Football ground quiz for the England World Cup 2014 squad

The England team will be continuing their FIFA World Cup 2014 campaign tonight and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for them over in Brazil. Back in Britain, we got to thinking about the 23-strong squad and where they usually play their home games, away from Sao Paulo.

The squad play across nine British grounds – but can you identify the grounds shown on our map? We’ve shown eight of the nine grounds in OS MasterMap, with all of the street names and so on removed, to make it a little more challenging. Can you name them all – and tell us the name of the ninth ground, missing from the quiz?


Football Grounds


Please note that home grounds are correct as of the date the 23-man England squad was announced and will not reflect any changes as a result of transfers and deals since the end of the football season.

Can you complete our OS MasterMap game?

If you’ve got that Friday feeling and would like some geo-fun, why not give our map slider game a go? I ‘m sure most of us played one of these games as children (some of us in ‘real life’ with plastic sliders, others of you on screen!). Simply move the blocks around the screen until you get the picture displayed in the correct order, showing a place in Britain using our OS MasterMap Topography Layer.

If you know where it is, let us know on the blog…and if you need a bit of help completing the puzzle, the image you’re trying to complete is down at the bottom of the page.

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New building height data released

Customers of our OS MasterMap Topography Layer can now access  information on the heights of almost 20 million buildings across Great Britain with the alpha release of our building height attributes. Released on 17 March, OS MasterMap Topography Layer – Building Height Attribute is a product enhancement to OS MasterMap Topography Layer, and available to licence holders at no additional cost.

SBH_on OSMM plain

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Eight new things from Ordnance Survey in 2013

We’ve had a busy 2013 so far and there have been a number of new Ordnance Survey products and services released. We thought we’d give you a round-up of our eight  great new and updated products and services of 2013 so far.

OS MapFinder for iOS devices

Our OS MapFinder app for iOS devices launched in January, providing a free-to-download navigation app for walkers, cyclists and more. With over 120,000 downloads of the app in three months, it’s proved very popular and thousands more have downloaded map tiles for the areas they want to explore. We’re currently working on an Android version of the app and we’ll let you know when that’s available. In the meantime, find out more about OS MapFinder for iOS.

Building on the success of OS MapFinder, we recently launched the OS OpenSpace SDK for iOS. Through the new software development kit (SDK), developers can quickly and easily add detailed Ordnance Survey maps to their applications on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The powerful and fast SDK provides a number of significant benefits for both the developer and the end users, including quick rendering and offline mapping, meaning that apps can still function even without a mobile signal. Get started on our website.

Continuing the open theme, we released OS Terrain 50 in April, adding to our OS OpenData product portfolio. Users and developers can now access a new fully maintained analytical height product called OS Terrain 50, available in grid and contour format. You can view and download the product on our website.

In June OS Terrain 5 joined our new height portfolio. Offering maintained national coverage and available in both grid and contour formats, OS Terrain 5 depicts the shape of Great Britain’s landscape. Presented as a Digital Terrain Model (DTM), OS Terrain 5 adds the third dimension to analytical applications such as flood risk assessment and infrastructure development.

We launch the next iteration of our Linked Data service in June at: http://data.ordnancesurvey.co.uk. The improved service is easy to use and access, adhering to new standards and making the data more open.

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Name that school – on a map

It’s that time of year when many children and parents (and teachers!) are looking towards the summer holidays. And while those spending time in a school will think they know it insider-out – would they recognise it on a map? Changes to school buildings form a part of the 5,000 changes a day Ordnance Survey capture as we maintain the master map of Great Britain.

We’ve also recently launched OS MasterMap Sites Layer, which provides customers with an easy way to identify an extent that includes all the real-world features that form part of the function of that school on a map. For example, the extent of a school is most commonly made up of buildings, playing fields and associated car parks. You can find out more about it here.

Some schools have been in use for a very long time and are also in historic buildings and popular locations, making them a little easier to spot. We’ve picked eight well-known public schools in Great Britain, using OS MasterMap. Can you name the schools? Post your answers on the blog and we’ll let you know the correct answers later.

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We’ve launched OS MasterMap Sites Layer





We are excited to launch the latest product in the OS MasterMap family, Sites Layer.

OS MasterMap Sites Layer is a nationally maintained dataset that maps the detailed extent of important locations such as airports, schools, hospitals, ports, utility and infrastructure sites and more. The points of access into these sites from the nearest road network are also provided.

This initial release of OS MasterMap Sites Layer focuses on sites in the following themes: Air Transport (such as airports, heliports and airfields), Education (such as schools and university campuses), Medical Care (such as medical care centres, hospices and hospitals), Rail Transport (such as railway station, tram station, vehicular rail terminal), Road Transport (such as coach station, bus station, road user services), Water Transport (such as ports, vehicular and passenger ferry terminals), Utility and Industrial (such as oil terminal, chemical works, oil and gas distribution or storage).

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Digital maps help the church manage their minerals

Have you ever seen a Bishop driving a bulldozer or a Curate using a compactor? This seems a strange question until you learn more about the Church of England’s land based assets.

To put you in the picture, the Church Commissioners’ minerals and mining portfolio covers approximately 750,000 acres. (Lancashire is just over 700,0001 acres to give you a sense of perspective). This makes it one of the largest geographic estates in the country. Who knew the Church of England was involved in primary industry such as mineral extraction?

The Church of England itself is no stranger to geography. Parishes and dioceses are geographic in their nature, so maps and boundaries are part of its structure. The land assets which are held and managed by the Church Commissioners for England help generate funds for its support and royalties are received for the extraction of minerals (such as chalk, sand and gravel), so the need for maps to help manage these physical assets is a natural step for an organisation with a wide-spread geographic footprint.

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Tweeting the changing face of Britain

Our Twitter map of tweeting colleaguesWe’ve come to the end of the tweeting period for our surveyors and others at Ordnance Survey. We wanted to give you all a feel for the work our teams do each day as they go about updating the master map of Great Britain.

Over the last fortnight our tweeters have been all over Great Britain – whether it is mapping the latest railway bridge in the Cotswolds, recording the changes left by coastal erosion in the east of England or getting caught in the glaur (boot-hugging mud) near Perth.

For those based in head office, they are still lucky enough to tour the country through their computer screens – checking 3D dam models in Brecon, working on Greenwich Park and testing imagery around Northumberland National Park.

How a tweet appeared on the Twitter mapWe’ve had some great questions come in which either the tweeters themselves or the @OrdnanceSurvey twitter account have answered. From whether our trig pillars are still in use (sadly, we have more modern methods now) to wondering if we’re about to issue a parking ticket (definitely not in our remit)!

I noticed how often weather featured in the tweets – but if your job involved working in the great outdoors, this is bound to be a key topic. If you’ve been following any of the tweeters, following #osatwork or keeping an eye on our map – let us know what you thought.

For us, we’ll be ‘switching off’ the Twitter map, but we hope you’ve enjoyed the tweets and seeing who is working near you across Great Britain. You can still get a feel for the work we do through @OrdnanceSurvey and @OSLeisure too.

What’s in a name?

You might have watched the news or read the papers recently and seen that the Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett formally received the title ‘Royal’ in a ceremony on Sunday afternoon, 16 October. Royal Wootton Bassett was being recognised for its dedication in honouring Britain’s war dead in recent years.

The four years the residents had lined the streets of the town as a mark of respect to service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and being repatriated at nearby RAF Lyneham. Prime Minister David Cameron said that the tribute was a symbol of the nation’s gratitude to Wootton Bassett’s people.

The change of name also meant a change was needed in our mapping database at Ordnance Survey. The enormous amount of publicity around this name change meant we had plenty of notice and Wootton Bassett has now become Royal Wootton Bassett – and the change will be available to customers via future product updates.

We make some 5,000 changes each day to the national master map and thanks to the work of our 300 surveyors and an extensive aerial photography programme, significant changes are ‘on the map’ within six months of them appearing.

Adding ‘Royal’ to a town name isn’t one of our usual changes though, Royal Wootton Bassett is the first town in more than 100 years to be given the ‘royal’ title – and there are in fact, only two other English towns with this honour – can you name them?

There are also a number of royal boroughs, such as Kensington and Chelsea and there will be a new borough added next year in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – do you know where that is?

We’ll add the answers later if nobody posts the correct answers…

After the floods – putting Cumbria back together

For the last in our series of posts this week celebrating the Lake District National Park we’re looking at how Cumbria is returning to normal after the floods of November 2009.

The day of 19 November 2009 will remain in the memories of those living in Cumbria, and in particular Cockermouth for some time to come. Heavy rains had caused the rivers Derwent and Cocker, which both meet in Cockermouth, to rise and burst their banks. It was the time it took for the waters to take over the town that caught many unawares and unprepared. By midday the water levels were high, but Main Street was dry, by 3pm the water was a foot deep on Main Street and by midnight Main Street and some of it’s side streets had been transformed into a raging torrent of water which reached up to 8ft deep in places. I’d watched the footage on the television and thought that it looked bad – but it wasn’t until I visited Cockermouth earlier this year that I realised just how bad it had been.

Many bridges, like this one at Little Braithwaite, were destroyed during the floods.

Many bridges, like this one at Little Braithwaite, were destroyed during the floods.

Cockermouth wasn’t the only place affected by the floods. Workington, at the mouth of the River Derwent, was also badly affected with flood water. Being down stream from where the two flooded rivers met in Cockermouth, the flood waters came rushing downstream and engulfed Workington. The wall of water took out several bridges in the town – leaving only the railway bridge left as the river crossing, effectively cutting the town in two. Continue reading “After the floods – putting Cumbria back together”