Wednesday, December 24, 2014

GIS Movie: Roman Britain from the Air

London is a Roman invention (43 AD)

Why did the Romans build (what we now know as London) here?

Oxford Street, Edgeware Road, and Marble Arch all speak to Roman spatial and planning sensibilities.

Roman walls edge down into the ground, running all the way around the old city, as seen in underground car parks.

Shots of helicopters cut to maps.  We have commentators narrating the entrenched Thames through radio, telling how bridges spanned the river and linked up the old Roman world.  A web of roads across what is now England.

[I saw a white Roman road marker today on my ride up towards St Ann's Hill and Chertsey, at a spot where the Founder's Building jumps up on the hill.  The white stone inscription is faded, fronting the old road bed, saplings folding into forest]

Staines, we know, was a Roman town, bulldozed to make commercial space.  Now Debenham's greets the visitor, calling out across the railway tracks.  Heading north from Chertsey, a cold front down for Christmas Eve, cycling amongst walkers on the Thames.

This is the edge, the way out, tunnelling under the M25 to go home.

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