Two rivers, two trigs and a cat in the Brecon Beacons

Today’s guest walk in the Brecon Beacons National Park is by Simon Powell, Black Mountains Photography. All photos have been provided by Simon and are copyright Black Mountains Photography.

Length of route: 9.8 miles
Starting point: SO 288 328
Suitable for: Walking
Maps: OS Explorer Map OL13 Brecon Beacons (Eastern area)
Download our OS MapFinder app and record your route
Use OS getamap 


Continue reading “Two rivers, two trigs and a cat in the Brecon Beacons”

Have you tried our OS Ride app yet?

Ride app logoWith less than three months to go before The Grand Départ in Yorkshire, we’ve teamed up with cycling legend Chris Boardman to launch a free cycling app to help you experience the routes famously ridden by the professionals.

OS Ride is available for iOS and features detailed routes of the first three stages of the Tour de France taking place in July. The easy to use app uses our detailed outdoor mapping, enabling you to successfully navigate and track your progress as you ride the routes ahead of Wiggins, Froome, Cavendish and co. Continue reading “Have you tried our OS Ride app yet?”

Preparing to climb your first mountain

Climbing a mountain is often used as an analogy to express the daunting size of a difficult job ahead. It’s with good reason, too – there are few tasks that take more preparation and dedication. Like most big challenges though, the success of reaching a peak can bring with it an enormous sense of achievement; and this feeling can last a lifetime.

Climbing your first mountain

As the saying goes, there’s a first time for everything, so when you’ve decided to become a mountain climber, where’s best to start? Continue reading “Preparing to climb your first mountain”

Developer Challenge winners announced

We teamed up with TechHub late last year to launch our Developer Challenge and were thrilled to receive 35 entries by the closing date in February. We whittled that down to seven finalists and had a fantastic morning at TechHub’s Old Street office this week watching the seven pitch their innovative geolocation ideas for a chance to win a year’s support package for their start-ups.

The finalists had just five minutes to present their innovative, profitable or cost saving ideas, all using Ordnance Survey data at the core. Following their Dragon’s Den-style pitch, the finalists then had five minutes to be questioned by our talented panel of judges.

Developer Challange winners

Continue reading “Developer Challenge winners announced”

Happy birthday to OS Terrain

It’s been 12 months since we released our OS OpenData product, OS Terrain 50, making it the first external output from our 3D strategy. Our first fully maintained analytical height product was quickly joined by OS Terrain 5 in July 2013 (shown below).  The two products offer maintained national coverage and are available in both grid and contour formats, depicting the shape of Great Britain’s landscape.

1 Terrain5_collage

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Host an Easter egg hunt

Easter egg huntEaster egg hunts are a springtime staple and are often the most fondly-remembered of all holiday activities. The thrill and excitement of getting out to find hidden-away chocolate eggs is only matched by the joy of getting to eat them afterwards.

Whilst today’s more modern world might mean that old-fashioned pursuits such as these are not so commonplace any more, this hasn’t quite extended to the humble Easter egg hunt. In fact, modern tech could well play a positive role in the activity – thereby giving it a whole new dimension that may otherwise have simply not been possible. Continue reading “Host an Easter egg hunt”

Building prototypes at Glasgow’s Future Cities Hackathon

With more and more of Britain’s population now living in urban environments, is it possible to harness the power of technology more effectively, to make cities a better place to live in? This is a question the UK’s innovation agency – Technology Strategy Board – posed to 50 cities back in 2012, inviting them to bid for a £24 m funding award that would enable the winning bidder to become a ‘Future Cities Demonstrator’ – an initiative that, through the use of technology, aims to improve the integration of services and the urban communities that rely upon them. After taking part in the open competition, Glasgow City Council was awarded with the funding. Continue reading “Building prototypes at Glasgow’s Future Cities Hackathon”

Free activities for the Easter holidays

Easter activitiesEaster can be a time when families are looking at cheaper ways to entertain the children on their two week holiday. With this in mind, we thought we’d help out with the planning by putting together a few ideas for activities that are completely free of charge.

Go exploring

National Parks or similarly protected areas cover almost ten per cent of Britain’s total land area, so there’s usually one relatively nearby for most people. Even those furthest away from dedicated National Park land may still find themselves close to ancient woodlands, open heaths or horizon-spanning coastlines. Continue reading “Free activities for the Easter holidays”

Visualising the City with OS OpenData – four examples with buildings from OS VectorMap District

Today’s guest blog is from Oliver O’Brien, a researcher in spatial analysis and geovisualisation at UCL CASA, working on the BODMAS (Big Open Data Mining & Synthesis) project which is led by Dr James Cheshire and funded by
ESRC. Oliver blogs regularly at about spatial analysis and visualisations of London and other research projects.

Ordnance Survey’s  open data has been incredibly useful for a number of city data visualisations. As an academic researcher, I have access to the gold-standard OS MasterMap data for teaching and research purposes here at the CASA lab at University College London. But the ease of access to OS OpenData, and the flexible and lightweight licence, means I can quickly and effectively visualise data for any purpose and audience, be it for blog posts, online maps or even artworks. Here’s four ways I’ve used one of the most interesting datasets in OS Open Data – the buildings layer in OS VectorMap District.


Continue reading “Visualising the City with OS OpenData – four examples with buildings from OS VectorMap District”