Friday, July 03, 2009

Bad-a-bing...

One of the chaps at work gave me the heads up on a new (to me) mapping site on the 'interweb'.. Bing Maps [click here]

Some of you will have read the previous posts where I've extolled the virtues of Google Mapper for helping out with battlefield visits, and this site is similar in terms of the usual satellite imagery, what it has however is two extra invaluable functions for the wargamer..

The first is "birds eye" view - now this is a satellite view, but the view is offset slightly so that you are looking down on the map as if from the side... have a look at the following and you'll see what I mean (oh, and as usual, click on the pictures for a bigger view):

That's a view of the English Civil War battlefield of Lansdowne - the monument [click here] is the one erected to commemorate the heroism & death of Sir Bevil Grenville and his Cornish pikemen at the battle. Gives a whole new perspective when you see ground offset like that - dips and rises become more obvious...

Having played around with it it's clear that the birds eye view is not available for all maps - it only seems to be available for some area's - but well worth checking for....

The other option however, is called 3D. You have to install a little application as prompted by the web page (I'm guessing it's some kind of Java thing) but once you have it you can then look at maps in 3D - like this - this is the same view as the previous - the green circle in the middle is the monument:

..so what you say - that doesn't look much different to a normal satellite image - but then with the 3D maps you have the ability to tilt the maps, and if you change the perspective on the previous view so that you are looking at where the monument is from behind it, and then tilt the view of the map, you can see this:

..and all of a sudden a dry old photograph suddenly starts to show the contours, and all the books you've read describing the valour of the Cornish regiments as they fought their way up the hill become clearer....

Trust me there's nothing like going to 3D, tilting the battlefield site over, zooming down to ground level and then moving over the map to see all the "lumps and bumps" that affected the commanders on the day.... not as good as actually visiting a battlefield, but definitely a help for those battles you're never going to be able to get to..!

For any wargamer preparing for a battlefield walk, or to re-fight a battle on the tabletop, Steve-the-Wargamer rates this little site 8 out of 10...

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Lovely trip out on the boat last night, and a chance to finally try out the new jib... just a short trip as I had to go after work, but oh my, what an evening... it's been scorching hot this week in the UK (unusual to say the least) but an hour or two on the water was enough to restore Steve the Wargamer's equilibrium ... a pleasant hour and a half's sailing in light winds ensued, followed by a half hour drift back to the mooring in an absolutely flat calm, warm and balmy evening - a can of Bass in one hand (which had hung over the side for the previous hour to cool ), and a cigar in the other... absolutely magic - one of those evenings where you can hear people talking, miles away...

Distance: 4 miles (55 miles year to date)
Wind: Light (Force 1 gusting nothing!)

4 comments:

  1. Wow that is an amazing effect!

    I have friends in Bath so often drive down that road from the M4 when I go to see them.

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  2. I just tried it and it's brilliant! Even I could work it out. It's like flying!

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  3. Now you just need to pick your favourite battle site and you really start learning new things about the battle... what did we do before the interweb??? :o))

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  4. That is very nice - thank you!

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