GeoVation winners launch their Medal Routes App

Medal Routes WEB VERSIONGeoVation winners Ramblers Scotland launched their Medal Routes App this week. The team developed their free app using Ordnance Survey data to inspire people to be more active in their daily lives, fitting the GeoVation challenge to encourage active lifestyles in Great Britain.

The Medal Routes App identifies and maps short circular walks at three different levels, gold, silver and bronze. These walking challenges encourage people throughout Scotland to integrate walking into their daily life. They can progress from short 15 minute walks (bronze) to walking for up to an hour (gold). Wherever people are they will have hundreds of walks at their fingertips and, through the games and challenges in the app, incentives to walk and add and map their own routes. Continue reading “GeoVation winners launch their Medal Routes App”

Putting nature back on the map

Guest post from Holly Barber at Simon King Wildlife

We need the natural world for our own survival. With the inexorable and rapid rise in human populations and our insatiable appetite for resources, has come an unsustainable drain on the life support systems upon which we all depend. This is reflected in many global crises, but can be witnessed close to home in the catastrophic loss of wildlife and wild places.

The Simon King Wildlife Project was born of a desire to turn the tide against the loss of natural habitats and begin a movement to reclaim land for the natural world.


The Simon King Wildlife Project founder – naturalist, broadcaster and author Simon King OBE – took the first positive step on this journey in 2010, when he bought a 10 acre plot of overworked pastureland in Somerset and set about converting it into a haven for wildlife. In four short years the changes have been miraculous, with the variety and volume of wild creatures and wild plants and flowers on the land increasing enormously. This success story convinced Simon that landscape scale projects of a similar nature were possible, and The Simon King Wildlife Project was born. Continue reading “Putting nature back on the map”

Location, location, location with Business First Magazine

Have you picked up a copy of the latest issue of Business First Magazine yet? If you’re a regular reader, you may already have spotted the feature about us. ‘Location, Location, Location’ tells the story of how Ordnance Survey has transformed from the printers of paper maps* to a data business, producing information that is vital to Britain’s economy.

We think it’s a great article which really captures the work of OS. This infographic features in the article too and summarises some of the activities going on within our business. You can read the full article via the links below.


If you haven’t spotted a copy of the magazine yet, you can read the feature in the online edition from page 30. Take a look: Continue reading “Location, location, location with Business First Magazine”

What happens to old football grounds?

On my drive to work each day, I pass the ‘old’ Ordnance Survey site. We moved out of our former head office in 2010 and the buildings have long since been demolished, with the Compass Point housing estate emerging in its place. As you read this article, hundreds of changes will be taking place across Great Britain. We live in a world that is constantly evolving, from news-worthy changes such as the demolition of the towers at Didcot power station, to the more subtle as a building changes use from a pub into a convenience store.


Ordnance Survey’s former head office

Our master map of the country contains an amazing 460,000,000 features and the database processes around 10,000 changes a day. Our surveyors and our Flying Unit are constantly travelling the length and breadth of Britain to capture these changes and ensure they’re on the map.

One of the less frequent changes that they capture, but that often leads to a huge redevelopment, can be from the sites of vacated football grounds. West Ham are due to move into the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford in 2016 – and they’re just the latest in a series of clubs that have been rebuilding or relocating in the last 20 or so years. Continue reading “What happens to old football grounds?”

Announcing the end of an addressing era

AddressBasePlus_4Guest blog by Chris Chambers, Senior Product Manager

You might not know it, but Ordnance Survey’s legacy address products have been used in providing many services to you over the last 18 years. Be it the supply of council services such as waste collection, getting emergency vehicles to your location, supply of utility services, or getting a more accurate home insurance premium – many of these have been using Ordnance Survey’s ADDRESS-POINT, OS MasterMap Address Layer or OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 products.  Continue reading “Announcing the end of an addressing era”

Britain’s spookiest place names

In case you hadn’t realised, it’s Halloween today and we thought we’d have a dig around on OS getamap and find some of Britain’s spookiest place names. We’ve picked out our seven spooky favourites – but let us know yours too – post them on the blog.

1. In first place, representing the huge number of places with ‘Devil’ in their name, it’s the Devil’s Pulpit, perched high in the Wye Valley, near Tintern Abbey. Legend has it that the devil used the ‘pulpit’ to try to entice the monks toiling below to come and join him!

halloween-devils-pulpit Continue reading “Britain’s spookiest place names”

Journey down the Thames with Minecraft

One month on from our launch of the GB Minecraft map 2.0, we’re thrilled to see thousands of you have been busy downloading and trying it out. The 83 billion blocks were built using real-world geographic data from our free-to-use OS OpenData, including OS VectorMap District and OS Terrain 50. The map shows roads, water features, forests, woodlands and even houses – you can see where you live in the Minecraft world.

London show in our Minecraft map

London shown in our Minecraft map

We produced a couple of videos last month, taking you through Snowdonia and re-imagining the Eastenders opening sequence (for a bit of variety!) and they’ve gone down a storm. So, our pioneering Minecraft mapper Joseph Braybrook has filmed a new video exploring the world he created. Continue reading “Journey down the Thames with Minecraft”

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”

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”