British Cartographic Society Symposium 2013

Last month Paul in our Cartographic Design team attended the British Cartographic Society’s (BCS) Annual Symposium entitled Today, Tomorrow and Beyond. 2013 celebrates 50 years of the BCS and to celebrate the symposium was once again held in Leicestershire where the first symposium was held back in 1964. Find out what happened at the event.

The symposium saw a number of cartographic professionals and enthusiasts come together to hear and participate in a range of presentations and workshops. The symposium was officially opened by current President Peter Jones. As part of his opening speech he revealed this year’s ice breaker which was provided by us at Ordnance Survey. The ice breaker was called the The Naked Landscape and involved the identification of 25 different locations using 1:25 000 mapping which had the text and some selected features removed. The prize for winning was a prestigious Ordnance Survey Custom Made map.

Wednesday was the highlight of the symposium and opened with an excellent presentation session on Mapping Technologies for Tomorrow with presentations from Leica Geosystems, United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and the UK Hydrographic Office, before moving on to workshops. Paul attended Mapping the Swiss Way led by ESRI Switzerland where they were given a short insight into how the Swiss National Mapping Agency (swisstopo) is using ArcGIS to produce their new 1:25 000 national mapping series.

Our own Ian Holt also gave a very popular workshop on open data where he gave an introductory hands-on practical to accessing and using public open data.

After lunch the next presentation session began on Mapping, Databases and Standards where we heard presentations from Star-Apic, Technic’s Group and The GeoInformation Group. Next came the highlight of the symposium where, for what is believed to be the first time ever, the heads of the five British Mapping and Charting agencies came together to discuss the future of mapping.

Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, opened the keynote presentations with an excellent talk on Ordnance Survey’s past, present and future before revealing a special birthday present to the BCS – a 3 month summer internship with the Ordnance Survey Cartographic Design team.

Paul Hancock, Director at the Defence Geographic Centre, then gave a presentation on 50 years of geographic support to theUK’s armed forces before John Wilkinson, Chief Executive at Land and Property Services OSNI, took to the stage to give a presentation on their past, present and future.

After a quick break the keynote session resumed with a presentation from Ian Moncrieff CBE, BA, Chief Executive at the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office charting the history of the organisation from Sextant to Satnav. Professor John Ludden, Executive Director at the British Geologial Survey closed the keynote session with his presentation The Geological Model for tomorrow’s World. The five heads then agreed to sit on a panel discussion where they answered a range of questions from the audience.

Wednesday closed with a black tie gala dinner and the awarding of the BCS Awards which includes our own OS OpenData Award.

This year’s award went to Parellel and Ashley Clough for his entry ‘OS OpenData backgrounds and overlays for interactive UKhealthcare visualisation’. More details can be found here.

Thursday began with another excellent session of presentations on Technology and Map Design where we were treated to talks from Cadcorp, SIL International, Glasgow School of Art’s Institute for Innovation Design and Ordnance Survey where Paul gave a presentation on our Cartographic Design Principles and how these are being released to help promote good map design.

After a quick break the second workshops began. Paul attended an excellent workshop led by Claire Seldon at Steer Davies Gleave where attendees were introduced to the editing capabilities of OpenStreetMap and ways to interact and use the data.

After lunch the last presentation session began on Mapping for the Challenges of Tomorrow where we heard presentations from Newgrove, British Antartic Survey, Jason Peters from Posthumous Plans and the ThéMA Research Unit.

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