21st Century twist on a Victorian geographical melodrama

Gary PDr Gary Priestnall, at Nottingham University’s School of Geography, is aiming to recapture the sense of wonder which an extraordinary 15-foot by 14 foot, 3D, sculpted model of the Lake District inspired when it was unveiled in Keswick in the 1870’s. It has spawned a new exhibition opening at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery on Monday February 9 which runs until May. It’s part historical detective story, and part 21st Century, technological success story and Ordnance Survey has helped Gary every step of the way. Here is his story. 

A unique 3-D model of the Lake District which would have offered Victorian tourists their first bird’s eye view of the Lake District has been known about since it caused such a stir in 1875. So when the one last surviving, beautifully hand-painted piece of the model, as well as 140 of the original plaster moulds used to create it, fell in to my hands the chance to celebrate the event in 2015 with an exhibition became my cause celebre.

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GeoVation Housing Challenge winners announced

Well done to all the finalists who took part in our GeoVation Camp at our Southampton head office last weekend. The finalists were chosen from the 43 ideas entered to our GeoVation Challenge to help people live in better places.

It was a truly amazing and inspiring weekend, and we offered support to help the 10 invited teams develop a prototype venture and become ‘match fit to pitch’  over the weekend. Helpers included service designers, Ordnance Survey (OS) and Land Registry (LR) colleagues, help with business models from Richard Browndson and former GeoVation winner Peter Boyce of City Farmers.


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Recognising excellence at the AGI Awards

MinecraftWe were extremely pleased to see our own Minecraft project and one of our Partners recognised at the prestigious AGI Awards this month. Recognising the very best achievements in the field of geographic information throughout the year, the awards mark the climax of Geocom, AGI’s annual flagship conference event, which this year ran under the title ‘The Changing Face of Geo’.

We scooped a Best Geospatial Data Visualisation prize for our GB Minecraft map, collected on the evening by Joseph Braybrook (pictured, left), creator of the map. The award recognised the importance of the visual representation of geospatial data to convey a story or message, and the judges were looking for powerful methods of using geospatial data in visualising and communicating a message.  Continue reading “Recognising excellence at the AGI Awards”

Talking flood risk and response at CILA

Today’s guest blog is from Simon Goodwin at emapsite, find out more about Simon below.

This month saw over 50 members of Chartered Institute for Loss Adjusters (CILA) attend a Property Special Interest Group at the Thames Barrier. It brought together speakers on Flood Risk & Response from the Environment Agency (EA), Ordnance Survey (OS), Emapsite, RSA and more.


The afternoon seminar provided an insight into the Thames Barrier, the work of EA in relation to flooding and the data that is available to the insurance industry regarding both flood risk and the nature and extent of flooding. Continue reading “Talking flood risk and response at CILA”

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”

Sign up for our free OS OpenData masterclasses

Last week we launched the latest GeoVation Challenge in partnership with Land Registry, asking for solutions on ‘How can we enable people in Britain to live in better places?’ We are looking for great ideas which use geography, technology and good design, with entrants having the opportunity to win a share of £101,000 in funding to bring their ideas to reality. All entrants to the GeoVation Housing Challenge must use Ordnance Survey open or paid for data and Land Registry licensable data in their business ventures.

To support the latest GeoVation Challenge and to help people gain a greater understanding of open data and the tools and techniques to use open datasets, we’re hosting a further series of our free opendata masterclasses, at five locations across England and Wales.

OSOpenData masterclass icon Continue reading “Sign up for our free OS OpenData masterclasses”

How do you make sense of the disparate, exponential explosion of data?

The city of LondonHarnessing the power of big data presents businesses with a phenomenal business opportunity. The question is, are they ready for it? McKinsey in their recent report on big data, assert that it will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus, with personal navigation data alone being worth $800bn worldwide during the current decade. The business value to be derived from big data comes from finding new insights, what is termed predictive analytics, and the process efficiencies that flow from using new tools and techniques for information management, manipulation and visualisation.

At its simplest level, big data refers to a mass of information held digitally, that is so large, making it difficult to analyse, search and process. Businesses already hold vast amounts of data, but now they can gather even more from new sources such as GPS-enabled devices, social media postings and CCTV footage.  Continue reading “How do you make sense of the disparate, exponential explosion of data?”

Have you entered the AGI Awards yet?

AGI Awards imageWith just under a month until the deadline (30 September 2014), there is still time to submit your entry to the AGI’s prestigious annual awards ceremony recognising the very best achievements in the field of Geographic Information throughout the year. This year sees a new format and ten new awards showcasing high impact projects, innovation and commitment to the GI industry and in GI Education.

Along with Ordnance Survey, other key industry players such as ESRI, 1spatial, Informed Solutions and GIStandards are sponsoring awards to help recognise excellence, innovation and best practice within the sector.

Ordnance Survey is delighted to be sponsoring the AGI Award for the Best Use of Geospatial for Business Benefit and we are looking forward to seeing entries illustrating how geospatial has become a core tool in the business arena helping to improve decision making, making cost savings and support efficiencies. With this award, we hope that examples of geospatial being used as a mainstream business tool to deliver intelligence can lead the way for future business and economic growth. Continue reading “Have you entered the AGI Awards yet?”

Talking GeoVation at the RGS Annual International Conference

We’re pleased to announce that Chris Parker from our GeoVation team, along with past GeoVation Challenge judges, will be taking part in the Royal Geographical Society’s Annual International Conference next week.

Chris is chairing a session on Wednesday 27 August on Innovation and coastal tourism (1) The Wales Coast Path: Promoting health and economic wellbeing. Our GeoVation Challenge in early 2012 looked at how people who lived and worked along, or visited the 870 mile (1,400 km) coastal path could use innovative digital technology to  benefit from the ‘world first’ opportunity. Wales was the first country in the world to launch a complete perimeter coastal path on 5th May 2012. The Wales Coast Path has already generated an additional £32 million in revenue (BBC News, 26 November 2013). Continue reading “Talking GeoVation at the RGS Annual International Conference”

Young Rewired State’s Festival of Code 2014 – hear how we’re involved!

For the second year running, Ordnance Survey’s Innovation team are supporting Young Rewired State’s (YRS) Festival of Code, which is a week-long hackathon event for young people aged 18 and under. YRS is the philanthropic arm of Rewired state, which is the largest independent developer network in the UK.

Young Rewired State's festival of code

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