It’s been about 4 years since I wrote about zonemaking, but lately it has recieved some new attention and it feels like it could be time for an update. Munin wanted to include it in the next Turf Insider as well. So here is zonemaking 2.0. Most of the text are copy/paste from the former post but I have updated a few things and the screenshots from the Zone Creation Tool have been updated since the tool have recieved some updates.
We often gets question about how the zones are made, I figured a blog post regarding it would be interesting for most of you.
First of all, lets have a short description of how the zonemaking has changed since I started with it. Dacop posted a nice description in the Facebook group Turf Stockholm which I have translated below:
When I became zonemaker in 2013 we had fixed responsibilities for the regions, there was not often that a zonemaker changed region to add zones and the whole process was rather slow. In February 2014 we introduced zonemaker rotation which means that responsibility raffled off in the four-month periods. This meant that the pace of new zones increased significantly, many ZM wanted to make his mark in the region before it was time to change again. It also led to uneven construction and perhaps a bit shitty quality zones in places. So in 2015 we introduced which some called “zone starvation”, a guide which tells you how many zones will be built in the region for the period time, while the focus was much more on “fine or special locations”, adding values to the zones . During the past year, management refined even more, the regional grouping has become municipal division and the focus is largely on catching up with few zones per inhabitant, or too few zones per active turfer.
This system is only applicable for Sweden for now, in the other official Turf countries we’re still working according to the old fixed system but in the future we will have the same system as in Sweden.
So that’s how it is. How do we see your suggestion made in the application then? I’ve checked with our Zone general that this was ok so here we go:
The zone creation tool
This is Karlstad as we see it. We have checkboxes for what we want to show. In this picture I have chosen to show the existing zones, which you see in red color, the 200 meter radius around them in yellow and the suggestions, which are the pink dots. In earlier versions of the zone creation tool suggestions that was close to each other where summarized into numbers but now we see them as they was created all the time. A missing future.
I often read in the forum or on Facebook that someone has added a great suggestion in the application and called it “something”. We have no possibility to search for that name which you suggested, so we’ll have to guess which of the pink dots it is, would you like to take a guess? Therefore we often nag about adding a map to the zone suggestion or a screenshot from the application with your turfman standing there. Here is why.
So why not add the possibility to search for it? You may ask. Well then you have to suggest a unique name for your suggestion, a name that no one has ever suggested before. And with 3 possible suggestion per turfer each round it would be hard to find suitable names sooner or later.
So lets go a bit closer. Here I have zoomed into a central spot of Karlstad where we have some zone suggestions close to each other. As I mentioned before, the red areas are existing zones and the yellow circles are the 200 meter radius which are our distance limit between zones. As you can see, all of these suggestions are too close to existing zones and are likely never to be created. But. I know this area well and know that the southerly zone is placed on a relatively high hill which makes an natural obstacle and therefore the real distance to the nearby suggestions are much longer. I also know that the only way from the eastern zone to these suggestions are via Älvgatan or Klaraborgsgatan, there are no shortcut beneath the railway. With these facts the zone suggestions are not that bad, but a zonemaker with no knowledge about this area will never know this unless you tell it. This is the reason we like you to motivate why this would be a good zone, preferably adding some pictures to motivate it even more. Of course we can use google street view but those pictures are not always up to date and most often only show pictures from the roads and not the bike lanes.
Please remember that it is YOU, not me, who want a zone on the suggested spot. This is why I get tired when someone write that I should google it for information and photos. If I was to do that for all suggestions in my 20 municipalities it would take a lot more time to create zones.
Lets have an example of a bad suggestion. This is one of the suggestions placed in Karlstad. This zone suggestion is about one square kilometer in size. There are many suggestions like this in the cities so it’s not always easy to find the better ones without any directions.
Another example of bad suggestion. Centered over the intersection with limited space to grab it from the bike lanes, better for armpit turfers. This zone is likely never to be created but it adds to the number of suggestions which a zonemaker gets in the cities and as I said, makes the better placements disappear in the blur of suggestions.
We have the possibility to delete really bad zone suggestions. A feature that as you see comes in hand from time to time.
This kind of zone suggestions are always fun. Most of the time these suggestions is made from someone who has downloaded the application and believed that he could create zones on his own, adding a suggestion on his backyard. But this zone has a great motivation in the forums (Swedish): Link.
Here we have a photo from the suggestion, coordinates specifying its location and also some history to it. This is an great example of a zone suggestion which I gladly would had approved if this was my region of responsibility.
Another great way of presenting zone suggestions is to add them in your own map, like this example from DaddyKing in Karlstad (Swedish). Here the zone suggestions are clearly marked with some description added to them and for some also a photo of the location. I really like these maps and often search for these in my regions of responsibility.
But please be aware that even if you follow all of these advises you can still be left with your suggestion never being realized. All zonemakers has their own valuations and your suggestion might not be according to what your zonemaker for this period values the most. Me for instance prefer to add zones in the outer areas of the town and not in the center where it most of the times are stiffed already.
This zonemaking period I’m responsible for Skellefteå municipality and they might have noticed what my valuations are. I’m one of few zonemakers that love to use the forum and often search for suggestions there to start with. There wasn’t many posts for Skellefteå but the turfer Disab had added a link some years ago and no zonemaker had responded to it so I gave it a look. I like to add a quick reply in the thread when creating a zone as suggested so that the next zonemaker wont have to waste time checking it up only to realized it has been created already, but I know that some of my collegs do not share my philosophy.
Anyway, here’s how Skellefteå looks like:
I still like to add zones in the outer parts of the town. This time I hade 6 zones to create during my 4 months zone making period. Disab had added some suggestions between BeastZone and MountBridge that caught my attention. The bike lane of 4 km between them shouldn’t motivate the turfers to take this road. So I added Skuggzon and Grästuvan to cover it up. Disab had also added a beautiful suggestion at Tuvagården with some motivation and pictures. A given zone according to me.
Then I had 3 zones to go. The two lonely zones north east from the town at Boviksbadet caught my attention. I decided to add one more close to the existing one to motivate a visit and then added two zones to create a route to them. These zones often become car turf friendly but I tried to created them a bit from the road so the turfer at least have to leave the car for a sec. The zones Skorvöviken and Rävastugan was created using the suggestions added from the application, there where many suggestions close to Rävastugan at the local folkrace track (swenglish?) but I couldn’t find a suitable place that wasn’t behind fences. Fällbäcken I created at free hand at a smaller forrest road which I hope is too narrow for cars.
Thinking about it now I added all zones in the easter parts. Maybe I should have added some zones in the western parts as well but hopefully the next zonemaker will take a look there. I know that our turfers always appriciate to get the zone suggestion approved message so I try to create my zones 50/50 from suggestions in the application only and the more well written ones in the forum.
Feel free to ask any questions regarding zone making if you have any, I will try to answer as much as I can without telling you the “secrets” 🙂