Ground Truth?

Newcourt Station’s Inaccurate Map

In a previous blog post the chaotic opening of the new station at Newcourt in South West England was discussed. There is a continuing chaotic element on the station map that is analysed here.

A curiosity of the station is the new location map that includes information from both Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency, and OpenStreetMap.

Newcourt Station Map

Newcourt station map with several errors: the most obvious is the station is in the wrong place!

The station itself is shown in the wrong location: an error by one of the many agencies involved in the station construction perhaps? The map weirdly has reference to Denham Aerodrome: a place that appears on neither of the maps! It is in fact situated over 200 kilometres away near London. What should be illustrated at the “aerodrome” is a rugby stadium.

In comparison the OpenStreetMap image shows the correct location for the station.

OpenStreetMap view of Newcourt station

OpenStreetMap: the correct position of the new station is shown.

The station map has missed out on a lot of rich information from OpenStreetMap and has suppressed the quality of the agency mapping also. The map effectively ignores the new roads and many cycle links shown in OpenStreetMap and appears to be largely based upon Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping that is not as up-to-date. Streets tend to follow the morphology of the OS mapping. There is a cycle route that has been invented (it does not exist on any reference source map and it’s route in reality would pass through a building!). Another cycle route is represented as a mirror image of the actual route. Woodland seems to be taken from the OS map but that detail has been incorrectly changed: to the west and south of the map an area of woodland has been created from several disconnected woodland areas. The woods in question do not have the shape or area from OpenStreetMap.

In summary the map on Newcourt’s new station is a poor representation of reality on the ground: it is an insult to both sources that it refers to: OpenStreetMap and OS. It seems to be a creation of a design agency and not fully representative of the ground truth.


About mappedit

Geographical practitioner with an interest in climate change, open mapping, sustainability, the transition movement, transport and many other things.
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