A STUDENT is "living with dragons" in his goal to create a copyright-free map available to all.

Gregory Marler is trying to navigate Durham City, purely by sight, drawing a map as he goes.

The finished work will highlight buildings, paths, roads and other landmarks of particular interest to Mr Marler's fellow Durham University students.

He has named his project Living With Dragons, after the "Here Be Dragons" note traditionally added to unexplored areas on ancient maps.

Mr Marler, 21, started his work in October, shortly after moving from London to Durham to study computer science.

His work is part of the global OpenStreetMap, a user-created map free to reproduce and use for commercial purposes.

"The map will focus on the university colleges and buildings and show different bars for students," Mr Marler said.

"I go round with my GPS receiver, which records where I'm going. I record the road names and take photographs.

I do it for about two hours each week.

"It makes me aware of what's around me. I know I haven't got a map, so I go carefully."

Mr Marler has finished mapping Durham's peninsula and Elvet area. He hopes to map the area within walking distance of the city centre before the end of the year.

More details on Living with Dragons are available at www.livingwithdragons.com