Find out about the ideas selected to help Britain do housing better

We recently announced the winning ideas that were chosen in our GeoVation Challenge to help people to live in better places.

Watch our video from the weekend in which Roland Harwood, Chair of the GeoVation judging panel, explains why these four ideas were selected and the successful finalists describe their reaction on getting the news.

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GeoVation Challenge finalists Democratising Development

We recently announced our GeoVation finalists for the housing challenge that we’d worked on with Land Registry. Four fantastic ideas, all using data from us and LR, aiming to help Britons live in better places, became successful finalists. For the first time last year, we ran a series of our opendata masterclasses to support people in building their ideas for the challenge using our data. Andy Reeve (pictured on the left below), one of the finalists with Democratising Development, shares his GeoVation experience from joining in a masterclass through to the camp.


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How well do you know your old football grounds?

Emirates Stadium 2014Over on our Facebook page and Twitter account we run a #ThrowbackThursday picture each week. It fascinates us, and it seems a lot of our followers, to look back at our historical maps, usually pre-1900, and compare the past and present. We’ll show nineteenth century sites, that if you were to visit them today, would have well-known landmarks on them. They can be anything from the Angel of the North to the Emirates Stadium (pictured right). Without fail, our followers can identify the modern sites, and we share an up-to-date map the next day to show how the area looks today.

While over a century has passed between the maps we share each #ThrowbackThursday, you don’t need to wait that long to spot changes on maps. Britain is constantly changing. We maintain over 460 million features in our database, tracking over 10,000 changes a day. Road layouts change, houses are demolished, new estates are built and new football grounds take root. Our surveyors track these changes on foot, whilst our Flying Unit take to the skies to ensure we have as accurate a picture of changing Britain as we possibly can. Continue reading “How well do you know your old football grounds?”

Historical maps quiz


Throughout the year we’ve published extracts of historical maps, many going back more than 100 years, on our Twitter feed. It’s fascinating to look at the old maps and see how much things have changes as roads and residential areas grow and previous landmarks, and countryside, often disappear.

We’ve been asking our followers if they can identify the well-known landmarks, sporting venues or places that now stand on the sites shown on the historical maps. How well do you think you can do? We’ve picked our ten favourites from the year to challenge you.  Just click on each image to see it more clearly – and let us know how you get on: Continue reading “Historical maps quiz”

Latest GeoVation Challenge finalists announced

Our GeoVation judging panel were delighted at the quality and scope of the 43 ideas submitted to our GeoVation Challenge to find ways to enable people in Britain to live in better places, while using Ordnance Survey and Land Registry data 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 16 -18 January 2015 at Ordnance Survey in Southampton.

Housing idea cloudThe finalists who have been invited to GeoVation Camp are: Continue reading “Latest GeoVation Challenge finalists announced”

Further adventures in Minecraft: First Great Britain, now for the rest of the world!

Post by Keegan Wilson, Press Officer

Ordnance Survey’s very own Mr Blocks, Joseph Braybrook, is conducting a new set of experiments in Minecraft.

Not content with making Great Britain out of OS OpenData and 83 billion individual Minecraft blocks, a mammoth map which won him a place in the Guinness Book of Records, which you can download here for free, Joseph has set his sights further afield in an attempt to push himself, real world data and the possibilities of Minecraft to the limit.

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Celebrating Christmas across Great Britain – competition

FullSizeRenderWe thought we’d celebrate Christmas with a fun competition – and give you the amazing opportunity to win a limited edition OS MasterMap tie too.

There are some fabulous Christmas place names around Great Britain and we’ve put a small selection of them below. You can travel to Christmas Cross in Shropshire, but if you want to hang up your Stocking, you should head to Herefordshire and pop by Mistletoe Oak while you’re there. If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, then Snow Falls in North Yorkshire could be your best bet. You could navigate via the light of a Star (Somerset) – although you may like to use a good map instead.

But if your Christmassy travels brought you to Bethlehem (shown bottom right) – which county would you be in? Send in your answers on the blog by midday on Friday 19 December. We’ll pick a correct answer at random to win the mappy tie. Continue reading “Celebrating Christmas across Great Britain – competition”

Ordnance Survey sponsored MSc programme

Since 2001, we’ve sponsored over 100 students from more than 25 universities in our MSc dissertation programme. We look out for those doing research that fits in with our research strategy and where we will have an in-house ‘expert’ that can supervise alongside the student’s university supervisor. We provide advice, data where required and if available, and then sponsorship of up to £1000 on completion of their dissertation.

At least five students who completed a sponsored MSc with us then went on to be supported by us in their PhD too. Some of our research is outsourced and often achieved through our doctoral and postdoctoral research collaborations. Our support can range from providing industrial partner letters of support to contracting short-term pieces of work, and most things in between so there are opportunities at all levels. You can find out more about our PhD support on our websiteContinue reading “Ordnance Survey sponsored MSc programme”

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – a legacy of geospatial support?

Guest blog by Duncan Moss, Duncan is our Major Event Practice Lead 

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games gave Britain a lasting sporting and cultural legacy – if you visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (formerly known as the Olympic Park) this winter you can join the crowds enjoying a wide range of world-class sporting events. Whether cheering on the England women’s netball team as they take on Malawi or supporting London’s only professional basketball team in the Copper Box Arena, it’s easy to forget that such events are made possible thanks to our reputation for delivering a safe, secure and enjoyable environment as was experienced during London 2012.

Customised map of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park we produced with the Institute of Civil Engineers

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