21
Mar
2017
0

How to map a new country?

March 24 sees the UK film release of Lost City of Z. It chronicles the South American adventures of British explorer, cartographer and archaeologist Lt Colonel Percy Fawcett. I joined a panel discussion in London last week, along with historian Dan Snow and Lost City of Z author David Grann, discussing how Percy would have explored and mapped a new land. Catch up on the podcast here.

Dan, David and Mark

A member of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), Percy Fawcett first arrived in South American in 1906 to survey and map an area of jungle lying on the Brazil and Bolivian border. The border between the two countries was not fully mapped and it was agreed that an RGS survey and map would be accepted as an impartial representation of the border. Today we would complete this activity using satellite systems and sophisticated surveying technology, which obviously wasn’t available back then. So, how would Percy and his team have gone about making maps? Read More

15
Mar
2017
0

7 fantastic things about #TrigPillar80

When we decided to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the trig pillar last year, we had no idea how strongly so many of you felt about the (mostly) concrete pillars dotted around Britain. We’ve had over 1,200 Instagram posts, uncovered dozens of trig baggers, seen Rob Woodall complete his 13-year mission to bag all 6,190 and had hundreds of people, magazines and websites share stories throughout the year.

With 18 April fast-approaching, #TrigPillar80 is drawing to a close, and #TrigPillar81 doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. So, huge thanks to everyone who took part and keep sharing your trig pillar love with us. Here are 7 fantastic things about trig pillars in case you missed all of the celebrations this year: Read More

13
Mar
2017
0

Keep one step ahead at GEO Business 2017 – the fastest growing geospatial event in the industry

Guest blog by Geo Business

Join over 3,000 visitors from more than 50 countries at the highly anticipated and action-packed GEO Business event, due to take place at the Business Design Centre in London from 23-25 May.

Not only are the exhibition, associated meetings and commercial workshops free to attend, but the conference delegate fee has been kept to an absolute minimum from just £30* per day. Accessible for all, GEO Business encourages knowledge transfer and networking keeping visitor’s one step ahead in this fast moving industry.

Register online today and be a part of:

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9
Mar
2017
2

What lies below? Can you help create international standards?

Guest blog by Andy Ryan, Senior Technical Product Manager

gv3When I go somewhere new, I usually look up a map (OS of course) before I go. I’m not quite sure why I do, but it’s a habit of mine which my children tease me about. In the world of business, when location is involved then you probably do the same, often without realising it. Using a sat nav to route a delivery van, ascertaining if a house you want to buy is on a flood plain, reviewing a site for a new development, or planning some underground pipe replacement all involve ‘maps’. But what if the map was blank or only partially complete, or you had to ask lots of other different people to send you bits of information that you had to stick together and even then you were not quite sure if it was complete?

When you need to work under the ground this is how it can feel. Lots of organisations have information, but it can be hard to share the information quickly and to common standards. This creates delays, unanticipated disruptions, extra costs and danger to those working in these areas. This is a widely recognised problem and the direct costs to the UK of accidental damage to utilities alone has been estimated at £150 million, with associated indirect costs, such as traffic disruption, of ten times this*. If other potential costs or savings are factored in, for example assessing the potential of brownfield sites, identifying infrastructure at risk from subsidence or tree roots, then the benefits of a map that includes what lies below ground increases significantly. The Treasury estimate that greater cross-sector collaboration with infrastructure networks across GB could save the economy £3 billion#Read More

7
Mar
2017
0

Boundary-Line statement

Following a number of queries about our Boundary-Line OS OpenData product, please read our statement.

Boundary-Line is an OS OpenData product which we release under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Our production cycle for Boundary-Line sees us release updates in May and October each year.

The primary purpose of Boundary-Line is to show the current operative administrative and voting boundaries within Great Britain.  New boundaries are determined in accordance with Statutory Instruments and Community Governance Orders, which typically come into effect when elections are held (usually in May).  Our product update cycle for the May release aligns with the dates that the changes to electoral and administrative boundaries become operative.

To maintain and update Boundary-Line, we need to process data received at different times, from many third parties, in differing formats within the production cycle. If we released Boundary-Line data ahead of schedule, the data would not have the benefit of going through the production processes which are in place to ensure that the data is accurate and reflects all of the available changes to the boundaries that we receive from local authorities. Read More

6
Mar
2017
3

Surveying the Colonsay Whale

It’s not every day that we add a whale to our maps, but surveyor Shaun McGrath did recently…

I first became aware of the Colonsay Whale some time after a visit to the Isle of Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides last year, on a particularly fine day trip to carry out some survey work. It’s a long day as the ferry sets off around 9.30 am from Islay where I was working on detached duty and returns around 7.30 pm. I had plenty of time to get the survey work done and it left me a little spare time to explore the island’s fine sandy beaches before the return ferry. I visited Kiloran Bay in the north, as recommended by the occupants of a house I had surveyed earlier that day. They also said that there was an even finer beach further north, but it was only accessible by foot and would have added a couple of hours to my trip – and made me miss the ferry.

Kiloran Bay captured by Shaun

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2
Mar
2017
3

Enter the Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition 2017

A fantastic way to inspire a love of cartography at an early age, have you heard of the  Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition 2017? Barbara was a leading cartographer whose work related to children. In her memory, the International Cartographic Association holds a biennial competition.

2015 overall winner: The world in our hands by Pan Sin Yi (aged 15)

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