14
Jul
2020
0

Ordnance Survey’s cartographic house styles

Ordnance Survey has a rich cartographic history – we have been mapping the Great British landscape for 229 years! From navigating the countryside on foot to helping utility companies manage and track their assets underfoot, our maps offer a range of functions. As a result, our cartographers make lots of intricate design decisions to ensure that our maps meet the needs of each of our different users.

Our paper maps (and their digital raster data equivalents) carry their own beautiful cartography which is well established and well understood. A great example of this is our OS Explorer Maps. For many, these maps have a sentimental or nostalgic value – they can evoke memories of adventure and can connect the map reader to locations. Cartography is a powerful form of visual communication. Read More

9
Jul
2020
0

Greenspace during Covid-19

As we’re sure you know from your own experience of lockdown, the availability of greenspaces has become even more important throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. With our comprehensive data, we’ve been able to support work identifying them for business and government use as well as for the public to ensure they can get outside safely.

In this blog, we’ll look at 3 different uses; Office of National Statistics (ONS) and household access to greenspace, Fields in Trust’s Green Space Index and within our own OS Maps greenspace layer.
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7
Jul
2020
2

The benefits of vector tiles

Fast, customisable, versatile web maps

Web mapping has come a long way since the first map server was built in 1993 at the famed Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Since then, users have come to expect intuitive, beautiful and instant maps on their desktop and mobile devices.

Why tiles?

The typical modern map user accesses map data on devices that usually don’t have the storage capacity for high resolution maps of the entire world. Instead, apps and websites show mapping data that is served as needed over the web.

When a web map is loaded, it is set to a zoom level and extent, which defines the level of detail and the area that will be visible in the viewer. A map server sends grid sections of the map, called “tiles”, to the user, where they are arranged in the right configuration to appear as a map. As the user pans and zoom in and out, requests for the correct tiles are sent, and the response is used to update the screen. Read More

2
Jul
2020
2

New ways to access, share and innovate with OS data

The Geospatial Commission announced the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) in April, a contract which will see OS helping to generate significant economic value to the UK economy over the next 10 years. We’ve been working hard to ensure the first releases of new data, access and freedoms under the PSGA would be ready to deliver to customers on 1 July. We caught up with Chris Chambers, Head of PSGA at OS, to find out more and follow up on his last blog.

Chris, we’ve had public sector contracts before, what makes this different?

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24
Jun
2020
6

Identifiers, the key to unlock your data

What numbers identify you and your belongings? Your National Insurance number? Your NHS number? Your Tesco Clubcard? Your postcode? Your number plate on your car? We are all used to unique letters and numbers to identify us in our daily life. At OS we also use a series of unique numbers and letters, called identifiers, in our location data, from buildings to streets to bridges.

We’ve been working to make more OS data open, including identifiers. Our data can then be used with other data held by local/central government and commercial organisations. With the identifiers to give a geospatial context, those combined datasets become useful information to make efficient decisions.

But what are identifiers?

Read More

17
Jun
2020
1

Thanks for taking part in our OS Data Hub trial

Since last autumn we’ve been asking people to trial our new OS Data Hub and our new APIs. A big thank-you to everyone who took part, we’ve had over 700 people sign up for the trial, use our APIs and download data. Since October last year we’ve seen:

  • 14,448 OS OpenData downloads
  • 15.5 million map tile requests for our OS Maps API
  • 1.5 million OS Features API requests
  • 1,464 API Projects created

All of this has helped us to shape the OS Data Hub and APIs through customer testing and feedback. We’ve already seen some innovative uses of our APIs, including a community support tool for people shielding from Coronavirus and stunning 3D visualisations of the Scottish Highlands. We look forward to seeing more creative applications in the near future. Read More

10
Jun
2020
1

All about OS MasterMap Topography Layer

Update: 1 July 2020, OS APIs now live and available via our OS Data Hub, sign up here

As Great Britain’s national mapping agency, we are responsible for keeping accurate, up-to-date location data and maps of GB for use by the private, public and third sectors.

We map GB’s topography, also known as “the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area” (Oxford). Every day a team of surveyors, pilots and analysts explore the country to discover changes to the topography and in doing so, take measurements and record these changes in our database.

After much processing and organising, we make this available as the most detailed, current and comprehensive geographic dataset of GB: OS MasterMap Topography Layer. Read More

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