The lines on the face of GB revealed by OS

Did you know that the OS computer vaults hold a staggering 450 million geographical features across Great Britain which form the master map of the country? Our surveyors and aircraft are constantly revealing the changing look of GB and to keep up OS make 10,000 changes a day which all feed into our range of paper and digital map products.

We’ve been busy working on a number of new OS OpenData products, including OS Open Roads and OS Open Rivers and it started us thinking about how all these features create the living face of Britain.

So how many miles of roads snake across the country? How many miles of waterways wind their way from the tip of Scotland to the toe of Cornwall and what do all the changes to GB its roads, its rail, its buildings look like over the last 10 years. Take a look in our three videos and find out.

Britain’s road network:

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Walk of the week: Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh

Length of route: 12 km
Starting point: Park at NN297395. Toilets available at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel.
Suitable for: Walking
Maps: OS Explorer Map 377 – Loch Etive & Glen Orchy
Download our OS MapFinder app and record your route
Use OS getamap


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Ideas for free family days out

With the Easter holidays fast-approaching, many parents are starting to think of ways to keep the children entertained while away from school. Two weeks is a long time to fill, and while visiting museums and attractions can be nice, the costs can soon mount up if you’re talking train fares, ticket prices, and lunch. Never fear, there are loads of options available to you that won’t break the bank – in fact, they’re free. Here are lots of ideas for some free family days out:


National Museum of ScotlandNational Museum of Scotland: From dinosaurs to gaming technology, this fabulous and free museum in Edinburgh has something to entertain the whole family. Its various galleries tell the story of Scotland from prehistoric times right up to the present day. A giant T Rex skeleton hangs from the ceiling at the Natural World gallery, which claims to answer big questions such as ‘how does the world work?’ Not to be missed.  The museum is open daily from 10am – 5pm. Continue reading “Ideas for free family days out”

New OS OpenData products now live

Great news this morning, our latest OS OpenData products are now available for download. Announced last month, the four new products in our open data portfolio are OS Open Map – Local, OS Open Names, OS Open Rivers and OS Open Roads. Bringing our OS OpenData offering up to sixteen products, the latest offer you increased detail and accuracy and the opportunity for analytics. They are fully customisable and can work together or be imported and integrated with your own software and database.

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Brompton bike race – duathlon challenge

Today’s guest blog is written by Steven Rittey, Leisure Cycling and Walking Holidays Manager at Wheel2Wheel Holidays based in Manchester. Steven writes ‘Tales from the Cycle Trails’, a weekly newsletter for leisure cyclists. Here he puts a personal twist on the Oulton Park Spring Duathlon, completing the cycling section of the race on a Brompton Bike…

brompton-dockI enjoy riding many different types of bikes from MTB to road bikes and I spend more time riding my hybrid bike or folding bike on the journey to and from work than any other. However, over the past few years I have developed a love of folding bikes. Ever since purchasing my first folder – a second hand 20″ Raleigh based on a Dahon frame, I have always been intrigued by their speed, longevity and long distance capabilities. My longest ride on a folding bike was a 110 mile ‘Coast to Coast’ in a day effort from Annan in Scotland to Tynemouth on Tyneside on the Raleigh. I also went on a weekend tour of Western Scotland from Glasgow, around the Isle of Arran and back. I rode that bike so much that I fatigued the metal in the handle post! Continue reading “Brompton bike race – duathlon challenge”

New OS partner Land Technologies

Today we bring you a guest blog from Land Technologies, participants in our Developer Challenge who have gone on to become an Ordnance Survey partner.

Our original submission to the developer challenge was about creating a web application that makes it easy to quickly assess land to judge its potential for development. Many housing projects don’t get started because the initial piece of work of finding a good site at the right price is very difficult. We want to change that.

Preview of Land Insight

Signing up as a licensed partner and using OS data was important to us so we can make the best possible  product for our customers. As well as the data, OS provided the guidance needed to help us pick the right products and licenses for our business – which is very important for us as a start-up. Continue reading “New OS partner Land Technologies”

Winners of the GeoVation Housing Challenge


GeoVation camp 2015

In September we launched our latest GeoVation challenge — ‘How can we enable people in Britain to live in better places?’ — which was run in partnership with Land Registry.

In total, 43 ideas were submitted to the challenge. Out of nine finalists selected to pitch their ideas to our judging panel, three winners were awarded funding to develop their innovation:
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First #OSPhotofit photos chosen for map covers

A huge thank you to everyone who has so far taken the time to enter or vote for #OSPhotofit – we’d had an overwhelming 8,000+ entries by last Monday evening. The first phase of the competition closed that night, for the 62 Outdoor Leisure maps in our OS Explorer series, covering the most popular tourist destinations in Britain. The OL15 map covering Purbeck and South Dorset attracted the most entries, with over 400 photos submitted. At the other end of the scale, the vast and beautiful Cairngorms, which are covered by 14 OL maps, attracted only a handful of entries. Don’t forget that we’re still looking for photos for the rest of our OS Explorer series and all of the OS Landranger maps, so it’s not too late to get your photos in.

OL40-Richard-Bowden Continue reading “First #OSPhotofit photos chosen for map covers”

2015 British Cycling Festivals

Looking for a way to enjoy cycling? Whether it’s family rides, extreme off-road or charity challenge rides, there are cycling festivals for beginners to hardcore enthusiasts this summer.

We’ve listed all the British cycling festivals we’ve found by month so you can easily find one, and included links to the organisers pages. Some are free events, while others are charged – please see the event organisers for details.

Cycling festivals

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A capital idea

Recently @catweg wondered on Twitter what the map would like if Winchester had remained as the nation’s capital and grown over the years as London has.

Well, @catweg, wonder no more. For here is just what such a map might look like:

London's urban sprawl recentred on Winchester

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