20 Oct 2014

20th October 2014

Monday 20th 54F, 12C, breezy and sunny. After yesterday's monsoon it is a lovely morning. Though more showers are forecast. Apparently there is a vast area of low pressure over the Atlantic causing unsettled weather in Europe.

Though it looks older this pretty little cottage dates only from 1827. Recent tree clearing has opened it up to a much better view. Every house in Denmark is on a central register which is easily accessible, with every detail available online. Year of erection, construction materials, value, previous sales and prices, area, number of floors, heating system, toilet facilities, land or garden area, size of outbuildings, materials used etc, etc. 

Denmark also has several aerial photographic mapping systems and even oblique aerial photography dating back to before the war. Commercial aerial photography has a long history and its picture archives are now in the hands of the Royal Library in Copenhagen. This has been all placed online for free and easy public access. Offering a unique, pictorial insight into Denmark's recent history. 

One can easily see the changeover from almost exclusive rural thatch, heavy manual work and horse drawn implements to other roofing materials, tractors and farm machinery. Previous industries are no longer a bare patch on the ground or hidden by new housing or industrial estates. The long forgotten factories and businesses, the branch lines, stations and steam locomotives are all there to see in superb detail. We spend hours online enjoying all these facilities completely free of charge.

House hunters can instantly see if there is anything in the locality which might spoil their fun. Or enhance it. All without ever leaving their chair. They can study the aerial photographs to see how the building and its surroundings have changed over time. They can see how the vegetable garden was cultivated and watch trees appear and disappear again. Many rural farms have lost huge, manicured gardens and orchards over time. The countless farmhouses are often left with just a manageable garden. The barns and working outbuildings have been erased over time. 

One can often see former occupants, unencumbered by TV, standing outside their homes or behind a horse in the fields. This is the true value of the internet. Quality services unfettered by crass commercialism or plastered with advertising. Or abusing the creative by charging the public to host and then allow them to view their own work. Often partially hidden behind a completely tasteless, totally irrelevant advert blocking the tiny viewing screen! It's no wonder these slave markets are valued so highly and their originators obscenely rich!

It all makes Google Earth's aerial views look like an amateur's fuzzy daub seen through muslin, except for Street View. Which has made only a very limited incursion into Denmark. Many rural roads have never seen the camera cars. Or their images have never been released.

I had a pleasant walk in bright sunshine being pushed back along the lane by the gusty wind. Watched a medium sized bird of prey, with white undersides, being mobbed by crows. Interestingly [?] mob means to bully in Danish. While fugl [pron.fool] means bird or fowl. Danish lies at the root of many English words. I am having early coffee and toast in the hope of avoiding the forecast showers during today's ride.

I was lucky and the rain held off until the evening. Though large plates of cloud spoilt the sunshine at intervals. There was a bit of a headwind going to Assens but a good tailwind to help me home again when heavily loaded. I saw an identical bird of prey to the west of this morning's sighting. It was hunting on stiff, pointed wings, now unmolested, out over the fields. 20 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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