21
Nov
2017
0

£185,000 available to develop, launch and scale greener, smarter Geovation ventures

Guest blog by Niraj Saraf, Urban Innovation Lead, Innovate UK

Innovate UK’s mission is to help the UK economy grow by inspiring and supporting pioneering UK businesses to create the industries of the future. We do this through funding risky innovation projects and through connecting innovators to opportunities and resources, and my role within the organisation is very much about helping businesses develop new solutions to the complex challenges facing cities.

Like Ordnance Survey and Geovation, we recognise that good ideas and data to help cities overcome their challenges do not exist solely in one organisation, but in many different places. This is why we are very pleased to be collaborating with Geovation to seek ideas that can help give us smarter, greener communities. Read More

20
Nov
2017
0

Locating Glasgow as a world-leading smart city

We’ve been working with Glasgow City Council (GCC) since 2013, supporting their journey to become a world-leading smart city following funding through Innovate UK. Throughout, we’ve been demonstrating the power of location data in the technologies and decision-making needed to create a smart city. Our data, provided through the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) has played an integral role in delivering services to both citizens and business, including during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

To build a truly smart city, Glasgow needed to maximise the value of data and make it widely available. GCC identified over 1,000 datasets which it wanted to release to support innovators, SMEs and partners delivering smart solutions. Working together with GCC to make this happen not only supported Glasgow’s smart city ambitions, but also shaped how OS data has become more usable, more open and more accessible. The early work with GCC has also enabled greater data sharing to support smart city development across Great Britain. Read More

16
Nov
2017
2

From Argentina to New Zealand – it’s not just Brits who are buying from the OS shop

Whether it’s people buying the essential maps and outdoor equipment to help them enjoy the great outdoors, or searching for the perfect gift, our online store is attracting shoppers from around the world. The shop, which opened in 1999, has sold items to people in 40 countries, including Panama, Madagascar, Mexico, Sierra Leone and Guatemala. That’s around 20% of the countries around the world!

The green shading denotes the countries who have bought from the OS shop this year

With Black Friday coming up and a busy Christmas period around the corner, we wonder if we can clock up a few more countries? The top five countries buying from the OS shop so far are: Read More

15
Nov
2017
1

Sharing geospatial expertise in Tanzania

Ordnance Survey International (OSI) is working with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and the World Bank to build the geospatial capacity of Tanzania. You can find out more about it in our recent news release.

We recently held two high-level geospatial policy seminars to explore the benefits and nature of national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI) policies. These seminars brought together senior delegates from across government departments in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar to consider the particular cross-government challenges facing them. Disaster response, revenue generation and environmental management are three examples that would benefit from cross-cutting geospatial policies. In both seminars, principles to underpin policies were determined and agreed by delegates. Most importantly all attendees want NSDI policies and intend to work together to help write them.

Training in Zanzibar

Read More

9
Nov
2017
0

Is this the most unusual way of showing support for a team ever?

Following on from the recent ‘Sue x’ field carving mystery, we spotted letters almost as long as the Anfield pitch spelling ‘LFC’ spotted on Shropshire hillside – but who has done it? 

Our Flying Unit captures aerial imagery of over 50,000 square kilometres of the country each season. From the Isles of Scilly to Shetland, the team will capture over 140,000 aerial images each year, using the 196-megapixel cameras on-board the planes. And sometimes their pictures reveal something strange on the landscape…

Such as earlier this week, when flying over Shropshire, Andrew Tyrrell, a Remote Sensing Surveyor and Air Camera Operator, noticed ‘LFC’ carved into the scrub on the north side of Titterstone Clee Hill (SO588787), and took a picture. Intrigued by who or why someone would do such a thing and the effort required in such a remote location, he sent the image back to head office for analysis.

Read More

9
Nov
2017
4

Launching the GeoDataViz Toolkit

We mentioned in a previous post that we’ve been developing a toolkit of assets and resources and we are pleased to say that v0.1 is now available.

The GeoDataViz Toolkit is a set of resources that will help you communicate your data effectively through the design of compelling visuals.

What is in the toolkit?

Basemaps – Often referred to as a contextual or backdrop map, a basemap contains reference information used to both orient the map and add context to any data that is overlaid. We are providing information about the OS range of basemap styles, the colour values for each and some best practice guidance.

One of our range of OS basemap styles (Road – we also have Outdoor, Light and Night) Read More

7
Nov
2017
1

Unique geographic keys – linking people to places

By Iain Goodwin, OS Relationship Manager across all government sectors 

At a time when there’s an appetite for making better use of data to improve services, I’ve been thinking…

If we recognise the value of the output (a map as an evidence base to underpin decision making), what can be done to improve the input (the data)?

The answer, I believe, is unique geographic keys.

Data visualisation is absolutely crucial in helping public sector organisations work smarter and underpinning policy making. It helps to make sense of population characteristics, understand the needs of communities, and target resources effectively.

Examples of individual unique keys are scattered across the public sector: Healthcare has the NHS Number. HMRC has the National Insurance Number. The DVLA links us to our vehicle registrations with a Unique Driver Licence Number. But these organisations are concerned with their own characteristics. So, how can departments ensure these unique keys describe the same people?

The answer is to link them to the unique geographic keys that describe places. And in most cases, this will be property. Unlike unique keys for citizens, there is one version of the truth for property – the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN). Read More

5
Nov
2017
0

OS data being used to predict coastal change in Scotland

Sunny day? Head to the coast to enjoy the British beaches. Need to de-stress? Head to the coast and have a walk, listen to the waves crashing and smelling the sea air. Picturing your perfect holiday home? Chances are it’s on the coast. It’s safe to say that most Britons are fans of the coast and there’s a good chance that you’re aware of coastal change to some degree. Whether it’s investment in coastal defences, cliff falls or erosion impacting landowners, coastal change often hits the news.

Great Britain has tens of thousands of kilometres of coastline, which is a key resource and home to communities, businesses and infrastructure – as well as being a great place to holiday. Looking at Scotland, around 20% of the population live within 1km of the coast, that’s around 1 million people. Yet 19% of the coast is erodible or ‘soft’.

What does that mean for the coast? According to Dynamic Coast it means that thousands of assets are at risk. Within just 50m of the Scottish coast lie 34,000 buildings, of which 72% are residential properties. You also have 1,300km of roads, 100km of rail networks and 600 natural heritage sites. Read More

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