OpenGeofiction

Useful resource for UK mappers

Posted by Yuanls on 13 July 2019 in English (English)

I had a website I'd neglected to check for about 2 years sitting in my 'read later' folder in my bookmarks bar.

Turns out I had good reason to save it: it's a comprehensive overview of British geographical environments, using Yorkshire as a case study. It details the evolution of urban structure and its characteristic features, including amenities, landuses, street patterning and how they have developed over time from as far back the 17th century up to now.

Rural environments, suburban, inner city, suburbanised villages, you name it, the website has it all. As well as text descriptions, there are aerial and street-level photographs and historical map overlays, which are very interesting not just from a cartographic but a historical point of view.

Due to age some of the location links have stopped working, but they are quite easily supplemented and the website is still incredibly useful without them. I strongly recommend this website to anyone who does mapping inspired or derived from locations in the UK.

http://sytimescapes.org.uk/zones/southyorkshire

Comment from histor on 13 July 2019 at 21:56

Indeed very helpful to learn about town-devellopement and the social structure behind.

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Comment from antoon on 14 July 2019 at 10:11

People interested in the Netherlands may find this interesting:

'map of urbanisation in the Netherlands'

Standard it shows the Netherlands in 1575 with quite some detail in the cities of that time. But in the layerlist one can also choose the 'groei 35 grootste steden' (development of the 35 largest cities). These layers are also available as mapservices.

It doesn't say much of the social structure within the country or cities. For that one should read the 'atlas' itself; only in Dutch i'm afraid and quite expensive, but very interesting. Tells all about urbanisation in the Netherlands in general and of every city apart. Not only old cities, but also the newer ones.

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Comment from louis_walker on 23 July 2019 at 16:28

I love stuff like this, thank you for sharing. Being able to distinguish larger patterns is key to making realistic-looking cities in OGF. There was a great study that came out a few years ago of street patterns, with some color-coded maps of major metro areas here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/08/the-27-patterns-that-make-up-the-worlds-cities-and-suburbs/?utm_term=.c96c8f7aadec

Also worth a look is Copernicus, a mapping tool created by the EU's Land Monitoring Service: https://land.copernicus.eu/pan-european

The Imperviousness layer is the best tool I've found for establishing metro area extent when starting a new city: https://land.copernicus.eu/pan-european/high-resolution-layers/imperviousness/status-maps/2015

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