Wednesday, March 05, 2008

ABC Wednesday - G is for Geograph

The Geograph British Isles project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland.

A geograph is defined as a picture of an aspect of a square, or prominent feature of the square, showing the context of its geographical location and taken from within that square. In other words, a picture giving the viewer a good idea of the general topography of the area — what the area within the square looks like.

Squares are the 1km x 1km grid reference squares shown on the maps of the Ordnance Survey.

The project has been going for a few years now, and so the kudos of being the photographer who provides the first geograph for a specific square is very difficult to achieve. Most the squares that are still left to be bagged are in remote areas not accessible by footpaths let alone roads. Nonetheless I have managed to provide three first geographs

My first was Puffin island off Ballynahow on Square V3468.

The second was Gated road to Kinnighallen Farm on Square NN7546.

The third was Loch Rannoch on Square NN5756.

But it isn't really about grabbing the first geograph. Some squares have lots of geographs and what are known as supplemental photographs. It is about building up a picture of these islands. Go and take a look for yourself.


  1. It's still only Tuesday in the U.S. Anyways, I didn't know there was such a project going on. Congratulations on capturing these 3 squares of easy access. I guess the remaining squares are for those daring types who want a challenge.

    I am curious about that structure in the distant of your first square of Puffin Island. It looks a little like a sand structure or something that had fallen in disrepair.

  2. Smart idea indeed.
    As you may know I post many pics about a tiny area in France.

  3. This is fascinating. I think geocaching is a fun pastime, too.

  4. Hi Gerald ,
    This is a wonderfull G Theme for ABC wednesday,Geography thats what I liked at school when I was young, I like this projecttoo, very interesting to follow.

    Greetings from JoAnn/Holland
    Visit my G for ABC wednesdayi Gerald,

  5. This is absolutely the most intriguing post of today. Will the photos also be available on GPS?

  6. What a great project, a great idea. I like the firsts you grabbed for the geographic project.

    Really, this is interesting, I'm going to read up on it!

  7. Geography, maps, and photos--what a great combination!

  8. That sounds like a very exciting project to be involved in.

  9. Very interresting post.Have a nice day:o)

  10. Interesting post today with great photos:)

  11. What beautiful pictures and interesting post.

  12. "these islands" LOL! We never think of ourselves as being on an island. Not even when I see the weather map at night, and there we are, all separate with the sea around us. Still doesn't occur to me! LOL!

    LOvely castle in the Puffin Island pic!

    Thanks for the interesting post. I'd never heard of this before...

  13. Wonderful! What an achievement! You must be really proud.

  14. WOW! You were the first to get three geographs? I'm impressed!

  15. Thanks for the lovely comments - sorry I haven't been visiting folk much today - I'm off on holiday in the morning so will be quiet for a while.

    Just a few points - this not the same as geocaching -- that is something a bit different, although not entirely dissimilar.

    I was NOT the first to get 3 geographs - what I got was the first geograph for 3 squares - as this project has been going a while there aren't too many squares left without a "first" geograph - the photographers who were around earlier went out and probably got a hundred or more. My 3 firsts actually give me a ranking 1977th - a 4th first would make me 1976th - but I'm not going out looking to photograph geographs - I'm just submitting old photos that happen to be geographs and fit the project.

    On a couple of photos I've had notes to say I've misplaced the photo on the map [not difficult] but they have moved to the correct location.

    My current total of 38 submissions (31 geographs & 7 supplemenatals) cover 35 gridsquares.

  16. This is something new to me. Geograph, amazing.

  17. Oh now that does seem like quite the challenge. Great photos!

  18. Enjoyed learning about this subject -- great for G because not many of us have heard of it before. I love to learn!

    Enjoy your time off!

  19. What a wonderful "G" posting. Love all the information

  20. I too have some first 'Geographs'! I enjoyed bagging the squares but had to give up due to illnessn in the family.

  21. Great G Gerald!

    Geograph photos are on my to do list for this year. The ones for around where I live don't represent what's on the OS map that well. Plus there's some 'Changing Chippenham' that needs to go on there :)

    I had a look at what's left on the map - I think you need to be in the army to stand a chance of photographing most of the squares that are left!

    Sorry it's taken a while to get back to you after ABC, but I've been ill this week.

  22. Hello Gerald and everyone! It's always great to have new contributors to Geograph. Don't be put off by not being the very first to "geograph" a square - the real objective is to get a good idea of what every place looks like to serve students of geography today, and historians tomorrow. As a contributor, you will also be able to view and build your "personal" map and develop the depth of images for places. The images are also available as a layer on Google Earth. Enjoy!

  23. Thanks for the link, it's great to see such interest from people new to the project.

    As "vp" notes, though it's harder score geograph points for being the first to photograph a square, many seek to ensure that squares are well documented with a variety of photos.

    The end result is a fascinating (and free!) picture of Britain and Ireland.

    Paul Dixon
    Geograph Project