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.

HistoricWestQuay-675px

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The Go Rhino! sculptures are being auctioned this week

Rocky the rhinoOver the course of the summer, visitors to Southampton were greeted by the sight of many brightly-decorated rhinos dotted around the city. We sponsored one of the rhinos, and our RhinOSeros is decorated with map symbols, and we also produced a map for the Go! Rhinos trail guide and created an online map using OS OpenSpace.

The rhinos were on display for 10 weeks before moving to Marwell Wildlife, and on Wednesday 30 October will be auctioned off in a Charity Fundraising Auction at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton. There will be 37 rhinos for sale, so it may be difficult to pick a favourite.

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Walk of the week: Go! Rhinos Southampton city trail

Length of route:
Approx 2.5-3 miles.
Starting point:
SU418016, Town Quay car park is closest, this is a pay car park.
Suitable for:
Walking
Maps:

OS OpenSpace interactive map of the Go! Rhinos trail

Go! Rhinos trail map

Download our OS MapFinder app and record the route

Use OS getamap to plot the route yourself

For a great walk for all the family this summer, with the added bonus of spotting 32 rhinos, why not try this stroll around Southampton city centre? It’s no more than 3 miles depending on the route you follow and there are numerous places to stop and explore along the way, so it could last anywhere from 40 minutes to several hours.

The Go! Rhino trail is in Southampton between 13 July and 22 September 2013 and we’ve sponsored one of the rhinos. If you spot our Rhinoseros while you’re on the trail, tweet us a photo and we’ll enter you into a draw for a pair of Marwell Wildlife tickets.

If you follow the rhinos in their order on the map, you’ll be starting from Town Quay, a lovely spot to watch the ferries and cruise liners coming in and out of Southampton Water. The route then takes you into the old town of Southampton where you can walk along the historic walls and visit the Wool House and Tudor House museums too.

When you make it to rhino number 8, you’ll be outside the lovely ruins of Holy Rood Church. One of the original five churches serving the old walled town of Southampton the church was destroyed by bombing during the blitz in November 1940. As you head along the High Street to numbers 9 and 10, you’ll come to the Bargate, still standing amongst the modern town centre buildings.

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Take the rhino trail in Southampton this summer – and win Marwell Wildlife tickets

Our RhinOSeros – now on display in Southampton

In celebration of its 40th anniversary this year, Hampshire’s Marwell Wildlife has brought a world-class mass public art event to Southampton.

A herd of sponsored rhino sculptures have been placed at various locations across the city centre to form a rhino trail. The Go! Rhinos trail launched on Saturday in the city and is available over a 10-week period this summer.

The rhinos were decorated by local professional artists, providing a unique design on each piece – we’re extremely proud of our RhinOSeros by Artsim, now standing at the corner of Havelock and City Centre Roads. As a sponsor, we also have a small rhino, also decorated by Artsim, which has pride of place at our head office.

As well as providing the opportunity to showcase local artistic talent, the event encourages outdoors exploration, whilst raising significant funds for local charities; Marwell Wildlife, The Rose Road Association and Wessex Heartbeat’s High 5 Appeal.We’ve been involved in a variety of ways. As well as sponsoring one of the rhinos we produced the official Southampton trail map and we’ve plotted the locations of the rhinos online using OS OpenSpace data.

OS OpenSpace map showing the Go! Rhinos locations

Take a look at the rhinos on our map and if you’re in the city, why not visit the rhinos? If you tweet us a picture of you with our rhino by Friday 2 August to @OrdnanceSurvey, we’ll enter you into a prize draw for a pair of Marwell Wildlife tickets, which must be used before 15 October 2013.

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Go! Rhinos

In celebration of its 40th anniversary this year, Hampshire’s Marwell Wildlife is bringing a world-class mass public art event to Southampton.

The Go! Rhinos event, will take place in the city over a 10-week period this summer. Southampton will be the home to a herd of sponsored rhino sculptures, which will be placed at various locations across the city centre to form a rhino trail.

Various organisations will be sponsoring the rhino sculptures, and the rhinos will be decorated by local professional artists, providing a unique design on each piece – part of the fun will be following the trail and choosing your favourite rhino!

Reggie the rhino and some friends

As well as providing the opportunity to showcase local artistic talent, the event encourages outdoors exploration, whilst raising significant funds for local charities; Marwell Wildlife, The Rose Road Association and Wessex Heartbeat’s High 5 Appeal.

Ordnance Survey will be involved in a variety of ways. We are sponsoring one of the rhinos, which will be forming part of the rhino trail, and will be producing the official Southampton trail map. We’ll also be plotting the route of the rhinos online using OS OpenSpace data.

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Aerial imagery helps define local change

There can’t be many people who failed to notice the coverage in the media about the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. What was a horrific event, especially for people local to us here in Southampton, has sparked world-wide interest and a fascination about how the ‘unsinkable’ ship could be sunk so easily with the loss of so many lives.

A new museum about the Titanic and the impact it had on Southampton opened this week. The Sea City Museum run by Southampton City Council was opened by Olympic rower James Cracknell and documents the impact of the sinking of the ship with a host of interactive displays as well as a rather macabre historic map showing where people who died on board the Titanic had lived in Southampton before boarding the ship.

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The Solent Way to Hamble

A guest post by Ordnance Survey’s Richard Cully

I tend to go with the widely held thought that everywhere ‘else’ is interesting to visit.

Across the globe, residents of majestic mountain sides and daily viewers of palm fringed beaches all spend hours planning and then travelling somewhere ‘different’ for leisure and pleasure.

The landscape within walking distance of my home in Southampton is not normally renowned for its majesty and elegance, but on a chilly day with a slightly too-bright sun in my late morning eyes I set off from Woolston and walked the Solent Way to Hamble. Using the OS Explorer Map – OL22  which is more normally used for its New Forest coverage, I set off.

Once the home of the Vosper Thornycroft  shipyard, a large waterside swathe of Woolston is now named Centenary Quay and is being refurbished with smart housing, retail and community improvements which when finished is promised to lift the area and show a shiny new face to the long established Ocean Village across the River Itchen.

Five minutes walk from home and the waterfront is heralded by the familiar mast clanging chimes of the sailing club and my equally familiar question to myself – how do the people in the nearby houses put up with the racket?  The path here is wide and welcoming and follows the original plan of the road to Netley which had been re-routed many decades before to allow the building of a now vanished naval supply depot. Cyclists, dog walkers and kite flyers love the breezy open space and helpful sign boards inform about the wild birds viewable on Southampton Water.  The beach of shingle widens significantly into bird-attracting mud at low tide and further along the walk at the end of Weston Shore I watched fascinated as gulls stood silently eyeing an entire murder of crows in a slightly unsettling tableaux at the shingled fringes of ancient Westwood.

Weston Shore, always popular for viewing ships is backed with a long promenade, some lovingly refurbished (and lovingly re-vandalised) Art Deco shelters and several residential towers which rise through trees to gain what must be fantastic and distant views of the New Forest. Having re-joined the main road, it seems the shore is an always popular place to park and watch the water.  Even on the coldest day there is an appetite for ice cream at the seaside and the man in the van had a queue at what seemed like minus 2….

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Mapping experts set to arrive in Southampton

Senior representatives and leaders from mapping organisations from across the world are about to descend on Southampton next week.

They’re here for the The Cambridge Conference – so named because of its historic ties to the city – which this year is taking place at our new head office in Southampton. It is a unique occasion, giving top international experts the chance to discuss developments in mapping, changes in technology and issues of global importance.

Professor Nigel Shadbolt will be chairing a session on open data

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Opening new geography research hub

As well as working with businesses and government on how they can use geographic information, we also have very strong ties with the education and academic community. Last year, building on our close relationship with EDINA at the University of Edinburgh, we launched Digimap for Schools bringing geographic information in the class rooms of millions of schools.

So it was great for the University of Southampton to invite Vanessa Lawrence CB, our Director General, to open their new geography research hub.

The new facility will provide up to 60 Graduate Doctoral students a new and modern place to work, as well as providing facilities for visiting scientists.

The University is one of Britain’s leading centres for geographical research, ranked 6th in the 2011 Times Good University Guide. Its academics are involved in research impacting on all aspects of society, from global environmental change to economic transformation.

Vanessa is a visiting professor and a member of the University’s council so she was especially honoured to be asked to cut the ribbon.

A study room at the new Geography Research Hub

Panoramic of the study room at the new Geography Research Hub

Are you up for a cycle challenge?

Cycling in traffic – image courtesy of Gigantic Robot via flickr

Cycling in traffic – image courtesy of Gigantic Robot via flickr

Once again we’ve signed up to the Southampton Cycle Challenge, a fun competition to encourage people living or working in Southampton to try cycling. The competition started on Monday and runs until Sunday 29 May. During this time businesses will compete against each other to see who can get the most employees cycling.

It doesn’t matter if you cycle to work, to the shops, or just for fun on the weekend, every cycle trip you make can be logged on the website and added to the total.

Last year Ordnance Survey was narrowly beaten to first place by the National Oceanography Centre. This year we want to go one better and win! Internally, our Finance team led the way in 2010 with over 17% of employees taking part. Can they be beaten this year?

If you’re local to Southampton and haven’t registered yet, it’s easy to take part. All you have to do is sign up at www.southamptoncyclechallenge.org.uk.

Not that you need more of an incentive than keeping fit and a bit of local rivalry, but everyone who logs a trip on the website will automatically be entered into a draw to win a Scott Sportster P40 hybrid bike worth £550 from Hargroves Cycles.

Plus if you encourage someone who hasn’t ridden a bike in over a year, to ride a bike for just 10 minutes then you both win a free cinema ticket!

I’m sure there are similar schemes across the country, or you could just hold a competition within your workplace. Alternatively, it’s Bike to Work Week next month, so perhaps you can gear yourself up for that.