Unveiled today – London like you’ve never seen it before – thanks to an OS treasure trove

Guest blog by David Roberts, Ordnance Survey’s Land and Property Strategic Relationship Manager 

The tens of thousands of pieces of geographical data and knowledge about London, which OS capture every year, have been brought to life in a unique way. The largest ever model of London, commissioned by New London Architecture and sponsored by OS, has been unveiled today on the London Stand at MIPIM, the annual get together of the most influential international property players in the world in the most elegant of French locations – Cannes.

Model pictured at Pipers' Ashford offices

Model pictured at Pipers’ Ashford offices

Using a whole raft of OS ‘height and footprint’ digital, building data, The New London Model illustrates the evolution of the capital representing more than £100 billion of current and future development and showing the massive change in the London skyline. Major developments and infrastructure – from Old Oak Common in the west to the Royal Docks in the east, Nine Elms in the south to King’s Cross and the site of London’s 2012 Olympics in the north. They are all there. Transport infrastructure is showcased too, including Crossrail and the upgrade of London Bridge Station, which are under construction, and future projects such as Crossrail 2 and High Speed 2.

And what a location – MIPIM – to unveil the panorama. Here this week more than 20,000 high flyers from development and architecture get to meet. Three thousand CEO’s and Chairmen from 93 different countries won’t fail to miss this extraordinary interpretation of London vistas and the inspiring development which has happened in the Capital in recent times.

It has taken four months to build with OS data brought to life faithfully by the model makers Pipers using state of the art technology, 3D printing and laser cutting. The model itself has a perimeter of 32 metres made up of more than 60 intricate, and complex interlocking pieces. On its return from its French fanfare launch more will be added at its permanent home the New London Architecture (NLA) galleries at The Building Centre in Store Street, London.

Working on the 3D models

Working on the 3D models

An interactive experience involving projection systems, son et lumiere displays, and one touch, tablet technology will bring London’s development story to life. Anything that can be mapped or animated can be overlaid onto the physical model – from underground lines, geographic areas or features, historic growth and boundaries, people movements and clusters of buildings.

Some of the 3D models

Some of the 3D models

Something as visual and striking as this has underlined for me how the use of OS  information and solutions can underpin the work of developers, the insurance and legal industries as well as transport planners.

OS is driving several exciting advances in 3D and the built environment right now and the opportunity for us to include our premier mapping, building heights and imagery data into the new model has demonstrated how we can excite the best designers in the property community and deliver value for money with their new designs.

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