Friday, 26 July 2013

Where Am I?

I like maps. I like to know where I am and where other things are and to have this elaborate knowledge set out in an intuitive and aesthetically pleasing way. Maps do that. I like them.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I saw this new addition to the corner of Central and Washington Roads a day or so ago. In my view it is everything a local map should be. It looks nice, it is detailed and also gives a broad overview. It shows where it is situated and as a consequence where you are while looking at it. It is oriented in the direction of the actual roads and while perhaps its one omission is a distance scale in metres or miles etc., it does show distances in minutes to walk which is a unit of distance many people think in anyway. It even has a North pointer embedded at the bottom.

For me this is a good use of Boris’s money. It is an attractive addition that is both modern and timeless, a pointer to places of interest and a point of interest in itself, of great practical usefulness and visual appeal. Central Road, I think we have arrived (or at least we are moving in the right direction.)

Am I revealing a hint of geekyness here? I also like clocks…


And yes I am bracing myself for the inevitable comment, “Its just a map!”

Update (28th July)

Several more of these have popped up up and down Central Road ('The High Street' for those requiring this clarification) and it's extension, Cheam Common Road (for those who enjoy getting the technicalities right). I have seen the one on the corner of Green Lane (also spotted by Scrapper), and one at the North Cheam crossroads near the post office (also spotted by Ian). According to readers they are also near the Lindsay Road bus stop (also thanks Ian - I missed seeing that one), in the Avenue (thanks Karen) and near the North Cheam Sainsbury's (thanks 'You are here').

Obviously the most important one is the Green Lane one, being about the position where visitors to our grand village who have just got off the train will stop and think, 'now where do I have to go?'


34 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

axlrocky said...

not wishing to mock your cartographical enthusiasm wp blogger, but isnt wp an area that simply doesnt require a map as essentially it is one straight road?

You are here said...

I like maps too - always useful and reassuring to have one to guide you to the centre of town.

Kind of less useful when the map you need is also at the centre of the town you are trying to find... and rather pointless providing the route to the desired, only once you have arrived at it.

Wouldn't it have been more useful to have had it located at the end of town, (particularly at the station end), to guide visitors into town?

But most importantly, how much did this here map cost us? [I say us, since we originally put the money in that Boris is kindly returning a little of].

guset said...

Much as I dislike a lot of the street furniture, especially the illegal metal signs on concrete bases put out by shops (often precisely where people need to walk), I see this as a useful addition.
Walking time in minutes is, of course, subjective. At school we were taught that walking speed was four miles an hour, but very few people walk that fast nowadays, if indeed they walk any further than to where their car is parked (a factor in the rising level of obesity, increasingly noticeable in this area). I adopt the approach that I if I can see it, and it seems to be less than a mile away, I can walk to it.

As to need; this week alone I was twice asked for directions to the nearest bus stop. Those new to the area typically need a couple of visits before they start to feel properly orientated and, as 'we' apparently want more visitors, this kind of signage tends to relieve some of the anxiety which seems to afflict nearly everyone nowadays (when did that start?).

And no mention of "High Street", which nobody who knows Worcester Park would ever call Central Road - the name is distinctive and should be properly used.

As it mentions three churches it will clearly have to be updated when a mosque opens. Unless they have been included solely as landmarks - to do so as destinations would be as questionable as including the local drinking holes or larger shops.

Careless Memories said...

Two points. A second similar map outside Kingfish (for as people leave the station) would be beneficial, and the renaming of Central Road to High Street (or can we just duel name it so that businesses don't incur costs?) would also make sense. I've lived in WP for 10 years and I've always called it the High Street.
And while I think of it, a third point, how about this map at the bottom of the high street containing a restaurant guide (with an ability to update quarterly with openings /closing a obviously!).

Barry Cullum said...

Yes, a nice thing to have in Central Road.... I hope there are more further up and down the street.
One
point however. If I were a stranger and I wanted to find Vale Road,
say. How would I do it from the map?... I blew up the picture and none
of the back roads appear to be named.
Ok, a minor criticism...or not?

Barry Cullum said...

"WHEN" a mosque opens???????
Do you know something we don't?

You are here said...

Given your subjective outlook, I'm surprised you didn't suggest a more PC friendly map, exclusively written in Arabic.

Barry Cullum said...

You forgot Polish as well.....lol

guest said...

Only the obvious, that the gradual Islamification of London, then the whole country, is inexorable. Fifty years ago I was only aware of one mosque in London, in Southfields - how many are there now? QED.

Barry Cullum said...

Apparently the Southfields mosque was built in 1924... There are currently 355 mosques in London......gulp!!!!

Miss Pelling said...

I had a North pointer embedded in my bottom once. Very painful.

Anon said...

And what's wrong with that?

guest said...

I don't think Mr Cullum was suggesting there's anything wrong, after all a Mosque per 40,000 Londoners is not exactly that many when at some estimates 20% of London is Muslim. After all there are 48 churches, 9 Synagogues and 2 Mosques in the City, to put things into proportion.

You are here said...

I noticed today, there's also one at North Cheam, on the London Road, at the beginning of the walkway to Sainsbury's. [With different maps, centred on the different location, obviously].

Scrapper said...

Coming home Saturday morning workman were preparing to plant a map on the corner of Green Lane and the High St.

Barry Cullum said...

I was expressing surprise at the number of mosques in London. I had no idea, I thought I knew London better than that.
I’m not a racist, but I certainly replied to one, and maybe I played up to him a bit. Fair do’s… in this day and age we all have our own opinions and even racists can make their opinions known….. as long as they’re prepared to take a lot of flak for it.
As to the question of what’s wrong with it? In my opinion: Nothing I guess. But if you ask me if I like them, I’d have to be honest and say no, I don’t like the look of the ones in London that are built in the traditional style. I am very English and I grew up in an England that looked like England, but I’m mature enough to realise that times are changing and….if we have to separate them for the sake of this argument…. that the Muslim community in this country is growing and, given that, I accept that they will bring their traditions with them.
I don’t know how many Muslims there are in Greater London, but your given figure of 20% suggests about 1.6 million which I think is a bit off the mark, but whatever……
To extrapolate your figures for the whole of London is difficult. The list of churches on Wiki goes on forever. I can’t find the number of Synagogues, but my guess is about 60, whilst we have a figure of 355 mosques.
However, there are over 7000 pubs in London. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get together over a drink….. non-alcoholic for our Muslim friends of course…. And sort out our problems in a civil manner. One English custom that, hopefully, will never die.

Barry Cullum said...

I was the good Samaritan who pulled it out for you....lol

guest said...

"First law of holes - when you're in one, stop digging!" - Denis Healey

guest said...

"As it mentions three churches it will clearly have to be updated when a mosque opens. " you conveniently call racism.
It was a quip, to act as bait to someone just like you - and you bit!

Barry Cullum said...

Ah ha!... First comedian I've ever known called "Guest"... you should be on the stage with a burqa ....lol
Hands up. You caught me there hook, line and sinker.... well done...

guest said...

I agree it seemed high, so I did a bit of research, the 20% figure was an extrapolation based on the number in the previous census and the growth rate, but that method is unreliable, that's why politicans use it.


According to the 2011 census 12.1% of London is Muslim, which accounts for 40% of all Muslims in England. in Newham, Tower Hamlets, (North East London in general) the figure is over 30%, so you would expect South West London to be lower to balance the figures.

Barry Cullum said...

That works out to about 1 million ... about what I would have gone for as well.
Now, surely you're not suggesting that politicians bend statistics to suit their own arguments?.... Never heard of such a thing....lol

Jeremy said...

Just read the news that Status Quo are playing Shadbolt Park in October. With all these maps being placed it's good that the fans will be able to find the venue... Don't think the residents around the park will be too pleased when they hear the news.

Guest said...

What a total waste of money, maybe ok in Kingston or Sutton ,but Worcester Park, a one 'Central Road' Village. I ask you.
Whose bright idea was this, i don't remember these map posts being it being mentioned in the Central Road Improvement scheme.
Are the Inmates now really running the Asylum !!!!!!!

guest said...

No I would never suggest that! I'm sure the current government's dropping of an effective scheme for counting immigrants and replacing it with guesswork, was to save a couple of million, not to claim they had brought down immigration. :-)

Guest said...

These map things must be everywhere. Saw one outside Victoria Tube today - probably been there for ages but never noticed it until now.

Barry Cullum said...

An effective scheme?..... Sorry, I'm only 60. Far too young to recall any government having an effective scheme for anything, let alone immigration.
An talking of guesswork, those new street-maps ( yes, the original theme of this blog... remember that?) . I haven't seen one of these Borisian monoliths in the flesh yet, but from the picture they appear to show a mass of un-named back streets. Is this another government scheme?........ for strangers to guess their way around Worcester Park!

Barry Cullum said...

As these monoliths are called Boris maps, it would appear they are destined to go up all over Greater London..... So in answer to your last question..... probably millions.
In this day of Satnavs, A-Z's and the good old fashioned "just ask somebody", you may well ask what use are they.
Added to that, in this day of vandalism and non-maintenance of fancy "bright ideas"...... I'll give half of them a shelf-life of under 2 years.
Well done Boris.... at least you've given us a bigger laugh than your predecessor!!!

Barry Cullum said...

"The Central Road Improvement Scheme"...mmmmmmmm, that's food for thought.
Has it happened yet?

chell said...

They are all over have seen many in Croydon ..... Very useful over there for showing the way out!!!!

guest said...

Well as I'm a little older than you, I remember immigration cards, that you had to fill out on the plane or boat, that were collected by the trolley dollies or purser. And then disposed off? :-).


The Boris maps are just there so you can walk up to them and be reminded of the Google Maps app on your phone and thank the reelect Boris fund for doing that.

Barry Cullum said...

Whew! Chell.... for one minute there I thought you were being cynical. haha!

Barry Cullum said...

I remember that... A form handed out to fill in on a flight in from Ireland a few years ago. Even my 4 year old daughter had to fill one in too.
I was told it was for security.... like, even terrorists are going to tell the truth huh?
But hey, what a great policy.... change an absolutely useless system with pure guesswork. You should get into politics... I'll vote for you at the next election........ I can even find the way to the polling station using one of those incredibly useful BorisGoggle maps... ;)

Very Middle England said...

Yes... VERY minor you clever dick!
These maps are the best thing to happen to Wonderful Worcester Park for at least ..........er..........a week?

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