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Number of km2 mapped per year

Ref No: FOI18838 – Request for information

Request

Thank you for your original email of 5 July 2018 and your subsequent email of 9 July 2018 in response to our email of 9 July 2019 from the Customer Service Centre (CSC). Your request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, and an extract of your request is set out below:

Your email of 5 July 2018
Mainly I would like to know how many KM Square you map, QC, and make available to your customers a year? Also, I would like to know how many operators are involved in this process (digitizing, qc, etc.)?

Email from CSC of 9 July 2018
Thank you for your message regarding your wish to understand more about Ordnance Survey.

Regrettably, we do not record how many KM we supply to customers each year, but it would be in excess of one billion, as many customers get a full supply of England Scotland and Wales for each update.

The number of employees involved in digitizing the data has varied over time and I have asked our support team if they are able to find out the current number for you.

We will update you again if the information becomes available.

Your email of 9 July 2018
I apologize for not being clearer. The numbers I am looking for are how many KM square you map a year? (digitize and QC) and how many operators are involved a year, on average, in the digitizing and quality check of the mapping?

I would use your input to calculate the results = mapping in KM sq/# of operators.

With respect to “The number of employees involved in digitizing the data has varied over time and I have asked our support team if they are able to find out the current number for you.”, the average approximate number would suffice.

Our response

Taking each question in turn, I can confirm the following:

How many KM squares you map a year?
I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold this information. Ordnance Survey typically revises the mapping for approximately 80,000 – 85,000 Km2 per annum. The activity involves the maintenance of existing mapping update through the survey of data, which has changed since the date of last revision. The process uses photogrammetric and ground-based survey methods.

How many operators are involved a year, on average, in the digitizing and quality check of the mapping?
I can confirm that whilst Ordnance Survey does not hold detailed records of the numbers of operators used on this activity it estimates the average number deployed per annum is approximately 600, which can be broken down as follows (Data capture 80%, Quality Control & Assurance 15%, Team management and Administration 5%).

Ordnance Survey typically contracts out this activity to a range of external geospatial organisations. The number of operators utilised by them to deliver Ordnance Survey requirements is primarily determined by the mapping specification and is therefore subject to significant variation depending on the exact nature of the requirement in any given year.

Internal review

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our Internal Review Officer by contacting them, within two months of receipt of our final response to your FOI request, as follows:

Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
Southampton
SO16 0AS

Email: foi@os.uk

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

The Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal, within three months of receiving our response, with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Further information can be found on the ICO website (ico.org.uk) under ‘Report a concern’ or you may wish to call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.

Thank you for your enquiry.

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