New Street StationI have been writing about the way maps seem to be getting better and better, so just recently I noticed that google maps have updated there floor plan navigation to the point were I can now easily select any floor with the navigation button on the bottom right of any map.

I tried it first with todays photo, of New Street Station, and its really good, then I tried it with two large building both mapped for floor layouts, and it works just fine, click on the building you want and the map navigation changes to suite, just excellent.

The floor plans them selves are simplistic, but they work, the platforms in New Street station are difficult to find at present as they reconstruct the station, so this floor plan is really good.

I have stated many times that this is so easy to do, and does not take long, I can not understand why many other building like these are not updated with floor plans, ok there might be security issues, so don’t show this arera, but the main public areas should be shown.

I used Google Chrome to take my screen shots, see my flickr account for more, I tried it in Safari and it works just fine. But allas I tried it on my iPhone and even in the google app floor plan navigation is not show, just a sample floor plan, sad.

So do you need floor plans adding to your map, please contact me, all I need is a set of dwg or similar plans that I can use to creat a plan set of your building to upload.



Original sign on the rear elevation to the waterstone building birminghamThis weekend I found myself in the centre of Birmingham, and we happen to pass by Waterstones book shop to the rear of new Street, its being hacked about to make way for the new reail station and tram system. But what caught my attension was the way the lower ground floor to the old bank building, now a waterstones, had been exposed, to reveail the old sign I can only think that the planners would, quite rightly, have been all over this, I went into the store to purchase a new Michelin guide for France, and the very helpfull chap told me, they arer recording the information and it will be carefully covered over, and left in place.

Excellent I thought, as I looked at it, but then I started to look at the support structure and the Steel Beam support held up by what looks like cast iron pillars. The beam is a plted and ribbed stell section, not so often seen these days, my father, a steel engineer, said most engineers might not know how to detail this correctly, so I took some time to take a few photos and record the detail

I wonder how good the steel is, from the distance I was able to view it, I wonder how far rust has eaten into the beam, but looking at it, I thought it just needed cleaning and painting.

Still an interesting detail now exposed for a short time, and if your in the area, well worht a visit to see it for your self. in fact the whole area is worth a visit as the station is being reconstructed, I almost said refurbed, its not, it being reconstructed, take a look at the new stainless steel facade, the reflection is interesting, can’t say I like it and I wonder if the sun path has been looked at.

I have more photos in my Flickr account, take a look by clicking on todays photo


Magnetic North Finder

by scays on 15/08/2014

North Point IdeaWant to know your Lat and Long, or Easting and Northing or perhaps the direction of Magnetic north to make your north point just that little bit special. Well try this site, its easy to use, and give all of this just by pointing your mouse at the map. It requires Silverlight to run, I had to update my system for it to work properly, but once I had, its a dream to use.

We all use North points and so often its the same old boring, well not for me anymore, I am going to add some relevant info to my north point, starting with Lat Long, the correct Easting and nothing, and the angle of Magnetic north. I will also add the two basic sun path analysis arcs to the north point.

I also think its worth making up a sheet as part of the survey notes, I use a pre printed A4 sheet with a small title block and a very light grid, I think it might be good to pull the survey notes into a top sheet, why, well its good to take a compass onto site to locate north, yes this should be done via the easting and northing of at least two corners, but some times its just not possible to do this, so I tend to take my Compas and locate true north and now I can locate Grid north also from this site.




Certified Chimney Systems

by scays on 14/08/2014

schiedel chimneyI have to install a new chimney system to a house I am extending, so as always I did a trawl on the internet, and found the Schiedel system, and its seems I have looked at this before, because my Evernote app to Chrome showed it up in the side bar search as well, so I have just downloaded some tech stuff and the DWG file, not much to write home about, but its a clever neat system, that has the right warranties and tech backup, so its getting specified.

Adding information into Evernote is so useful to the Technologist, not because its easy to get at, but the background search and show in just about every browser,  is so handy. I recently read that Memory sticks can not only contain virus and nasty stuff embedded in the files, but the actual software inside the stick can be hacked, so any self respecting system manager is not going to be happy with you plugging in a stick with all your details and spec information on it, so perhaps the cloud offers the answer, dropbox, flickr, and of course Google Drive, but Evernote offers so much more.

This week I was in the University library and was browsing the shelf looking for a specific book, but as always I found several I thought might be interesting, so I took a photo from within Evernote, and made a few types comments, the internal OCR will read the book binder photo and make it available for search, and show it up in my Google screen. I am happy, the system IT man is happy and I get instand recall of information, Oh and yes I tag.


Architectural Salvage Yard

13 August 2014

I have a large house conversion on at present, nothing unusual about this, I have several waiting to be done, but this one involves a lot of restoration, and the client wants to keep the floor boards intact, and keep the same in place on the new areas, so I am looking for a supplier […]

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A Spacecraft for all

11 August 2014

You might be wondering, just why I should be writing about a spacecraft on a CPD blog for Architectural Technologists, well its simple really, its just interesting, some times it’s good to just wonder of peist and read or study something thats a little away from the normal day to day stuff. So why this, […]

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Open street map export to DXF – Update

10 August 2014

After looking at the dxf import taken from the Open street map, for a while, I started to see a few discrepancies, starting with the actual location of the map, no UK grid to our Easting and Noerthings, plus the reading on import was way of. I then thought, lets overlay an OS map on to […]

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Open street map export to DXF

9 August 2014

You might want to go over to the very excellent article on the Archdaily site, re the way a guy called Brandon Liu, a Software Developer from San Francisco has used data from OpenStreetMap to create .DXF CAD files of 241 major cities worldwide. These files are entirely free to download, and from San Francisco to Sydney, Buenos Aires to Beijing andHelsinki to Harare, most of the world’s major […]

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Inserting photos into Google Docs

8 August 2014

I use Google Docs for just about all my writing, its easy, free and available on just about every computer I use, and as a lecturer, I might use upwards of 10 machines in any one day. I also use it to store a copy of all my photos, I can’t say Google Photos is […]

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8 August 2014

So often when I visit site, I take loads and loads of photos, my iPhone is simple to use, there is no space problem and transferring is relatively simple. I also include video in this statement, as I see both Video and Stills as a source for recording a site. The iPhone, and for that […]

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