A-Z had that "error" in it and I happened to spot it while browsing. Of course I didn't realise then that the error was deliberate (if in fact it was, a likely story, pull the other one etc).
  5. Dubversion

    Dubversion Gorn Enforced Holiday

    Robert Elms is going to carry on discussing this, i think - he's looking for phantom road for the rest of the show.

    i missed the programme but listened to a documentary about the remarkable woman behind the A-Z, which was absolutely fascinating
  6. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    These errors are actually in the original OS maps that the A-Z is based on. I've been told that if you download the digital OS data (if you're a surveyor or an architect etc, you can do so at a ridiculous price) that the phantom roads are marked as such.
  7. Dubversion

    Dubversion Gorn Enforced Holiday

    why do the people behind the A-Z claim they're deliberate inventions then? :confused:
  8. nogoodboyo

    nogoodboyo New Member

    How old is your A-Z then? English people buy a new one every year.
  9. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

  10. tomas

    tomas was nicht ist ist möglich

    that may be true but the new one isn't neceserly any different then the old one. besides, i know a number of english people who don't. :p

    and mine is about 5 yers old now so it's time i got a new one, it's falling appart :(
  11. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    Bit in bold : Tomas, thats out of order and you know it :mad:

    If I said similarly generalising, insulting, and inaccurate about 'The Swedish' ;)you'd be correctly pissed off...

    Just because a fair number of English people (addicted to self-criticism) would probably agree with you, doesn't make your off the cuff comment any more true ...

    Sorry for temporary derail ... no insights on the answer to DF's question I'm afraid.
  12. chio

    chio New Member

    I've got a 2004 edition and Gant's Hill is spelled correctly.
  13. tomas

    tomas was nicht ist ist möglich

    sorry William, no offence ment. i probably wouldn't be pissed of but you are within your rights to be so. i do think you are a bit over sencetive however, with regards to it not being a serious attac on english or brittish people but a taunt. in any case i sincerly appologises for any hurt feelings that was not my intention. i understand that my post on the matter wasn't clear enough on that point.
  14. MysteryGuest

    MysteryGuest mahdollisesti

    You do get new roads built in the suburbs from time to time, plus you get differences in areas like docklands that are redeveloped. So the A-Z is constantly being updated.
  15. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    not that constantly tho. New editions are brought out each year, but the maps havent necesarilly been updated in that time, just some of the packaging.
  16. oryx

    oryx Sitting on the bock of the day

    It is in my 1993 one! I will check my 'vintage' early 50's one (while my anorak is on the spin cycle :oops: ;) )
  17. lostexpectation

    lostexpectation New Member

    google earth do this too

    the guy on the prog said one of his work colleagues named a road after him, ie they do it at their level?

    google earth do this to, fun for all the family
  18. MysteryGuest

    MysteryGuest mahdollisesti

    I just meant that I've noticed differences between older and newer A-Zs I've had that's all. I've got no idea whether they update it every year or not.
  19. Donna Ferentes

    Donna Ferentes jubliado

    It does expand its area a little. The junior school I went to in Pinner used to be oputside the western extent of the A-Z, but now it's just inside.

    Oh, on the show they said that there were now about fifty thousand roads in London compared to about half that number when the A-Z was first produced. Which possibly relates to the discussion here.
  20. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    Cheers for that answer tomas :) :cool:

    ( :oops: )
  21. rednblack

    rednblack Banned Banned

    phantom objects are common practice for all mapping companies - the ordnance survey do phantom public houses, churches, phone boxes, ponds etc
  22. ICB

    ICB now then

    All the data belongs to the OS and they introduce deliberate errors on all their maps, not just urban street ones. Some people, like Navteq, produce their own maps by driving all the roads in a reference-quality-GPS-equipped car but their maps are easily distinghuishable from OS derived ones once you're used to looking at maps all the time.

    The digital OS data has no highlighting of the deliberate errors that I'm aware of (I'm the authority licensing officer for OS data, although I'm not a GIS expert so there could be something I don't know about in this area - we, and other areas of govt., pay nothing like the commercial rates, which are very high indeed).

    The OS are very hot on copyright infringement especially in respect of vector data. This stance is very contentious given that UK central taxation paid for the data in the first place. It's yet another area of backdoor commercialisation/semi-privatisation.

    Different areas of the country were surveyed and mapped at different scales, usually 1:1250 or 1:2500 in populous areas and 1:10000 in rural areas. There are some serious discrepancies in current mapping that are nothing to do with deliberate attempts to catch copyright infringers.

    [/map geek]
  23. chio

    chio New Member

    Wouldn't that just be really annoying if you were lost in the countryside, thought "I'll go to that phone box / pub and call a taxi" and found it wasn't there?
  24. belboid

    belboid TUC Off Your Knees

    then you'd probably blame local chavs for the phone boxes destruction/muslims for pub closure, and write a furious letter to the Daily Mail who would headline the next days edition with your story, causing riots across the land.

    Oh yes, social unrest in this country - it's all the fault of the Ordnance Survey!! :mad: :mad:
  25. Stobart Stopper

    Stobart Stopper Well-Known Member

    That was an excellent programme!
    I have seen that van around here a few times. I just assumed it was delivering the maps to shops.
  26. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    I've heard of this before as a copyright system, while on my publishing postgrad course. One set of map-makers (I think it might have been Ordnance Survey)successfully took a case to court against (I think) the publishers of A-Z when they saw a fictional farm in an A-Z map!

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