The past couple of weeks, with no client work on, have been taken up with Pepys. I decided to update the maps on the site and improve some of the location data. I thought this might be two, maybe three, days’ work. Two weeks later I’m still going.
First, I unified and updated the two different bits of mapping code on the site to use the latest Google Maps API. Not too tricky, and nice to be up-to-date. Then on to improving the data…
Whenever Pepys mentions a street, tavern, church, city, etc, it gets added to the Encyclopedia and, if I can find its location, it’s positioned on a map. I wanted to improve the location data for streets and larger areas so that their length or shape could be shown, rather than have them represented by single points.
On the one hand this is a fascinating task, looking through old maps and working out exactly where old locations are today. Much of the City’s layout is still the same while further afield, and south of the Thames, it’s hard to compare old and new maps, so much has changed.
On the other hand it’s a laborious, repetitive and time-consuming task and I can’t believe I’m still working my way through it two weeks later. This is the un-glamorous, data-creation end of the glitzy, showbiz world of online mapping.
Still, it’ll be nice when it’s finished. I’ll need to do some re-categorisation and change the interface and graphics on those Pepys maps pages, but that’ll be the fun bit.
Other than all that… the two Fridays were spent updating Pepys’ diary entries and plodding through fixing all those character-encoding-broken comments I mentioned before (another 200+ fixed). Plus a morning or so spent preparing my and the company’s finances for my accountant, in much the way I understand people clean up before their cleaner arrives.
Next week I hope to spend some more time doing fun and satisfying things.
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