British Cartographic Society Mapathon and Symposium 2014

The British Cartographic Society’s (BCS) GIS Special Interest Group recently held their first ever Mapathon at Marwell Hotel, Winchester. The Mapathon kicked off 3 days of mapping and would bring together a range of mapping experts each with different skills and experience before presenting them with a map challenge.

The day started with Rob Sharpe from ESRI introducing the Mapathon before delegates from Esri UK, Ordnance Survey, Steer Davies Gleave, OMV (UK), HR Wallingford, DMB, SIL International, Esri Inc and DGC were given their objective for the day. Using data provided by The Commonwealth War Graves Commission we were asked to help create maps to commemorate and educate people about World War One. The data included information on cemeteries, number of casualties, cemetery type and location and so on.

For a good five hours some of the best heads in cartography munged, pulled, manipulated and styled a wealth of geographic information in order to be crowned Mapathon winner (and win a prize money just can’t buy). At 3 pm all cartographers had to put their mice, scribers or pencils down so that the judging could begin.


Mapathon is underway

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New Cartographic Design resources

It is really important to us to make our products as easy to use as possible so, hot on the heels of our recent release of stylesheets and to follow up a previous post introducing the importance of resources, we are pleased to launch the latest additions to our Cartographic Design and Development web pages. We have just added an updated library of cartographic resources and a media library of news, forums, blogs and articles. These now sit alongside our cartographic design principles, our map showcase, stylesheets, thematic data sources, our blog posts and our OS OpenData Award to form a set of resources that we hope will help during the map-making process.


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Opening up to QGIS: QML launched for OS OpenData

Charley from our CartoDesign team was in Stirling yesterday to officially launch our new QGIS stylesheets (QML) for OS OpenData products. The inaugural Scottish QGIS User Group Meeting, organised by thinkWhere and the UK QGIS User Group, came at a great time for us to announce our latest cartographic developments.


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Web mapping improvements

Our Web Services offer alternative ways to access, and use, Ordnance Survey’s high-quality mapping. The services stream the latest version of data through a robust and resilient system ensuring you have the maps where you want them, when you want them; OS OpenSpace allows users to embed OS OpenData maps, plus our 1:50 000 OS Landranger Maps, into your website or mobile device for free. You can upgrade to OS OpenSpace Pro which provides access to our premium datasets as well.  OS OnDemand streams the latest most detailed maps into your GIS software, browsers or mobile devices enabling your business to make the most out of our data wherever you are located.

As well as the traditional raster products, we also provide consistently-styled mapping for use in OS OpenSpace Pro and OS OnDemand. This map stack provides a smooth zoom experience and greater consistency throughout the zoom levels, and is ideal for backdrop mapping in a digital environment. The subtle colour palette means that the data you overlay will stand out and become the main focus of your map.

ZoomMap1 Continue reading “Web mapping improvements”

Carto Hack Camp revisited

Carto Hack Camp was Ordnance Survey’s first cartographic hack day, hosted by Cartographic Design and Development and the rest of the Product Development team. We brought you our first blog post last week just after the event and promised to show you more of the outputs from the day, which are also available on the event’s Flickr page.

The event was an open invitation to anyone with an interest in cartography and data visualisation to come and work with our team for the day, we offered prizes for the winning team and there was also a paid summer internship on offer.

Carto Hack Camp 2  Continue reading “Carto Hack Camp revisited”

Cartography competition: winner revealed

Last November we ran a series of free OS OpenData masterclasses to help new and existing users gain a greater understanding of open data and introduce some tools and techniques to use these datasets. A new cartography element was introduced to the workshops and for the first time attendees were introduced to our cartographic design principles and learned how to style map data features using open source software.

 Cartographic design principles Continue reading “Cartography competition: winner revealed”

Raster styling: A grey area?

Over the last couple of years we have been developing and applying our new corporate map styles which provide visual consistency to our portfolio of digital maps. These new styles have been applied to our OS VectorMap products and stylesheets are supplied for our vector products.

We have developed a full colour style and a backdrop style, with the latter being designed for contextual basemaps that facilitate data overlays. We have applied an element of colour science to ensure that all map features take their place within a clear visual hierarchy whereby the features deemed most important will be perceived first. This means that if you convert our raster products to greyscale, the visual hierarchy is still maintained. 1:10000 TILE SK54SE

OS VectorMap Local backdrop colour raster converted to greyscale: The visual hierarchy is maintained

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Cartographic Design on the web

We are pleased to announce that there are now pages devoted to cartographic design on the new-look Ordnance Survey website.

The main page introduces the subject of cartographic design and our ‘CartoDesign’ team.  It also gives us a wonderful platform from which to share our work, our cartographic design principles, and a wide range of cartographic information from our own stylesheets and blog posts to third-party resources.  Continue reading “Cartographic Design on the web”

British Cartographic Society Symposium 2013

Last month Paul in our Cartographic Design team attended the British Cartographic Society’s (BCS) Annual Symposium entitled Today, Tomorrow and Beyond. 2013 celebrates 50 years of the BCS and to celebrate the symposium was once again held in Leicestershire where the first symposium was held back in 1964. Find out what happened at the event.

The symposium saw a number of cartographic professionals and enthusiasts come together to hear and participate in a range of presentations and workshops. The symposium was officially opened by current President Peter Jones. As part of his opening speech he revealed this year’s ice breaker which was provided by us at Ordnance Survey. The ice breaker was called the The Naked Landscape and involved the identification of 25 different locations using 1:25 000 mapping which had the text and some selected features removed. The prize for winning was a prestigious Ordnance Survey Custom Made map.

Wednesday was the highlight of the symposium and opened with an excellent presentation session on Mapping Technologies for Tomorrow with presentations from Leica Geosystems, United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and the UK Hydrographic Office, before moving on to workshops. Paul attended Mapping the Swiss Way led by ESRI Switzerland where they were given a short insight into how the Swiss National Mapping Agency (swisstopo) is using ArcGIS to produce their new 1:25 000 national mapping series.

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