OS hospital bay taking shape

7 months ago we announced Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity as our corporate charity. We’ve been busy raising money and so far, our total is £8,943.03!

As well as our #charitytuesday events, cake sales and football sweepstakes (mentioned in our previous blog), we have had a few big events which have considerably contributed to our total that we’d like to shout about.

Off the Scale’s 2018 annual gala at HQ.

Our in-house choir Off the Scale held its incredible annual Gala on 9th November. This time around the event raised over £1,178, so we’d like to thank the amazing singers involved and those who came along to enjoy the evening.

Back in July, our OS Runners club got involved in the 2018 Conti Thunder Run by running as many 10km laps as possible in 24 hours! They raised a staggering £3,000+ and we are so impressed by their dedication.

OS Runners club at the 2018 Conti Thunder Run.

Our fundraising target is to reach £25,000 over 24 months. If we meet this, the government will match it and bring the total to £50,000.

By raising money for our corporate charity, we’re helping raise vital funds for Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity’s emergency and trauma department appeal. The innovative facility will include an eight-bed observation area, 11 glass-fronted and sound proofed cubicles and x-ray facilities. It will also include a dedicated reception, triage and waiting area for young patients, access to resuscitation facilities via a new link corridor, a nurse practitioner room and a safe room for children with mental health problems.

£50,000 will provide one fully equipped assessment bay in this new unit, so we are more determined than ever to meet our target. In July, a few members of our business centre team got to see the shell of the assessment bay we are funding.

The builders have been working hard since July, so much so that when we were invited back for a tour of the unit and our bay on 21st November, we didn’t even need high vis or hard hat!

The below photo is a stark contrast to the one above. The progress that has been made is astounding, and we’re honoured to be a part of it.

Teena and Larraine from our business centre team revisited.

Follow Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity on Twitter to stay up-to-date with their progress and follow us for fundraising updates.

Tutorial – visualising data in Tableau with the RNLI

So far, we have looked at visualising Royal National Lifeboat Institute and Ordnance Survey data using QGIS and Kepler software. In this, our third technical blog, we will be using Tableau.

Tableau is a data visualisation software that is used for creating a wide range of different visualisation to interactively present data and obtain insights. It has a very intuitive user interface and you don’t need any coding knowledge to work with it. For this tutorial we will be using Tableau Public which can be downloaded here.

We will be creating a spider map or origin-destination map that shows paths between our origins (RNLI stations) and destinations (call-outs). All the data you will need for this tutorial can be found here.

Within this data folder there is a CSV file called tableau_finished which was created using a combination of the RNLI_Return_of_Service_20082006.csv and RNLI_Lifeboat_Station_Locations.csv. Read More


Tutorial – visualising data in Kepler with the RNLI

On 28 February 1823, Sir William Hillary made an impassioned appeal to the nation, calling for a service dedicated to saving lives at sea. That service was to become the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Did you know?

  • There are 238 lifeboat stations around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands.
  • Tower Lifeboat Station on the River Thames in London is the RNLI’s busiest.
  • There are 349 lifeboats in the RNLI fleet.
  • The RNLI have 4,966 volunteers.
  • It cost £176.5m to run the RNLI in 2017.

Last week we looked at using QGIS to create some visualisations using data from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Ordnance Survey. This week we will be taking the same datasets and working with them within Kepler, Uber’s new open source geospatial analysis tool.


Kepler is great for creating a range of different visualisations easily and quickly, and to begin with we are going to look at creating a visualisation depicting where in the UK most emergency call-outs are made. To do this we will need to download the RNLI Return of Service data.

Read More


Meet the team: Lisa Allen

Continuing our series to introduce you to the amazing individuals within OS and showcase the variety of work we do, meet Lisa Allen. While Lisa is relatively new to OS, she has already made her mark. Here, she gives us an insight into her role in the OS Data Office and how she gives our data a voice…

How long have you worked for OS?

I am a newcomer to OS as I started in April this year. Before I joined I worked across Government on projects such as the Defra Open Data challenge and preparation for the Data Protection Act 2018.

What is your role?

I am the Head of Data Management and Requirements. Being part of the new data office and working for OS’s first Chief Data Officer Caroline Bellamy was an exciting prospect I could not turn down!

Read More


Tutorial – visualising data in QGIS with the RNLI

In an emergency the importance of location is critical. Knowing the precise whereabouts of an incident can be the difference between life and death.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are the charity that saves lives at sea. Responsible for saving over 140,000 lives since their formation in 1824 they work with a dedicated team of volunteers, staff and community fundraisers. They allow us to enjoy our shorelines and water, safe in the knowledge that in an emergency they will be there to assist us.

There is a lot of data behind the lifesaving and in 2017 RNLI teamed up with ESRI to create an open data portal to help share some of this data.

Find out how to create a data visualisation like this using QGIS

Read More


OS women and the Allied war effort 

We’re proud of our long heritage at Ordnance Survey (OS) and that our teams contributed to the war efforts in the 20th Century. We have a memorial at head office commemorating the 123 people who lost their lives from OS during both world wars and gather each year to remember them. We supported the war efforts in many ways, including printing 33 million maps to show trench positions during World War One.  

Commemorative panels on display at our Southampton head office, created by Ellis Martin

What you may not know is that in 1917-18, 46 women from the Overseas Branch of Ordnance Survey crossed the channel and arrived at the frontline to help set up a map making factory.    Read More


OS Open Zoomstack workshops – book your place

By popular demand, our Geovation team will be delivering another series of geotech workshops across Great Britain. This time, they’re focusing the sessions on OS Open Zoomstack to help you embed OS Maps into your web, mobile and desktop application.

OS Open Zoomstack

We launched OS Open Zoomstack as a trial in July and over 900 people signed up to take part. We’ve seen over 1,100 downloads of the Vector Tiles, 900+ for GeoPackage and over 400 downloads of the PostGIS Export File. It’s been fantastic seeing OS Open Zoomstack being used, from building an interactive map in a day with Axis Maps to supporting a BBC article on rental prices across Britain and enhancing Pocket Pal’s mapping. Read More

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