GeoVation Challenge winners Democratising Development

We recently announced our GeoVation winners for the housing challenge that we’d worked on with Land Registry. Four fantastic ideas, all using data from us and LR, aiming to help Britons live in better places, were awarded funding to develop their ideas further. For the first time last year, we ran a series of our opendata masterclasses to support people in building their ideas for the challenge using our data. Andy Reeve (pictured on the left below), on the winning team for Democratising Development, shares his GeoVation experience from joining in a masterclass to being awarded funding.

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Top tips for buying walking boots

choosing walking bootsBoots are the most important piece of walking kit, so it pays to get the best fit you can. With the huge range of boots now on the market, your feet shouldn’t get a hammering every time you go out walking. If boots don’t fit properly, you won’t have support for your feet and ankles, and you’ll be prone to blisters, chafing and other foot problems. Too much room and they’ll rub up and down, too little and your feet and toes will be scrunched up.

Before you start looking at boots, you need to think about what type of terrain you’re going to be walking on most of the time because this determines the type of boots you need. If you do mostly lowland, forest and track walking then a pair of lightweight waterproof fabric-style boots will probably do the job. If you plan on tackling tougher places including long distance trails, peat bogs, hills and mountains then the more solid and tough leather boots are better.
Here’s our top tips for buying walking boots:

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How do we map Great Britain?

http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/plane.jpgThere are two questions we’re often asked: ‘Why is there a man (or woman) in a hi-vis OS jacket in my area carrying a pole?’ and ‘Why is there an OS plane going backwards and forwards overhead?’

In both cases, whether on foot or in the air, it’s members of our surveying team, capturing some of the thousands of changes taking place every day and adding them to our mastermap of Great Britain. As well as 250 surveyors on the ground working across the country, we operate two aircraft which are used to take aerial photography and are based in East Midlands Airport. They capture on average 50,000 aerial images covering 40 000 km squared of Britain every year. Continue reading “How do we map Great Britain?”

Cycling the Trans-Pennine Trail from Manchester to Liverpool

profile-osToday’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 describes a day cycling the Trans-Pennine Trail from Manchester to Liverpool.

Cycling is frustrating at this time of year as you never know what weather conditions are like generally until the day before and even then things can change. After the Christmas and New Year period finished, it was time to get back on the bike and start riding again. As the temperature was heading closer to zero and the roads were icy, I decided to stay local and ride along one of the North West’s best, mainly traffic-free routes – the Trans-Pennine Trail on my new touring bike with my friend Scott. It was a nice sunny day and a chance to explore somewhere new very much on my doorstep!

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GeoVation Housing Challenge winners announced

Well done to all the finalists who took part in our GeoVation Camp at our Southampton head office last weekend. The finalists were chosen from the 43 ideas entered to our GeoVation Challenge to help people live in better places.

It was a truly amazing and inspiring weekend, and we offered support to help the 10 invited teams develop a prototype venture and become ‘match fit to pitch’  over the weekend. Helpers included service designers, Ordnance Survey (OS) and Land Registry (LR) colleagues, help with business models from Richard Browndson and former GeoVation winner Peter Boyce of City Farmers.

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Things to do in Pembrokeshire

Pembroke CastlePembrokeshire, with its craggy cliff faces, golden beaches and quaint fishing towns, has won hearts and minds across countless generations. In fact, the list of its most notable residents includes such luminaries as Henry VII, Sarah Waters, Rhys Ifans and Christian Bale. Fellow resident Nicky Wire of Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers told theguardian.com how the area was “utterly magnificent”, mentioning that the tourist hotspot of Tenby “just makes me a bit of a better person when I’m down there,” before adding “it’s not easy to do that!”

Though Pembrokeshire is the fifth largest of Wales’ 22 counties, it drops to 18th for population density. As such, visitors can expect plenty to see and do, without too many crowds of people getting in the way. For just some examples of these things to entertain, look no further.
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Enter our short blog survey

We’d love it if you could spare five minutes of your time to fill out our short blog survey. We’d just like your thoughts on our blog and the articles we share. As a thank you for completing the survey, we’ll enter you into a prize draw to win one of three Custom Made maps.

Please complete the survey by Friday 6 February.

Walking the West Highland Way

With around 85,000 visitors every year, the West Highland Way is one of Scotland’s premier walking routes. Stretching from Milngavie right up to the heart of the Highlands in Fort William, situated at the foot of Ben Nevis, the 96-mile route never ceases to provide breathtaking scenery and beautiful wildlife along the way.

Keen walkers will want to tackle the entire path, which could take anywhere from five to nine days in total, while more casual strollers can easily pick and choose the stretches they fancy the most from various stages of the route. If you’ve got your hiking gear at the ready but you’re not sure where to start, here’s a breakdown of the stunning West Highland Way. Continue reading “Walking the West Highland Way”

Cartographic Design Principles: Summary

In our previous eight posts we have taken a closer look at each of our Cartographic Design Principles. We offer them as a set of guidelines, intended to focus and aid the design process when making a map. They are not rules. In cartography, rules as such don’t exist – the aim is for a map to communicate a message to its users, and if it does so then it can be deemed a success. If a map is designed to get a person from A to B and it does, then it works. The distinction is not between right and wrong but between a map that works well, and one that doesn’t; between good communication and bad communication.

This means that there is lots of room for creativity within cartography!

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