22
Mar
2019
0

NHP partnership conference

Along with 17 other Government bodies, six years ago the Natural Hazards Partnership (NHP) was created. This year, we’re delighted to be hosting the annual NHP conference on 26 and 27 March at our HQ in Southampton. Free to attend and aimed at professionals working in the natural hazards and resilience arena including government, responders and academia, register your interest and find out more below. Read More

21
Mar
2019
3

Magnetic north continues its march to the east

As expert map readers will know, when you’re out and about navigating with a compass, there is a difference between magnetic north (where the compass points) and grid north (the vertical blue grid lines shown on OS maps). And if you’re exploring in the west of Great Britain, there is a change to be aware of…

The difference between magnetic north and grid north is often referred to as grid magnetic angle and it not only varies from place to place, but changes with time too, and needs to be taken into account when navigating with a map and compass.

In 2014 there was a significant event in the changing direction of magnetic north relative to grid north on OS maps. For the first time in Great Britain since the 1660s, magnetic north moved from being to the west of grid north to the east. The change started in the very south west corner of Britain, currently affects the areas to the west of the line on our map, and will slowly progress across the whole country over the next 12 to 13 years.

Map of Great Britain with a line marking the areas now to the east of magnetic north for the first time since the 1660s

The line represents the approximate path of where magnetic north currently equals grid north

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20
Mar
2019
0

Quantifying Britain’s greenspaces with data and standards

By Andrew Cooling, Strategic Development Manager (Government Relationships Team)

There’s a growing body of research showing a connection between greenspaces and human health and wellbeing.

So much so, areas of green – including parks, public gardens and open spaces – are now a key consideration in the design and structure of towns, cities and communities.

Research into this field comes from all sectors, including social, medical, transport, recreation, housing and planning.

One independent study by land management charity The Land Trust looked at the value of greenspaces and their impact on society. The Value of Greenspaces report reveals that they play a positive part in 90% of people’s wellbeing. Those living near these spaces felt more encouraged to stay fit and healthy, and believed that green areas helped make their communities more desirable (leading to economic uplift).

Greenspaces also improve air quality, reduce the likelihood of flooding, mitigate climate change and are havens for wildlife.

The 2014 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health states that:

‘Green space should be accessible to as many people as possible. People are more likely to visit green space if they do not have to travel far to reach it, and the most frequent visitors report the greatest benefits to their mental wellbeing.’

There are economic benefits, too. According to the Office for National Statistics’ Natural Capital Accounts, the value associated with living near a green space is estimated to be just over £130 billion in the UK.

With this in mind, further research has been happening in the geospatial arena. What kind of greenspace? Where exactly is it? And how accessible?  More insight is being applied to greenspaces to make them more ‘quantifiable’. Read More

14
Mar
2019
1

Can OS map Britain’s high streets?

By Iain Goodwin and Kat Harrington

During the last year, OS has been working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to improve our joint understanding of high streets. Since the Government’s £675 million Future High Streets Fund budget announcement, our collaborative government project has become increasingly more significant.

The importance of high streets has also been acknowledged by Public Health England through their Healthy High Streets research, published at the beginning of 2018, highlights how a healthy high street provides “Accessible, safe, communal spaces foster social interaction and strong local economies and can be used to create healthier, safer and more cohesive local communities”. It also drew the conclusion that the “unequal distribution of healthy and unhealthy high streets is likely to contribute to health inequalities”.

This is a view echoed by retailer, Sir John Timpson, who speaking last December to the BBC about high streets said: “It’s not just about shopping. It’s about communities and creating a hub for entertainment, medical facilities, housing.”

So how can OS help?

We asked ourselves some questions. Where does a high street start and end? What is their geography, and how do they compare? High streets up and down the country have no obvious physical boundaries, and not knowing the exact geography of our high streets makes it difficult to identify and analyse them. Read More

12
Mar
2019
3

Data visualisations show Britain’s most trodden paths

Our OS Maps users created over 300,000 public routes across Great Britain in 2018 (covering some 2,950,000 miles…) and we were curious to see where you most (and least) enjoy exploring. Our Data Scientist Andrew Radburn set to work analysing the data before our Data Visualisation expert Charley Glynn set to work to showcase the results.

Data visualisation showing the OS Maps routes across Great Britain

Analysing OS Maps route data

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8
Mar
2019
0

Meet the team: Sasha Catchpole

Continuing our series to introduce the wonderful OS employees and showcase the wide variety of work we do, meet Sasha Catchpole. Sasha’s OS journey began in 2016 as part of the graduate programme, and last year saw her settle in to her current role as an Associate Project Manager. Here, she offers us an insight into autonomous vehicle projects and more…

How long have you worked for OS?

I started at OS on the Graduate programme in September 2016. Prior to this, I graduated from Queen Mary University in 2014 and spent the following two years working as a chalet host in the Alps during the winter and running my own event catering franchise during the summer. Read More

28
Feb
2019
1

ScotLIS: Scotland’s land information service one year on

Guest blog by Registers of Scotland

Registers of Scotland is a non-ministerial government department that looks after registers relating to land, property and other legal matters. Two years ago Scotland’s land information service (ScotLIS) was set up to transform our services and make land and property data more accessible to all.

Since then, the service has truly evolved. From early development through to launch, the ScotLIS team has very much focused on a customer-centric approach. An example of this is the initial user workshops held with a range of stakeholders, with customer collaboration continuing throughout the development lifecycle.

ScotLIS logo Read More

25
Feb
2019
0

Best-selling Snowdon map gets a new cover

OL17OS Explorer map cover for OL17 Snowdon, our OS Explorer map for Snowdon is being launched today with a brand new cover, following a photo competition to be on the cover of the map. Amy Pennington from Cheltenham took the winning photo which now features on our best-selling map.

Our Snowdon map is consistently a top-seller and the area often features as the area with the most routes plotted in OS Maps too. With Wales’ tallest mountain to scale and the stunning Snowdonia National Park surrounding it, it’s easy to see why the area is so popular. The National Park was the third created in Great Britain, in 1951, following the National Parks Act in 1949, 70 years ago.

We decided to replace the map cover as it was due for a reprint, and after the success of our huge OS Photofit map cover competition in 2015, decided to open it up to the public and GetOutside fans again. We had a tough job choosing the winner, but Amy’s photo really captured the year-round beauty of the mountains. Read More

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