A new hobby: mapping

Despite having quite a few things I already mean to be doing regularly, I’ve been spending plenty of time lately on a newcomer to my set of activities: mapping on OpenStreetMap.org, which a friend recently introduced me to. It turns out to be utterly absorbing, obsessional, and reasonably relaxing.

I find I get particularly fascinated by infrastructure, enjoying tracking down and tracing power lines, with their thin or non-existent traces of wires and rows of thin shadows of poles made visible by the sharp angle of early or late sunshine.

Another kind of object that catches my eye is the tennis court, a distinctive pattern of lines that would probably be ideal for experiments in automatic feature detection. I don’t play tennis myself, and don’t have any interest in it; it’s just that I can be mapping something else and oooh look there’s another tennis court! I do sometimes wonder what an alien would make of us lot, and what aliens (if there are any) do for hobbies.

And it’s a nice thing to do while waiting for slow compiles, target reboots, etc!

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