24
Apr
2017
1

The making of OS VectorMap District

The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s certainly a cross-team effort to create and maintain an OS OpenData product within OS. So, in addition to our surveying teams capturing changes across Britain and adding them to the 500 million features in our geospatial database, we caught up with some of the people who work on OS VectorMap District, our customisable backdrop map.

Raster version of OS VectorMap District

Creating and releasing OS VectorMap District

A couple of months ahead of a new release of OS VectorMap District, Derek Howland and our ‘GenIE’ team extract the data from our core database. We use this core large-scale data to derive OS VectorMap District so that OS OpenData customers can benefit from our meticulous revision policy and enjoy access to open data which is consistent and up-to-date across the whole of Great Britain. The sheer volume of this data means we process it in ‘partitions’ (created using the national road network) and then ‘stitch’ the data back together.

After processing, the data is stored and validated, to ensure consistency of content and currency. Edits which are identified by the system are manual edited in the Cartography team using their wide range of skills and knowledge to resolve any critical non-conformances in the content store data. This is fairly minimal – affecting about 650 features out of 24.5 million features in the content store!

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19
Apr
2017
2

7 years of OS OpenData and 2 years of OS Open Map – Local

Released in beta format in March 2015, five years into our OS OpenData journey, OS Open Map – Local rapidly became our most popular open data offering with almost 400 downloads every week. Having released the full V1 for OS Open Map – Local last November, we have just released a refresh of our most detailed street-level open data product.

All of the buildings in OS Open Map – Local styled by our GeoDataViz team

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13
Apr
2017
1

Enter the BCS Awards

We’re pleased to announce that The British Cartographic Society (BCS) are collecting entries for their 2017 awards. Their range of award categories aims to recognize the very best cartographic work and scholarship from around the globe and entries are welcomed from all areas of the mapping community.

We provide the BCS with an award to encourage excellence in cartographic design and the innovative and exciting use of OS OpenData. Over the years, we have had some excellent entries including this winning entry from Ashley Clough at Parallel in 2013.

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12
Apr
2017
0

First public view of work towards UK GEMINI 2.3

Do you use GEMINI? See the latest version and send your feedback on the new approach. Peter Parslow, our open standards lead and chair of the AGI Standards Committee explains more.

AGI has long-maintained UK GEMINI, a guide to creating metadata for geospatial resources. Local authorities and major data publishers like ourselves, ONS, BGS, Defra all use GEMINI to describe our products – datasets and services. These records are then collated automatically to data.gov.uk, and on the European INSPIRE portal. The records in data.gov.uk can also be accessed directly from within desktop GIS tools like Arc Desktop and QGIS, by using the OGC Catalogue Server interface, and by other tools by using the CKAN API described at https://data.gov.uk/data/metadata-api-docs. There’s ongoing work in Europe to integrate this approach more with mainstream web search engines – at present, it is a bit ‘geo specialist’! Read More

10
Apr
2017
1

Parallel – working with OS OpenData

We’re celebrating seven years of OS OpenData, and its success is down to the people and businesses using the products. We are always interested in hearing how open data is being used, so please keep sharing your examples with us. One business who we have spotted using our data regularly over the years is Parallel. We asked Ashley Clough, founder of Parallel to explain how OS OpenData has benefitted them.

Parallel has evolved to specialise in data-visualisation and mapping, particularly for healthcare data in and around the NHS. We started to use OS OpenData when we became frustrated by the styling of available basemaps for website applications. We needed a set of maps that were optimised for the presentation of data overlays; as icons for point locations and polygons for area indications. We needed to control what was visible on the map at every zoom level and crucially we needed to ensure that the level of detail was consistent across the entirety of Great Britain. We investigated using open source map data but we couldn’t rely on the consistency of data within urban locations, and particularly in more rural locations. As the maps are used within the NHS we needed to ensure that everywhere had the same quality of data; OS OpenData was, and we believe still is, the most consistent for our purpose.

Parallel 3D buildings and functional sites

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6
Apr
2017
2

Map your London

Our GeoDataViz team took part in the ‘Late at the library: you are here’ event hosted by the British Library, with demos and displays by OS and the Geovation Hub, amongst other mappy delights. Find out what happened at the event.

Hosting ‘Map Your London’, we came equipped with sharpies and an (almost) blank canvas of London. Our aim was to understand how those living in London visualise their city. How do they navigate? How would they depict Big Ben or 30 St Mary Axe? What names do they use to describe historic and modern landmarks? So, armed with a pen we let them get to work…

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4
Apr
2017
1

National Grid #CraftographyMap quiz

Our talented Craft Club created the fantastic Great British Craftography Mapand it’s currently up for auction to raise money for Solent Mind, our corporate charity. The crafty individuals recreated the Ordnance Survey National Grid into a 2.2m by 1.2m wall hanging with the 91 tiles showcasing 16 different craft techniques. Each tile represents a notable subject from the area covered – it could be a geographical feature, a well-known landmark, a local food, or even a craft or material associated with the area.

Just for fun, we have a #CraftographyMap quiz to test your knowledge of Britain. We’ve picked ten of the crafty tiles – can you tell us which areas of Britain they represent? Bonus points if you know the corresponding National Grid tile reference too…

1. The contours are mapped out for this lofty British mountain

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3
Apr
2017
2

OS OpenData celebrates 7th anniversary

Blog by Tim Newman, OS OpenData Product Manager

This month sees us celebrate the seventh anniversary of the launch of OS OpenData. This was a big milestone for us as we released 11 of our mapping and analytical datasets under open licensing. Each day, 150 different people download data from our portal taking, on average, two products each. This adds up to over 400,000 orders placed since the launch of OS OpenData in 2010 and an enormous 1.9 million downloads in total.

OS Open Map-Local

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