Mapping on the Edge

After months of planning the British Cartographic Society (BCS) and the Society of Cartographers (SoC) joint conference finally took place this month. Through my new role as program chair to the BCS it’s my role to organise and deliver the conference. No pressure then. Paul Naylor, Carto Design team.

Called Mapping on the Edge, the event promised an inspirational collection of presentations and workshops, the annual BCS awards ceremony and a corporate members exhibition. As sponsors, we were bold in our presence at the exhibition, displaying OS Maps using our impressive collection of trig pillars.


Mapping the Edge 2016. Photo by Martin Lubikowski

Events got underway with a free full-day workshop hosted and sponsored by ESRI. The workshop, Better Mapping with ArcGIS was hosted by and Ken Field from ESRI with a focus on how to create high quality cartography within ArcGIS. Ken also looked at how to get the best out of ArcGIS Desktop and Online, as well as some of the new tool and technique offerings such as vector tiles and 3D.

In the evening, Tom Harper from the British Library gave an excellent presentation on Maps in the 20th Century. It coincided with the British Library’s upcoming exhibition showcasing the 20th century through cartography. The exhibition runs from 4 November 2016 to 1 March 2017 and if you get a chance I thoroughly recommend you visit.

The main conference kicked off the following day, with two full days of presentations and workshops to come. The room was packed full of map enthusiasts who were treated to an excellent line-up of presenters, with topics covering all aspects of map-making. This included OS tag team Jim Goldsmith and Mark Wolstenholme giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the recent rebranding exercise for our OS Explorer and OS Landranger paper map products.

There was also a fantastic range of workshops on offer with something for everyone. Our own Charley Glynn hosted a workshop walking attendees through using Mapbox Studio to create a map. He also managed to blow up the hotel projector!

The BCS Awards night


Ben Scott Robinson receiving the BCS Avenza Award for OS Maps. Photo by Martin Lubikowski

The Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony saw OS Maps deservedly win the Avenza Award for best entry in electronic mapping. This is a credit to the hard work and long hours put in by the team to deliver such a quality, easy-to-use and well-designed product. Our Head of Mobile, Ben Scott Robinson, was on hand to receive the trophy.

Also presented was the OS OpenData Award. This annual award rewards excellent use of our OS OpenData products, and was won this year by Heikki Vesanto for his entry Every Person in Scotland Mapped. We also highly commended a fantastic map graphic by Ken Field which depicted the varying range of football pitch sizes throughout the English football leagues.


OS OpenData Award winner Every Person in Scotland Mapped by Heikki Vesanto

The conference was a huge success and work has begun already on next year’s conference. If you would like to know more about either society, the event itself or anything else map-related then feel free to get in touch with our Cartographic Design team: cartodesign@os.uk




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name* :

Email* :