Wednesday 22 May 2024

They've shrunk Wigan!

I'm returning to a rather old project which got parked in the long grass many years ago. I won't share details yet as I may not have time to finish it, but I will say that it involves maps, specifically maps of cycle routes to complement the route descriptions on this blog. So my starting point was to try and get my hands on copies of all the Transport for Greater Manchester cycle network maps. That didn't succeed, as the 2022 maps are now out of print and TFGM are waiting for all the local councils to update their routes, so despite several attempts I still don't have copies of three of the maps.

So, the alternative approach was to download the PDF versions of the maps and print them out on A3 paper. This turned out to be quite a good way of visualising the GM cycle routes as I could tape the sheets together and make one big GM cycling map, except there was one problem...

The sheets for Wigan, on the left, could be matched up with each other, but didn't fit into the rest of the maps. It took a few attempts before the penny dropped, they are a different scale to the rest of the maps. While the scale on the Wigan maps insist that the map is a 1:16,000 scale, like all the others, it is actually 1:20,000. On closer inspection it is clear that the Wigan maps have been shrunk, rather than re-scaled, with smaller text and narrower lines.

So, possibly ever since they were first produced, the Wigan cycle network maps have been printed with the wrong scale, just one of the many errors that persist in this map series, along with non-existent cycle routes

I eventually managed to fit Wigan into the rest of the maps by up-scaling the sheets on the printer, so I can get on with the next stage of the project.

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