GeoTech masterclass: GeoDataViz

GeoTech masterclasses are a popular series of events organised by the team at our Geovation Hub in Clerkenwell Green, London. These workshops are not to be missed and book up quickly and it was on a chilly November evening that the Hub played host to the GeoDataViz (GDV) team.

Kicking off the session was Charley Glynn who gave an overview of the team and the important role we play within OS. Our role involves making sense of complex data through compelling visuals and we do that through a number of different techniques and using a range of software.

To emphasise this Charley took us on a journey through some of our recent work including our visuals for the CityVerve project and OS Custom Made. You can find out more about our team and the type of work we do here.

Next up was Paul Naylor who introduced the new GeoDataViz toolkit, a set of assets and resources that can help with communicating data effectively through the design of compelling and informative visuals.

What is in the toolkit?

Basemaps – Information about the OS range of basemap styles, the colour values for each and some best practice guidance.

Colours – A recommended set of colour palettes, information on how to apply colour to your visualisations and links to other useful colour resources.

Symbols – A set of OS map symbols (in SVG format), information on how to use symbols effectively and links to other useful map symbol resources.

Visual deconstructions – Our own visual deconstructions and template so that you can create and share your own. We introduced this new concept back in May and would love to see it being used to share the design details of maps and data visualisations more widely.

Cartographic stylesheets – Stylesheets for use with OS data products.

Cartographic design principles – A list of our cartographic design principles to promote good map design.

We’d love to see the toolkit in action and are also keen to hear your thoughts about any extra content you’d like to see added. You can contact us by replying below or by emailing cartodesign@os.uk

We then took a deeper look at the cartographic design principles highlighting the importance in considering these when making maps or data visualisations. These principles have proved really popular and are a great resource to help budding cartographers and data visualisation enthusiasts.

Next up was the hands-on workshop which was introduced by Charley and focussed on various different thematic mapping techniques.

Using a combination of QGIS and Mapbox Studio those attending were able to explore a range of visualisation techniques for displaying point data which included:

– Dot density map
– Proportional symbol map
– Choropleth map
– Hexbin map
– 3D hexbin map

The workshop was very well received and we have already had some excellent feedback including this tweet from Fakhar Khalid:

In fact this event has proved so popular we are looking at repeating this or similar events throughout 2018 so please keep a lookout for further information.

If you’d like to access the workbook and have a go at undertaking the workshop then you can do so here. As we do more workshops in the future they will be added to our toolkit.

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