You’ve been framed – national photography project meets in Southampton

17 Feb 2010 04:30 PM

Members of a 10,000 strong volunteer army, which have all contributed to a project to photograph every square kilometre of Britain, have descended on Ordnance Survey’s Southampton head office.

Since 2005 the Geograph project, sponsored by the national mapping agency, has been trying to collect a photo representing every single kilometre of the country. After five years and with almost 1.7 million images now amassed, the community of users is coming together for the first time.

Among their number is Jonathan Billinger, who has ceaselessly uploaded a new snap to the site every single day for almost two years.

Jonathan Billinger, whose photos range from snow-covered forests to cathedrals, explains the appeal of the unique venture: “I have always loved maps since I was a child. That combined with my passion for photography made Geograph a perfect fit. I’ve never really paid much attention to the leader boards but just thought it would be fun to add a new photo every day. I’m lucky that my job allows me to travel so I’ve managed to take photos all over the country.”

The site was founded by Gary Rogers, Paul Dixon and Barry Hunter, as both a game and national geography project, and such is its success that it has been recognised as a unique resource by the British Library and entered into it’s ‘digital archive’ for posterity.

Site founder Barry Hunter comments: “We never thought we’d get this far, and its great to be recognised by the British Library and wonderful to have the chance to meet many of the people that have really made Geograph so successful.”

Despite the huge number and range of images contributed to the site, from the windswept outcrops of the Shetlands, to ordinary suburban neighbourhoods, there do remain some map squares with no images. Barry Hunter adds: “There are still a number of squares with no images, leaving a chance for people to be the first; however, there are also many more squares with just a few images – leaving plenty of opportunity to increase the depth of coverage in your local area.”

To find out how you can start Geographing, visit http://www.geograph.org.uk/