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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The 26th International Cartographic Conference

Last week, the beautiful city of Dresden in Saxony, Germany played host to the 26th International Cartographic Conference.

As the conference welcome letter points out, ‘Dresden boasts the highest density of art treasures in Europe. And, for cartographers, the possibility to view one of the top international globe collections. Dresden is also the home of educational and research institutions that have progressed the theoretical and practical elements of Cartography and GI Science.’

Whilst the majority of the population is of German ancestry, the Slavic and Soviet influences along with the city’s geographical location bring a very multicultural feel to the city making it a befitting venue for an international conference.

Ordnance Survey created a significant presence at the conference with three paper presentations, an Ordnance Survey wall in the Cartographic Exhibition, and five posters in the Poster Exhibition, all of which was very much noticed and led to much discussion with peers from field-leaders to new faces.

Paper presentations

Our papers, and many of the others, are all on the conference website:

Ordnance Survey’s cartographic design principles: An approach to promoting good map design

C. Wesson, C. Glynn, P. Naylor

Deriving Products from a Multi-Resolution Database using Automated Generalisation at Ordnance Survey

N. Regnauld, S. Lessware, C. Wesson, M. Plews

Identifying Built-up Areas for 2011 Census Outputs

J. Harding, B. South, M. Freeman, S. Zhou, A. Babington

With over 150 presentation sessions, seven plenary keynotes and many other events, presentations, meetings and awards, there was great variety at the conference and yet the majority of the content was also pleasingly very cartographic. Our presenters and attendees all gained far more than they had hoped from the week and we are now feeding this back into the business. Continue reading “The 26th International Cartographic Conference”

OS OpenData Award – 2013 Winner Revealed

Ordnance Survey sponsors and judges one of the British Cartographic Society (BCS) awards and this was its maiden year as the OS OpenData Award. The award is given annually to encourage excellence in cartographic design and the innovative and exciting use of OS OpenData.

The award is announced and presented at the gala dinner of the annual BCS symposium which was held last night at Hothorpe Hall Hotel in Leicestershire.

Vanessa Lawrence, our Director General, had earlier delivered a keynote speech at the symposium in a special 50th anniversary session that included presentations from the heads of each of the five British mapping and charting agencies.

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2013 OS OpenData Award is Parallel. At the ceremony last night, Vanessa presented the award trophy, along with certificate and prize, to the winning entrant Ashley Clough of Parallel.

Parallel are a company creating websites, apps and maps and their award-winning entry is entitled ‘OS OpenData backgrounds and overlays for interactive UK healthcare visualisation’.

It is a contextual web map ‘zoom stack’ in a consistent style with boundary overlays, built using open source tools and the following OS OpenData products: OS VectorMap District, Meridian 2, Strategi, OS Terrain 50 and Boundary-Line. They have also used our Linked Data service for the search tool.

District-level base with Lower-layer Super Output Area (LSOA) boundaries © Parallel 2013

Parallel’s base mapping in use by one of their customers, SHAPE © SHAPE/Parallel 2013

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