23
Aug
2016
0

#TrigPillar80 competition now closed

We have genuinely loved seeing all of the fantastic trig pillar photos that you’ve been sharing with us as we celebrate the 80th year of the trig. Across Twitter and Instagram you’ve sent in an amazing 1,656 entries of trigs across Britain. We highly recommend going and checking some of the entries out.

Our final winners have been picked and all of our T-shirts have now been given away. Check out the final winners below, and see all of the winners in our blog post.

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17
Aug
2016
0

Five mappy activities for the summer holidays

Keeping everyone entertained over the summer holiday period can be a challenge, particularly if the British weather hits a damp spell. We’ve got five great activities, both indoor and outdoor, that will appeal to budding geographers and explorers.

1. Download the Minecraft map of Great Britain

Minecraft, the Swedish computer game in which you make things out of virtual blocks, remains hugely popular with users of all ages. With over 100 million copies sold, and more than 40 million unique Minecraft players each month, it’s grown into the Education sector and beyond. If you or your family are Minecraft devotees, why not try our geographically-accurate Minecraft map of Britain?

Looking up Southampton Water in the Minecraft map of Great Britian

Looking up Southampton Water in the Minecraft map of Great Britain

First released in 2013, following work by OS intern Joseph Braybrook, the map had 22 billion blocks representing the 224,000 square kilometres of our country. It even won us a Guinness World Record as the largest real-world place represented in Minecraft! We released an update in 2014 taking Britain’s Minecraft map to a staggering 83 billion blocks, perfect for a spot of gaming with geography combined. Download the GB Minecraft world and let us know how you get on.

2. Download our mappy colouring in sheets

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15
Aug
2016
2

Through the looking glass

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The Mars map created by OS’ Chris Wesson

By Layla Gordon

Back in February OS took a trip off of this planet to produce a paper map of Mars.

This inspired the Tech Labs team, who had been already involved in Augmented Reality (AR) work, to produce a Mars AR experience using this map.

As all good work with augmentation, the first step was to create some 3D content for augmenting the map. Using a set of height data for the planet captured by NASA, and with the advice of Peter Grindrod from UK Space Agency, I produced a height map in Grey Scale. Then using Blender I created a 3D terrain model of the Schiaparelli crater and its surroundings.

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12
Aug
2016
0

Meet OS Consumer Marketing Manager Liz Beverley

Liz in Dome 1If you dropped by the OS stand at the BBC Countryfile Live event last week, you could have found yourself chatting to our Consumer Marketing Manager Liz Beverley. We caught up with Liz before she packed up and headed to Oxfordshire to find out more about the maps you all use to explore the British countryside – be that paper or digital.

So Liz, who buys paper maps from OS these days?

Our paper maps are loved and relied on by hundreds and thousands of people each week. There’s something for everyone, from traditional walkers to people looking for a novel gift idea – such as our OS Custom Made map.

We introduced the Three Peaks Challenge map this summer, dedicated to those attempting this National challenge. It provides all the mapping you need to navigate the three routes of the peaks, plus an overview map which is really useful for driving between locations.

Liz taking it easy before the visitors arrived at Countryfile Live

Liz taking it easy before the visitors arrived at Countryfile Live. Photo by #GetOutside champion Jason Rawles.

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10
Aug
2016
1

Trkd™ Orbit: Tim Peake’s Principia Mission

OS Partner Away Team Software have been on our blog previously, talking about their location tracking app, Trkd. Now they’re back with an out of this world adaptation…

Inspiration

PeakeSelfieJust before Christmas 2015, the UK was gripped by space fever as British ESA astronaut Tim Peake embarked on his six month Principia mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with live coverage from launch to docking. After witnessing the cheering crowds of children at London’s Science Museum, veteran cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space, said it rekindled his memories of the original human spaceflight programme from half a century ago.

By taking advantage of the intervening advances in technology, Tim has been able to engage his audience directly from space throughout his mission using digital photography, video and social media to inspire this generation and the next.

In the spirit of Principia, we decided to commemorate two of his iconic achievements in a fun and educational way by expanding our Trkd™ (pron. tracked) location tracking suite into space, which raised an important question: how do you track an astronaut? Read More

8
Aug
2016
4

Talking augmented reality at the GeoTech meetup

Layla Gordon at the GeoTech Meetup

Layla Gordon at the GeoTech Meetup

At our recent GeoTech Meetup at the Geovation Hub the hot topic of conversation was augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and how mashing these with geospatial data unlocks the potential for some pretty exciting innovations in the near future.

OS Labs engineer, Layla Gordon, led the event at the Hub, and here she explains some of her adventures with AR…

Our first foray into the virtual spaces goes back to May 2015 where OS was the platinum sponsor of an event called Digital Shoreditch in London. The venue is a Victorian basement with lots of corridors and rooms and in previous years visitors had trouble navigating within the building and finding the exhibitions they wanted to see.

IndoorAR

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5
Aug
2016
0

Geovation Hub – one year on

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The Geovation Hub has been open now for one year. In that time it has:

  • 550 members’ regular attending the hub and using its space and resources.
  • 40 SMEs basing themselves at the Hub.
  • 4 start-ups on the Geovation Programme.
  • 30 lead partners.
  • Delivered £300,000 of revenue through partnerships and sponsorships that was unbudgeted.
  • GeoSpock – one of the first members of Geovation, using the hub to build their business and validate what they are doing. We took an active role in helping them secure £3.5m in investment.
  • FATMAP who came to us in the summer of 2015 with 3 people needing somewhere to establish themselves and take their 3D ski maps to market. They went live with their product in December and went out to a web summit in Ireland. We worked closely with them on their pitch and presentation, and they ended up raising £1m of bridge finance.
  • FATMAP grew from 3 to 8 employees when they were with us.
  • 3 Crowd Cube successes – Stay Safe raised £400,000. OpenPlay raised £150,000. Store Mates is closing in on raising £150,000.
  • Around 20 companies this year that have grown by at least a couple of people since they have been at the Hub.

I caught up with Geovation Hub manager, Alex Wrottesley about Geovation, the Hub and the past year.

Alex Wrottesley

Alex Wrottesley

What is Geovation and what is the Geovation Hub?

Geovation is Ordnance Survey’s (OS) commitment to open innovation and the Geovation Hub, Clerkenwell, is how OS creates new models to work with other companies and organisations outside the business.

In our first year there are already a wide range of businesses using the hub. This includes large corporations, to SMEs to individuals starting out. Basically it is anyone with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship within geospatial data. Read More

3
Aug
2016
0

#GetOutside with some trig-bagging this summer

Worcestershire Beacon photo by #GetOutside champion Dan Grant

Worcestershire Beacon photo by #GetOutside champion Dan Grant

Hands up if you’re looking for some free family activities over the summer holidays? We thought so…how about a spot of trig bagging to get the family outside? This year we’ve been celebrating the 80th anniversary of the trig pillar, those concrete pillars that are often found at the top of hills and create a handy photo opportunity.

Once a key part of our surveying network, and since superseded by GNSS, they stand tall and mark the summit of many a walk. With around 6,000 still standing around Britain you stand a fair chance of spotting one when you’re out exploring, and you can spot them on your map as the small blue triangle with a dot in the centre. Read More

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