[Loadstone] Greetings and train stations

Sean Randall seanr at randylaptop.com
Thu Mar 25 15:25:03 GMT 2010


Geetha,

It contains train stations only, as far as I am aware.  I have not yet left
home to see how accurate the coordinates are, though they were from an
official source so should be relatively useful.  I've not used the  tube so
have no wisdom to offer there.

My database can be found at
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1436494/UK_train_stations.ldb

I cannot guarantee completeness, accuracy or anything else, but am trying it
on the weekend while Wayfinder still works as a backup.

Sean.

-----Original Message-----
From: loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com
[mailto:loadstone-bounces at loadstone-gps.com] On Behalf Of Geetha Shamanna
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010. 03:06 PM
To: loadstone at loadstone-gps.com
Subject: Re: [Loadstone] Greetings and train stations

Hello Sean,

I currently live in Harrow, Middlesex, and mostly travel by tube on slow
trains (the metropolitan line) without automatic announcements. I board from
a small station which all the fast trains skip by. If your database contains
checkpoints for all the tube stations in the UK, I would be greatly
interested in having it. I try counting stops, but am sometimes distracted
by a friendly passenger wanting to have a chat or by my own thoughts, and
easily lose count of stops.

Many thanks.
Geetha
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sean Randall" <seanr at randylaptop.com>
To: <loadstone at loadstone-gps.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 2:48 PM
Subject: [Loadstone] Greetings and train stations


Hi all,

I haven't been on this list for many many months - in fact I only popped on
for a little while to see what was going on and had no real use for GPS in
my life until recently.

I used wayfinder mainly as an in-car navigation tool, but on my first
business trip I had another use for it: train stations.  Using wayfinder's
"find" option and the "select category" item, I was able to get a
refreshable list of railway stations, relative to my current location.
Naturally this changed as I zoomed around the country on the train, but for
the local routes where the name of the upcoming station isn't announced (of
which I had to travel several) this was an invaluable tool for me.

I'm sure you all know of wayfinder's eventual demise by now, I must remember
that I'm a newcomer here after all.  My question to myself, really, was how
to replicate this station thing with Loadstone, before my next trip (which
is on Saturday).

Well, I had a quick look at the point share exchange - gave it my lat and
long, and there were quite a few results.  Garages, service stations, shops
and fast food joints for the most part.  The odd train station, but not the
ones I was travelling to.  Of course if I'd been there already I could add
them, but first I needed to get there, which is the whole point.

I had a brief look at Open Street map, but without spending more time, I
couldn't figure a way to find and add more than one station at once.  They
aren't like bus stops, where you can work on a local radius, because the
whole idea is you're going from one place to another, those 2 being
potentially quite a distance apart.

My solution  was to zip through all (or most, at least) of the stations on
the national rail site, and get the latitude and longitude for each.  Once I
had those, I was able to simply run them through the POI converter to
generate the database file.   A quick bluetooth and database import later,
and I can explore them.

I don't know how much interest this will be to anybody, because there are
several issues.  There are about 2,400 stations in the database: I worked on
the assumption that I may never know where I am travelling next.  The
national rail webssite lets you see calling points for your journey, my plan
was to checkpoint each of the stations   before I depart, thus cutting out
the ones I don't want.

For example, I am travelling from Leominster (my local) to WolverHampton on
Saturday, and to get there    I have to change trains at Shrewsbury.  My
plan is to checkpoint all the calling stations between Leominster and
Wolverhampton, and  5 minutes whilst checking the times on the web tells me
the Calling points between Leominster and Shrewsbury are Ludlow, Craven Arms
and  Church Stretton, then the Calling points between Shrewsbury and
Wolverhampton are Wellington,  Telford Central and Cosford.  I could simply
isolate my target station each trip, but because I am using an internal gps
and it's my first time with this access method, I'd prefer to know where I
am, as well as where I'm going.

Many of my associates report that most if not all the trains they use
announce the stops, so I can only assume that some of my more national
journeys will be easier.  Still, knowing where you are is a great confidence
boost, and if there's interest, I shall report back on the success of my
journey next week.

Sean.

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