[LINK] Dept Environment NSW outsource walking maps

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Wed Jan 13 09:40:42 AEDT 2010


Last Saturday, yes in the blazing heat,
we attempted the cycle from Leichhardt o
Cooks River (proposed greenway), based
on a Cycle Guide book. We were doing the
trip in reverse, and based on the text
descriptions got a little lost (but
being the inner west - this had positive
outcomes).  I found the ride poorly
marked (at intersections such as
paramatta rd) and ofcourse there are no
street names in Sydney.

Cycle and Pedestrian ways are poorly
mapped but there is an opportunity to
improve this situation.

I have now created a map on google,
annotated with photographs....click on
the geographical co-ordinates at the
bottom of this page to get to the map:

or try

Amateurs probably can't read maps and
need clear signage on the
to tell them where to go and where not to
venture unless properly prepared.

Outsourcing itself is not a bad thing -
but is most successful for well
understood and defined tasks....I hate
the cold calling from Telco call centres
- but was most impressed by the NRMA
call centre - who had integrated their
CRM/Upselling and preempted my enquiries
about other services with them.

I suspect the tracks may also be being 
by local volunteers. I get the feeling 
this is the
intention with the Cooks River to Iron 
Cove Greenway.


Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> Linkers,
> I note with interest, and some dismay, that with its Web presence 
> subsumed into the Department of the Environment, NSW's National Parks 
> and Wildlife Service has outsourced bushwalk descriptions and some 
> mapping to "Wildwalks.com".
> Dismay, for various reasons.
> One is that the NPWS is no longer the source of the walk descriptions, 
> and therefore no longer directly responsible for their accuracy. As 
> someone who has long relied on the NPWS as providing reliable 
> information about walk difficulty, distance and length; and with lots of 
> experience of incompetent, inaccurate, or unreasonable descriptions 
> elsewhere (including various "name" bushwalking books), I'm not happy 
> that the descriptions would be out of the hands of rangers who are 
> familiar with the walks. Instead the descriptions are in the hands of an 
> essentially unknown, poorly identified group of volunteers.
> My experience of "enthusiast" bushwalking information is:
> - the enthusiast generally over-estimates the capabilities of 'ordinary' 
> walkers, and underestimates walk difficulty and length;
> - I have little faith in the accuracy of enthusiast walk descriptions. 
> Simple quality control stuff like poor sub-editing delivers serious 
> howlers (in my copy of "Take a Walk" for the Blue Mountains, "left" and 
> "right" are frequently confused).
> - The map quality on Wildwalks is dreadful. Yes, I do carry my own 
> copies of topos, so it doesn't matter to me, but plenty of people will 
> take something on-line for a short walk. My example, here:
> http://www.wildwalks.com/topographical-maps/nsw-topographical-maps-k-to-l/katoomba-89301s.html
> ... in which (say) all the walks of Wentworth Falls are shown, but none 
> of them are named. Even a sketch map *with* walk names would be more 
> useful and less likely to get the inexperienced walker into trouble.
> Now, I'm all in favour of "Web 2.0" attitudes where they make sense, but 
> outsourcing a professional function in this way, where public safety is 
> at issue, is a case where I would argue that control should have 
> remained with the responsible body.
> Richard C
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> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
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Marghanita da Cruz
Tel: 0414-869202

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