Saturday, August 15, 2009


If you're not already familiar with it, can I recommend to everyone the website.

For those not familiar, it's a project to photograph every 1km square of the National Grid in Britain. You can register (free) and submit photographs (moderated). Any number of photos are allowed for each square and some are more photographed than others obviously: NT2573 in which Edinburgh Castle sits has 1,035 images while NB4453 in which stands Beinn Sheunta (134m) in the middle of Barvas Moor on Lewis has none. You get points for the number of your photographs accepted (I've never had one refused yet) with extra points if you're the first to bag a hitherto unphotographed square (I've only managed to do this once so far) so you can get competitive here as well.

It's extremely user-friendly so go off and have a look for yourself but what I like doing on Geograph is going for "virtual walks". The other day, for example, I went from Port Askaig on Islay up the west side of the Sound of Islay, past the Caol Ila (Gaelic for Sound of Islay, pronounced "Cool Ee-lah") and Bunnahabhainn (River Mouth, "Bunna-havvin") distilleries and out to Rhubha A'Mhaill (aka Rhuvaal) lighthouse at the north end of the Sound, then west down Islay's north west coast back to "civilisation" at the head of Loch Gruinart.

Image Copyright Richard Webb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

That's a picture from Geograph showing the lighthouse - it's looking east over the north end of the Sound of Islay to the island of Jura: note the tidal overfalls off the point.

Now, if I'm being absolutely honest, the "walk" round north east Islay wasn't as interesting as I thought it was going to be. That's a subjective view, of course, but the point is that I could "virtually" do the walk and so can you, no matter how far from Islay you live. Tomorrow, I'm going to go from Ardnave Point down the west coast of Islay to Portnahaven and see what that's like.

I leave you with what Beinn Sheunta on Lewis (grid square NB4453) looks like on Google Earth seeing as Geograph is yet to oblige. You can see why photographers have not been beating a path to this grid square but the point of Geograph is not great photography but to show you what it looks like.

1 comment:

  1. I do that aswell. Geograph is a really good resource and can be used for many things. We use it to see which rivers are potential for kayaking after rains etc!

    Off to walk from Sandwood Bay to Cape Wrath......