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New Popular Edition

March 28, 2008

All of Wales and the Marches are now available at 1in-to-the-mile in Potlatch’s out-of-copyright map layer. The scans are from the New Popular Edition, published by the Ordnance Survey in the 1940s, and are great for tracing rivers and rural roads.

It’s only visible at zoom level 14, so you’ll need to zoom in/out until you’re at the right level – hover over the ‘Edit’ tab and look at the URL to find which level you’re in. (Eventually, I hope to add overview scales lower than 14.)

Birmingham and the Chilterns are also on there, by request. If you’d like to request an England and Wales sheet to be added sooner rather than later, please add it to the wiki page.

A few tips:

  • When tracing from an NPE (or any other) background, you can drag the background while holding Space to realign it. Try to align a GPS-derived road with the corresponding feature in the background.
  • With NPE, bear in mind that the layer is compiled from many individual map sheets, and the misalignment will vary from sheet to sheet – so try to align it with a feature on the current sheet. Realign often!
  • Most of the roads in a rural area will be in the same place 50 years ago, but classifications often change, particularly in very remote areas. Many of the “tracks” on the Wales sheets are now proper tarmaced roads.
  • It’s good practice to add a “source=NPE” tag to indicate where you traced the road from.

Misaligned tiles

Occasionally you’ll find a tile that’s clearly in the wrong place. As I write, that’s true of a bit on the coast near Criccieth, and a whole chunk around South-East Wales and the Wye Valley. This is usually the result of me accidentally missing out an anchor point when “rectifying” the scans. If you find a mistake like this, please add it to the wiki page.

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