Our GeoVation finalists are announced

Well done to all the finalists who took part in the GeoVation Camp held at our Southampton head office over the weekend. The finalists had been selected as the best ideas entered to our GeoVation Challenge to help encourage people lead more active lifestyles.

GeoVation Camp 2014

Continue reading “Our GeoVation finalists are announced”

Happy 50th birthday to the city of Southampton!

Monday 24 February marks the 50th anniversary of Southampton being awarded city status by royal charter. Southampton City Council have organised events to mark the anniversary, but we’re marking the celebration with some maps.


Continue reading “Happy 50th birthday to the city of Southampton!”

Interested in location-based tech? Enter our Developer Challenge!

Today’s guest blog is via TechHub and Locappy.

Last Thursday saw TechHub host the first in a brand new series of events, ‘The Future of… Location Based Tech’ and they were very pleased to have four top speakers sharing their knowledge of where the future of location based tech may end up taking us.

 Developer Challenge Continue reading “Interested in location-based tech? Enter our Developer Challenge!”

OS Net data helps the Met Office predict the weather

Mark Greaves is our resident Geodetic Analyst

OS Net is Ordnance Survey’s network of permanent, high accuracy GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receivers (see Tiree station below). A GNSS is a satellite system that is used to pinpoint the geographic location of a user’s receiver anywhere in the world. For OS Net, its day to day operation is to supply a stream of real time GNSS data covering the whole country.  The data streams enable the correction of GNSS errors to be computed in real time and, when transmitted to our surveyors, allow them to coordinate new map features to an accuracy of just a few centimetres using RTK (Real Time Kinematic) GNSS.


OS Net data is not all about positioning.  Another lesser known use is that it helps the Met Office predict the weather.  Met Office scientist Dr Jonathan Jones explains… Continue reading “OS Net data helps the Met Office predict the weather”

Try our wildlife centre map quiz and win a rucksack and map signed by Ray Mears

photoWith under a week to go until The Outdoors Show starts, we’re celebrating with a competition to win an Ordnance Survey rucksack and a special edition New Forest map signed by Ray Mears.

We’re making 10,000 changes a day to the master map of Great Britain, keeping track as the nation changes roads, buildings and more. Our most detailed mapping, OS MasterMap, contains over 450 million features, from houses, schools and hospitals to woodland, shingle beaches and railways. Continue reading “Try our wildlife centre map quiz and win a rucksack and map signed by Ray Mears”

Using maps in the public sector

We work closely with a wide range of public sector organisations across England, Wales and Scotland and help organisations to reduce time, save money and be more efficient in the delivery of public services. Today’s guest post is from Steve Campbell, GIS Manager at the Borough of Poole, explaining why geographic data is at the heart of his work.  


I am passionate about maps, even working in a local authority, it never ceases to amaze me that there is wealth of data in the public sector that has an element of geographic reference which can be located on a map. So it may not come as a surprised to you that geographical data is at the heart of the creation and delivery of many public services today. Our everyday working and home environment provides lots of data that can help a local authority to prioritise their services; for example for profiling waste refuge collection points, traffic management during rush hour road congestion and reporting a faulty streetlight. It was this passion for mapping data and seeing how these results inform decision making that lead me to volunteer to become chair of Public Sector Mapping Agreement User Representative Group. Continue reading “Using maps in the public sector”

Active lifestyles – 10 finalists invited to camp

 Click to see the Active Lifestyles GeoVation ChallengeOur GeoVation judging panel were delighted at the quality and scope of the 74 ideas submitted to our GeoVation Challenge to find ways to encourage active lifestyles in Britain using  Ordnance Survey products or services in the solution.

The judging panel have now selected a short-list of 10 finalists who have been invited to develop their ideas further at GeoVation Camp,  held over the weekend of 28 February to 2 March at Ordnance Survey in Southampton.

The finalists who have been invited to GeoVation Camp are: Continue reading “Active lifestyles – 10 finalists invited to camp”

How to find out your flood risk and minimise damage from floodwater

Today’s guest blog was written by Jamie Gibbs, who writes for the home insurance experts at Confused.com. After successfully safeguarding his house from a two-week deluge, he flooded his kitchen by leaving the sink running.

It’s estimated that one in six properties in the UK is at risk of flooding, either from nearby rivers or from the sea. With the devastating effects that floods can have on our infrastructure, our homes and our livelihoods (as seen over the Christmas period), there is a need to bolster our defences and take extra precautions.

According to the Environment Agency (their flood risk map is shown below), during the summer of 2007 (one of the worst floods in recent memory) 48,000 homes were damaged, with the average repair cost coming in at about £20,000-£30,000 per house.

environment-agency-flood-maps Continue reading “How to find out your flood risk and minimise damage from floodwater”

Everything happens somewhere – can you unlock the potential of location for our Developer Challenge?

Developer ChallengeHave you been working on the latest geo-app? Or do you have a B2B idea involving geo-location, but need a hand bringing the idea to reality? We’re looking for people with ideas to solve B2B problems using our maps in our Developer Challenge 2014.

We know that launching your business can be a daunting prospect, so our Ordnance Survey Developer Challenge 2014 is offering to help you get started. We’ve teamed up with TechHub – one of the leading technology co-working communities in Great Britain to offer a fantastic prize. We’ll provide the winner(s) with 12 months’ free access to our extensive range of datasets and services to build their idea and TechHub will provide free flexible working space at a TechHub office of their choice (London, Manchester or Swansea) for up to a year. On top of this both Ordnance Survey and TechHub will provide support and mentoring to help you make the most from our products, sort out the legalities of setting up a new business and much more.  Continue reading “Everything happens somewhere – can you unlock the potential of location for our Developer Challenge?”

Magnetic north is on the move again

Map and compassOne thing that many people don’t realise when they’re new to outdoor walking and navigation is that their compass doesn’t point to grid north – except by coincidence in some areas. The compass needle is attracted by magnetic force, which varies in different parts of the world and is constantly changing.

The magnetic variation throughout Great Britain has been a few degrees West of grid North with the amount of variation changing every year. For years the number has decreased, and now in the far South West of Britain, the North on your compass lies to the East of the North on your map for the first time since before the Ordnance Survey came into existence (in 1791 if you’re interested).  The change is slowly crossing the country, but for now can only be appreciated in our Custom Made maps with a centre to the West of Penzance.  Buy one now and you will find a new icon we have created in the legend to show the new relationship between the three Norths (magnetic, grid and true).  Continue reading “Magnetic north is on the move again”