Occident Accident

A couple of months ago in an e-mail conversation with Mark Maclean we noted that in Hamilton North and Broadmeadow there is a “Boreas St” (North) and an “Orient St” (East) and an “Australia Rd” (South).  I jestingly wondered about the missing compass point, and the whereabouts of “Occident Rd” (West).

NSEI actually did a search on Google Maps and found that the closest was an “Occident St” in Nulkaba, which interestingly has a companion “Boreas St” and “Austral St”, but is missing an “Orient St”.

Then a few days ago when I was putting together the web page for my January 2016 article for the Lambton Local, I accidentally and serendipitously discovered on a 1906 real estate map that there was an “Occident Rd”, in neighbouring Waratah West!

WThis road was closed in 1910, and Christo/Christie Rd shortened.

OccidentRdClosedBy overlaying the old map onto Google Earth you can get a sense of where Occident Rd used to be, in the area which is now part of the Acacia Avenue Reserve.

WGESo is there any intentional connection between these streets? I have seen no direct evidence of this, but it is somewhat suggestive that when you look at a map of the Newcastle Pasturage Reserve (below) where the reserve boundary is marked in green, that Occident Rd is adjacent to the west boundary, Orient St is adjacent to the east boundary and Boreas St is on a north boundary of the reserve. Coincidence or not? Unfortunately Australia St is not near any boundary.

PasturageNSEW

Not much of a Jewel

LambtonIn Google Maps, if you search for a suburb name, as well as the map result the page will show a photo from the suburb, which presumably is auto-selected by the Google-fairy-bots according to some secret algorithm. Mostly this works. For example for “Lambton NSW” you get a nice photo of Lambton Park and the rotunda.

But search for “Jewells NSW” and you get … a burnt out car and assorted rubbish on a beach track. The Google-fairy-bots might need a bit of help on this one.

Jewells

NewJewellsUpdate 23 Jan 2016

Searching for Jewells now shows someone’s driveway. A step up from a burnt out wreck, but not exactly showcasing the suburb.

Long shadows in curious places

KahibaRd2015My latest article for the Lambton Local is out, this month exploring the topic of old maps. In the course of researching and writing this article I discovered amongst other things why this building has a kink in it, and the location of Occident Road, the counterpart to Orient Road Hamilton North.

Also I have put together a visual index to the historical real estate maps in the University of Newcastle Cultural Collections photo archive.

Not broken, just Lite

I was using Google Maps tonight and was getting frustrated at how broken it seemed when searching for directions – it wasn’t showing me multiple routes, or route options like avoiding tolls, or giving me the ability to change the route by dragging points on the path – features that were there previously.

It turns out that it wasn’t broken, but that somehow I’d got into “Lite mode”. Clicking on the lightning bolt icon in the bottom right corner soon restored sanity to my mapping searches.

glite