Ordnance Survey captures change from the skies

If you are in the East Midlands area and watch or listen to local news, hopefully you’ll have heard from us today about the work that our Flying Unit undertakes capturing change through aerial photography.

We have two aircraft which fly the length and breadth of the entire country during the flying season which lasts from March till November each year. From 2012 for the next three years they are going to be based at East Midlands Airport and today we’ll be showing the media what we do, what data we capture using aerial photography and how that information is included into our database to update our mapping.

We hope they’ll feature us on local news bulletins through the day and this evening, so if you’d like to see our aircraft in action, look out for East Midlands Tonight or ITV Central.

We have two aircraft which will be based at East Midlands in a brand new hangar built by RVL Group who maintain and manage the aircraft for us.  They are a Cessna 404 called G-TASK and a Cessna 402 called G-NOSE.  All aircraft based in Great Britain start their name with a ‘G’ and then four letters. There’s no particular relevance to our names, but once they are named they are very rarely changed – much like a car registration plate!

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Lost? Follow that satellite dish!

I read a great article on the BBC recently that was giving tips on finding your way in a city. Did you know that most UK satellite dishes (all belonging to the same provider) point roughly south east? They’re pointing at the same geostationary satellite, fixed at the same point over Earth. 

We’re all becoming increasingly reliant on having a GPS signal to know our location – whether it’s to find your nearest cinema/petrol station/restaurant on a mobile phone, following the soothing tones of your satnav, or plotting a route for your next countryside walk. But what happens when you lose your GPS signal, or your battery dies on the device you’re using? 

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