Apr 23 2010

Amsterdam

ChrisM @ 4:32 pm

This page is still being completed. However, for now I will post a link to KML files for people who want to visit Amsterdam, or are researching the city.

The POI haven’t been cleaned up, and one set may still contain calibration points you won’t need; they’re for a map I was creating for GPS Tuner.

Some co-ordinates are recorded live on the streets at the time I was there, others are researched from photos and Google Earthing/Street View. So, some should be accurate to the point of half-metres (occasionally enough to which door to choose if your eyes are a little smoky), others should get you within direct line of sight of the CoffeeShop/park entrance/squares. There are still loads I need to add, but this is pretty much (slow) work in progress still. Since Anna was born, Amsterdam trips have been paused, so it will take a while before more accuracy or extra points will be added.

Right, the CoffeeShop file should be obvious, the Miscellaneous one is just a few points of general interest, landmarks etc. – VERY incomplete, and the bud smoker friendly restaurants was created back when tobacco was allowed indoors. That said, those in the list that have al fresco/patio/garden/street seating may still be cool with schmoking if you’re not blowing smoke in kids/grannies faces 🙂

IMPORTANT

If these files are for your personal use offline, you may do whatever you like with them.
If however, any use of the data isn’t just for you personally, I would appreciate a heads up if/when anything is published online, and if the project is of a commercial nature, some sort of credit and/or payment must be made, please contact me for further information.

KML Files

These POI files can be used in a variety of applications. Once these files have been tidied up, I will publish them online in a variety of formats. For now, please leave a comment if you can not convert them yourself. My thanks to the excellent

Amsterdam Coffee Shops
Amsterdam Smoker-Friendly Bars And Cafes
Amsterdam Miscellaneous

GPX Files

These POI files can also be used in a variety of applications. I haven’t tidied them up yet, but someone e-mailed asking for them, so thought I’d upload and link to them for now. Same applies to the OV2 section just below.

Amsterdam Coffee Shops
Amsterdam Smoker-Friendly Bars And Cafes
Amsterdam Miscellaneous

OV2 Files

These POI files are used by many TomTom devices. You may not need the bitmaps (BMP) as well, but just in case your TomTom complains or leaves an ugly red X next to the name, I’ve included the default asterix icon for each.

Amsterdam Coffee Shops
Amsterdam Coffee Shops BMP file
Amsterdam Smoker-Friendly Bars And Cafes
Amsterdam Smoker-Friendly Bars And Cafes BMP file
Amsterdam Miscellaneous
Amsterdam Miscellaneous BMP file

Here is a Google Map view of Amsterdam with an overlay of the coffeeshops I recommend visiting.


View Larger Map

Don’t forget to check the Amsterdam related posts for more information and quite a lot of photos taken over a few years.

Misc Info

Forums

After an extremely chaotic first trip to Amsterdam, I decided to properly research future trips. Channels.nl was my first port of call, but there is a lot of stereo-typical forum banter/sniping/trolling to wade through. Whilst still useful for getting extra information, I would recommend the Amsterdam Coffeeshop Direct (ACD) Forum as your first port of call. This forum, along with Google Earth and Street View were what I used for the files above (as well as minor corrections with a GPS device, whilst in Amsterdam).
There are other forums, and also a few invite only sites that also hold good information. Drop me a line if you want your (Amsterdam-related and useful) links placed here. Non-commercial sites are welcome, advertising rates apply to commercial ventures.

Amsterdam Coffeeshop Directory Forum – An offshoot of www.CoffeeShopDirect.com . Friendly most of the time, with all sorts of questions answered, not just weed based.

Channels.nl Forum – Not just weed based, you will find threads get a little more heated here. If you have never joined a forum before, perhaps start off at the ACD one listed above, and progress here once you have found your feet.

Virtual ‘Dam – Relatively new addition, seems to have no massive egos currently residing 🙂

Maps
Amersterdam CoffeeShop Direct – Maps and SO much more. The amount of info collated here is mind boggling. If you intend to boggle your mind whilst in Amsterdam, do check this site. From this site the ACD Forum listed above was born. So much info of use, I have downloaded the site to my PDA, so I can browse it offline, if there are no free WiFi hotspots in range.

WiFi Hotspots – A pretty comprehensive of official WiFi hotspots. I am also taking a program WiFiFoFum with me, to easily detect where kind citizens have left their WiFi network open for others to piggy back and use their internet access.

Wiki Map of Amsterdam – With places of interest marked. Most have descriptions attached if you click on them. Very easy to navigate around.

GVB Transport Map – The English version with trams, buses, trains and metro services marked out. Simply click on the area you are interested in to zoom.

Nemisis’ Map – Assuming you have Flash installed on your internet browsing device, an incredibly helpful layered map. Difficult to succinctly describe, check it out and click on top right buttons to see how much info is packed in. Each point has further information if you hover your cursor over the area.

Google Earth – Well worth installing. Free, and you can place pins in your favoured destinations. When you are done with that, you can then do all the obvious things like checking if you left anything out in your back garden the last time a satellite took a photo of your area! Once I have returned to Kazakhstan, I will be publishing some data files that should pinpoint locations of worthy places of interest. I have a draft copy, but many places are not yet confirmed in terms of their exact location.

Other/Misc
Who Is In Town? – Particularly useful if you belong to a forum. You can easily check who else will be around at the same time as you. Assuming you don’t dislike their online persona, you can arrange to have a ‘real world’ meeting and see if you have anything (apart from the obvious 😉 ) in common. You can also see some Coffeeshop Menus on the site.

Muffin Man – A MySpace page dedicated to a brand of special muffins. Blatant advertising, but has a little information at least. No longer there. I’ve left the link up to remind me to find out if they have a new home some day.

erowid.org – a collection nearing academic standards of information pertaining to drugs. Although mixed in with personal views, you will find a lot of cited research results and scientific facts here. Useful for reassuring yourself if this will be your first experience in Amsterdam, or if your know-it-all friend is spouting rubbish.

It is worth checking the other pages of sites I have listed – many have different sections, each useful, but if I link to each section on each site, I’ll be typing forever.

Taking the (at least used to be) free ferry from behind Centraal Station across the river shows a side to Amsterdam most of us don’t get around to looking at.
Biking over to Haarlem isn’t too far, and the Willie Wortel CS are worth the trip.
The Anne Frank museum is apparently normally packed, and massive queues.
Boom Chicago, stand up/improv comedy worth a visit, as are the St Nick’s Canal Boats – If you would like to take a trip around Amsterdam’s canals, I’d recommend using this non-profit organization over the big operators. Sign up at the Boom Chicago theatre. Run by volunteers, on old cargo barges, you get to go to more places (you can go down narrower and shorter canals), you can bring your own food, drink and schmokes, and it is a lot more friendly.

This page is still very much a work in progress, but I decided after almost three years of procrastination, it was time to get something up and online.

If you have a query related to Amsterdam, please do feel free to contact Chris Merriman (me) via e-mail if you would prefer not to leave a public comment.

Legal Stuff

    This site, it’s owner, and the hosting services involved do not in any way condone behaviour that is immoral, illegal or mind expanding, whether it be in your home country, or Amsterdam itself.

    Don’t take drugs. They are bad for you. So are alcohol, cigarettes, and breathing in polluted air in the cities.

    Don’t use any information on this page for anything other than educational purposes.

    Accuracy can absolutely not be guaranteed for positions of anything in the files.

    I am not in any way related to any site mentioned or linked to.

    All comments are moderated, if you submit spam or spammy links, your comment is likely to be automatically discarded. If it makes it through the spam-protection schemes in place, I may publish your comments with the links removed.