Hello all GB1900 volunteers.
Welcome to the sixth newsletter.
New Progress Map
The main reason for this mailing is to let you know that a new set of progress maps is now available, based on all transcriptions up to Monday October 30th. The map of “needs confirming” pins is now about the only way to find work which definitely needs doing, showing pins which either have only one name transcribed, or pins with two names which conflict.
The current situation is:
Total Pins On The Map: 2,647,424
Pins You Can Do No Further Work On:
- Pins with an agreed name: 2,491,288
- Pins with three transcriptions, all conflicting: 11,888
- Pins with conflicting transcriptions, but match if you ignore upper versus lower case: 9,067
Pins we have identified as errors:
- Numeric data (spot heights, etc): 58,654
- Duplicate pins: 16,905
- Manually-flagged errors: 20,695
- One name only 29,421
- Two names but they conflict 9,067
You will see from the above that we have now started to identify duplicate pins, which are incomplete but are very close to another pin with the same transcribed name. We have also extended our flagging of “numeric data” to include strings which are a place name followed by a number, as mistakenly transcribed from a milepost. Here we are checking the text before the number against a listing of town and village names taken from the Vision of Britain site.
The “pins you can do no further work on” really means further work WITHIN the GB1900 system. We have plans for sorting them out once the site closes down, and will be asking some of you to help.
You will also realise that the counts of transcriptions and confirmations on the GB1900 home page are starting to be seriously misleading. The site currently lists 5,402,946 transcriptions and 2,257,635 confirmations, and we know some people have been concluding that we still need 5,402,946 - (2,257,635 x 2) = 887,676 more confirmations. when actually we need under 40,000.
As we said in the previous newsletter, the first priority is to add confirmations to those “needs confirming” pins, as located on the progress maps (and for us to improve our procedures for identifying the errors which DON’T need transcribing). As these will be mainly in the areas where transcription got started most recently, these are also the best areas to look for pins which have been completely missed.
The second priority is simply to scan across areas you have not looked at before, seeing if you can spot names that have been missed or pins that need confirming. Don’t worry too much about spot heights (“B. M. …”) which have been transcribed by mistake — they are fairly easy for us to filter out.
NOTE: Please be very careful when confirming and do not create a new duplicate pin right next to an existing one. To check you have clicked on the existing pin look in the transcription box. There will be a green pin showing if you are correctly confirming the existing pin. If there is a brown pin that means you are wrongly creating a new pin so just close the transcription box without saving using the cross in the right hand corner of the box and try clicking on the existing pin again.
Finishers' League Table
As we explained in our last newsletter, because it has become hard for most of you to improve your position on the leader board, we have added a separate “finisher’s league table”, This is based on distributing 500,000 “doubloons” each week in proportion to how many new pins each user has found, and 500,000 in proportion to how many confirmations they have done. This system will automatically increase the reward as additions get steadily harder to make. These are the top 20 contributors, updated to October 31st:
GB1900 Volunteer Survey
We have now done telephone interviews with five of our contributors. It has been very interesting for us to hear what they have been getting out of doing the work, and we have been very impressed by just how much work some of you have been putting in. It has also been very useful to hear about their different motivations and what they liked and disliked about the system.
We are a bit worried that everyone we have interviewed has been a man. We have sent invitations to several contributors who have female first names, and would love to hear back from them!
Highlighting some results: Footpath Density
Over ten per cent of all the text strings on the maps are “F. P.”, for footpath. They are obviously not as interesting as individual place names, but they are still of considerable interest. As some will know, the recording of public rights of way in the 1960s was not always complete, and as a result there are gaps in the Ordnance Survey’s modern maps. 2026 is the deadline for registering “new” rights of way in England and Wales based on historical evidence, and we think that the GB1900 mapping could help identify major gaps in the network. This map shows how many times the initials “F. P.” appeared per square kilometre for each local authority district, as defined today:
With thanks as ever for your continued hard work on the project.
The GB1900 Project Team