I graduated from Newcastle Uni in physical geography. OS wasn’t my first job. I worked for a while at Astrium, the aerospace manufacturer. I really think if OS is your first working environment, it will spoil you.
Matt's now a Technical Product Manager at OS
The underlying importance is huge. By mapping the urban landscape in 3D, for example, we can get driverless cars on the road, quicker. By adding real-time information we can use data more dynamically. We can start making predictions that will make people’s lives easier. If you know where road congestion is, for example, you can choose to take a different route home.
I’m currently managing a project on 3D visualisation, looking at how we will deliver data to customers in the future. I love making proof of concept demonstrations to show what our data can do.
I’ve been here three years, starting as a Trainee Technical Product Manager. In this time, OS has taught me to ask what the customer wants – because what they ask for and what they need might not be the same thing. 200 years ago someone might have said ‘I need more candles’ but what they actually needed was a light bulb. I thrive on taking things a step further – not just mirroring what else is on the market. We ask: ‘Has anyone done this before?’
I’ve been lucky that my managers have given me some good tasks and always allowed me some time every week to develop my skills - be that putting me on a project or something I initiated myself.
The range of people I speak to is fascinating. Not just here but our customers too, which range from government to businesses to partners. I’ve liaised with everyone from environment agencies to online banks.
We’re looking at some really cutting edge stuff at the moment and I’m lucky to be part of it. In the future, people won’t just want a map. They will want to find a geospatial context to put something in.