Jan 152006

Lynmouth on the 14th January

lynmouth surf

The surf is going off today. That’s not common at Lynmouth and it’s a long way from the main North Devon surf beaches. So why is it so crowded? Where are all the surfers coming from, and do they use the internet to make the decision? Local surfers have prevented a webcam from being installed and even Magic Seaweed, the ultimate surf forecasting site doesn’t mention this spot for fear of upsetting the locals.
The screenshot below displays desire lines that represent the origin of 15 surfers visiting Lynmouth on 14th January.

lynmouth mapclick to enlarge

Respondents were asked for their postcode, which was converted into latitude and longitude using the converter at Nearby.org.uk The data was pasted into a spreadsheet and converted to a .kml file using Earth Plot software.

I also asked respondents whether they had used the internet to help them plan their surfing that day. The local surfers at Lynmouth are opposed to a webcam or online forecast for this area because of the overcrowding. I added this information as a simple post in EarthPlot, and edited the icon within Google Earth. Surfers who had looked at the internet for infomation about surfing conditions at other North Devon spots are shown with a webcam symbol.

Download Gogle Earth file: Lynmouth surfers

The results show that even local surfers use the internet before setting out to the beach. It may not be too long before Lynmouth does get a webcam although I doubt it would be a permanent fixture judging by the reactions of those who live in the town!

Please note that this isn’t a serious research project – just an opportunity to work with Earth Plot. A full review of this application is due to follow soon.