The inspiration for this app came from the Griff Rhys Jones TV Doco Britain's Lost Routes - Pilgrims in which he follows the Maps of John Ogilby from the year 1675 from Holywell to St David's in Wales. The full 1 hour does not seem to be on the web but is played from time to time on TV, and here is a You Tube extract of 8 minutes.

The Modus Operandi of the plot used by Griff is to uctually use these maps from the 17th Century to execute the route "on the ground" without any modern aids (other than a compass we presume) and Griff refers to the strip map format with compass roses and milestones as "sort of like a 17th Century Sat Nav".

As such this route seemed to be a possible vehicle for our new "Slow Web" genre so we used the same method, but in Google Earth and Google Maps, to plot out the entire route as best we could after more than 300 years of "alteration" to the landscape, and the more we delved the more Griff's comment about Sat Nav emerged as a truth, perhaps to a far greater extent than he envisaged.

The proof of the pudding is that the sum of the 12 "digital strip maps" we created (discounting the extra 5 miles of the diversion along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path) was 158.8 miles, a difference of less than 2% from the 156 miles of the Ogilby Maps plotted with nothing but his "wheel dimensurator" and a compass.

So we went ahead and created a Slow Web App for this trip (Ogilby Maps 66 [South] & 67 [North]) with all the normal hallmarks described above.

However we add a note of caution (as did Griff) that even though we managed to "pre-program" Sat Nav routes for both foot and car that "compute" in Google Maps, these are NOT approved and marked tracks (save for the short part in Section 12 for the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path) and may well pass through private land or use busy roads with no defined footpaths. As such we offer the App purely in the same spirit as Griff's Documentary which is a device to firstly kindle the interest of folk and then as an aid to those who may want to further explore the route on the ground (or simply take a virtual tour with the Streetviews and Flyovers etc).

For example the Doco has some mouth watering Drone Flyovers of a few parts of the route and our Flyovers then cover the whole route highlighting possible better tracks for further investigation beside roads that might prove more dangerous and less scenic, remembering that at any point the prospective "pilgrim" may pull up a 360 degree panorama for further investigation. To that end we provide thumbnail "entry points" to these panoramas at an average of one per mile. So the new age pilgrim can then pre-program their own Sat Nav routes on their computer for use on the ground.

The maps also make a fine wall hanging so we printed the two maps (Ogilby 66 & 67) side by side on canvas paper (20 x 8 inches) using the same green background we chose for the app and mounted it in a frame and here is a photo of this compilation on the wall.

... and Select "Architecture & Navigation".


Press to go to the Web-App.