Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ring-Fenced in Angus !

A second wind farm (Cormaud - in pink) has been proposed for behind the castle (the blue Saltire). This is in addition to the wind farm in the planning process (Carroch - in green) in front of the castle. As a teccie type, I decided to plot them both on google maps to get a feel for the overall layout. The outcome below shocked even me: I am surrounded! Anyhow, hopefully, this map is a useful resource that allows people to put the wind turbine locations into their true geographical context.

View Carrach and Cormaud Wind Farms in a larger map

To the best of my knowledge this map is correct. Please submit any corrections as comments. I should clarify that neither of these wind farms is a done deal at the time of writing. Carrach is currently at the planning application phase, and Cormaud is in the scoping (pre-application) phase. Naturally I am not in favour of either application going ahead, as they would devalue the significant time, money, emotional and physical investments I have made in Balintore Castle. To say I feel strongly on the matter, is a gross understatement. However, this particular blog entry is about the facts presented succinctly and graphically. I daresay I will express my own views and feelings at length is subsequent blog entries.

Teccie Details

Don't read any further if you couldn't care less about how the map was produced! 

For Carroch I used the coordinates (eastings and northings) from the scoping report, so the plotting is 100% accurate.

For Cormaud, I took the positions from the scoping report map by eye, plotted these by hand on google maps and then downloaded the coordinates.

It took me a day to write a program to convert eastings and northings into latitude and longitude which google maps needs for plotting. There was lots of trigonometry! :-)

All programming was done in Python,  output was in KML which google maps can display. Needless to say, I found some bugs in Google's implementation of KML and had to program around these.

In the full page google maps display,  I would like to make the menu on the LHS hierarchical so you can switch on/off different wind farms. I tried to use the "<Folder>" tag to do this but it had no effect. Anyone know how to achieve this functionality?

I used the "convex hull" algorithm to create a polygon which enclosed the turbine locations for each farm.

I found the following PNG format icons on the Web, which possess the appropriate transparency for overlaying a map.