Running advice from Mara Yamauchi

run englandWe’re a fairly friendly bunch at Ordnance Survey and have a huge range of community groups from volleyball to chess and photography to cycling being represented. The OS Running Group has recently achieved a fantastic coup and arranged a visit from Mara Yamauchi, the British long-distance track and road running athlete.

Mara is the holder of the second fastest marathon time for a British woman and has represented Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games. Mara won the 2008 Osaka Marathon and was runner-up in the 2009 London Marathon.  Continue reading “Running advice from Mara Yamauchi”

Talking flood risk and response at CILA

Today’s guest blog is from Simon Goodwin at emapsite, find out more about Simon below.

This month saw over 50 members of Chartered Institute for Loss Adjusters (CILA) attend a Property Special Interest Group at the Thames Barrier. It brought together speakers on Flood Risk & Response from the Environment Agency (EA), Ordnance Survey (OS), Emapsite, RSA and more.


The afternoon seminar provided an insight into the Thames Barrier, the work of EA in relation to flooding and the data that is available to the insurance industry regarding both flood risk and the nature and extent of flooding. Continue reading “Talking flood risk and response at CILA”

25 activities to try during half term

Half term is coming…here are 25 ideas for fun outdoor activities that are suitable for children of all ages.

Wildlife spottingBirds – Autumn is great for spotting birds, squirrels, rabbits, deer, badgers and loads more. Stake out the garden or head out to the local woods and see what you can find.

Encourage children to take note of what they have spotted, so they can keep a wildlife diary or draw pictures later. Older children can try animal tracking or nocturnal wildlife spotting.

Continue reading “25 activities to try during half term”

Enabling people to live in better places

The latest GeoVation Challenge, calling for ideas to enable people in Britain to live in better places, has been running for a month now. We officially launched the challenge on Monday 15 September 2014 at The Building Centre during the London Design Festival.

Ordnance Survey, together with Land Registry,  are offering £101,000 in funding to the best ventures that address the problems of long term housing issues that we’ve identified, using  our established Problem Pow Wow methodology, in four key themes:

Affordability; Availability; Access and Infrastructure; Best use of Assets.

During the launch event speakers such as Finn Williams, Founder of Common Office and Andrew Van Doorn, Deputy Chief Executive of HACT, spoke in support of the GeoVation Housing Challenge.

Watch the video to find out more:

Continue reading “Enabling people to live in better places”

Fun uses for maps around your home

map“My late Gran had a map of the entire British Isles tattooed on her back. Think that’s odd? You say what you will about my Gran, but you always knew where you were with her.” – Harry Hill

Don’t worry – getting inked hasn’t made our list of fun uses for maps in your home. While they’ve been guiding us for centuries, paper maps can be more than just tools for exploration. Here are a few ideas of ways you could chart your adventures in your humble abode… Continue reading “Fun uses for maps around your home”

Top 10 paper maps

SnowdonAs we said earlier this year, we’re committed to maintaining our paper map production, and we sold almost 2 million maps last year alone. That’s a pretty impressive number with the rapid growth of GPS and more people using digital data – including with our own apps like OS MapFinder.

Our paper maps cover the whole of Great Britain, with 403 OS Explorer Maps and 204 OS Landranger Maps.  However, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s our Outdoor Leisure (OL) range, covering the main tourist areas in the country which continue to prove the most popular. Continue reading “Top 10 paper maps”

Talking ‘Big Data’ at AGI

Guest post by Matthew White, Senior Data and Services Relationship Manager at Ordnance Survey

AGIBig5LogoAt the end of September over 160 delegates came together for a conference on big data and location at IBM’s client centre in London. The conference was organised by the Association for Geographic (AGI), who have been hosting a series of conferences in 2014 focussing on the big initiatives impacting upon the use of location data and technologies in the UK.  The big data and location conference was the fourth conference in this series, and we were involved as sponsors at the event. The conference brought together speakers from leading organisations including Deloitte, Marks and Spencer, Telefonica, Google and Capgemini.  Continue reading “Talking ‘Big Data’ at AGI”

How to plan a scavenger hunt

Finding a GeocacheFrom geocaching to Easter egg hunts around the house for the kids, we love a scavenger hunt. These games have everything: you have to be quick on the mental draw; you get a bit of exercise when you race from point to point, and you get to satisfy your competitive nature by being the first to collect all items being hunted.

A great scavenger hunt can provide hours of entertainment, improve team-work skills and get you out and about in nature, yet they don’t require much more than a well-thought-out plan. Here are a few tips to help you plan your own… Continue reading “How to plan a scavenger hunt”

Re-surveying Snowdon

Regular blog readers will have come across Myrddyn Phillips and his intrepid team of mountain measurers from G&J Surveys previously.Their latest challenge focused on Snowdon and on Tuesday 2 September, Myrddyn’s team and our own geodetic expert Mark Greaves, set off up Wales’ highest peak along with a film crew. The re-survey was being covered by ITV Wales as part of their programme ‘The Mountain’.


Continue reading “Re-surveying Snowdon”

Singing or walking in the rain? Wet weather gear guide

There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothingIf you spend any time outdoors in the UK, chances are that at some point it’s going to rain. Especially as we move into autumn and the wet days substantially increase.

However, this does not mean that you have to stay indoors. Having the right gear can turn walking in the rain from a sodden trudge into an adventure, as well as allowing you to plan longer walks all year round.

Continue reading “Singing or walking in the rain? Wet weather gear guide”