Photo archive goes live on OS OpenSpace

It’s always great to see geography being used as part of interesting projects, especially when it’s for something we wouldn’t expect.

The National Archives has recently introduced National Archives Labs – an interactive test environment where they are making a range of information freely available. And with the huge amount they look after, geography is an ideal way to display and organise it all.

So, they’ve started using OS OpenSpace – our free online mapping tool – to display a massive inter-war photography collection.

The National Archives history photo finder, using OS OpenSpace

The National Archives history photo finder, using OS OpenSpace

The collection was created by J Dixon-Scott who took 14,000 pictures between 1920 – 1940. It’s a candid portrait of life in the inter-war period showing people, towns and countryside. Some of the shots of people working and at school show how much day-to-day life has really changed. It’s a great historical reference tool and by using mapping to display the shots means it is easy to see how much your local area has changed.

Another great OS OpenSpace mash-up has been built for The Great Tour of Britain – a unique cycling challenge circumnavigating the entire coastline of Great Britain. It’s being organised by the same team who brought us The Tour of Britain cycle race and the Halfords Tour series which was recently shown on ITV4.

The first annual Great Tour of Britain kicks off on Saturday from Seaton, Devon.

The challenge is a huge 6,600 kilometre endurance ride over 64 days where the organisers promise the riders will “never lose sight, sound or smell(!) of the sea.”

There are about 25 riders who will do the whole challenge and the team hope that other cyclists will join in for individual stages. They’ve used OS OpenSpace to plot the route, so if you are a keen cyclist, have a look and see if you can go along and support them – either through joining them in the ride or by turning out to wave them on.

They are fundraising for Caravan (the Grocery Industry’s Benevolent fund) and The Prostate Cancer Charity.

As I said, it’s always good to see how our data is being used and we are keen to see and share more examples. If you’re using OS OpenSpace, or know of someone who is, please let us know!

You can read more about OS OpenSpace on the team’s blog.

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