50th Anniversary Summer School of the Society of Cartographers

On 2 September, we attended the second day of the conference at the University of Glasgow.

The Society of Cartographers (SoC) is an association of cartographers that was founded as the Society of University Cartographers at the University of Glasgow in 1964. The society renamed in 1989 to be open to all those who regularly make maps. So we at Ordnance Survey were honoured and delighted to be invited to both attend and present at the society’s fiftieth anniversary at the place where it all began.


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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.

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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.

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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”