Help us shape future OS OpenData formats – take part in our trial

Calling all OS OpenData users!

Have you struggled to get to grips with GML? Have Shapefiles left you feeling positively un-shapely? Do you dream of a Dump file? Maybe you get giddy over a GeoPackage? Then you may want to take part in our OS OpenData trial that’s being announced at FOSS4G in London today…

Since the launch of OS OpenData in 2010, we have supplied our data in a GML and/or SHP format. Any open data we publish must include open source formats to meet open standards, and GML fits that bill. But over the years, the open data community have told us that they sometimes struggle to manipulate the data in GML and SHP. With such a varied user base of our data and a nation full of scenarios to tackle, we want to find a format which can work wonders for the masses.

We’ve been investigating exporting our data in a range of different formats. For this trial we’ve chosen nine OS OpenData products and, while we have tested internally, we would really like to have your feedback. Your feedback will help us assess the trial and decide whether to take the data formats any further.

The products

The products you can trial with different formats are OS Open Names, OS Terrain 50, OS Open Roads, OS Open Rivers, OS Open Map-Local, OS Open Greenspace, Code-Point Open, OS VectorMap District and Boundary-Line.

Regular OS OpenData users will notice that some of the formats are different. Some will enable you to access the whole of Great Britain in one file rather than in the smaller tiles you have used previously. We’d appreciate feedback on this too.

OS VectorMap District

Data format trial

Access the trial here by the 18 May 2018 deadline: http://data-format-trial-osonline.opendata.arcgis.com/

You will then be able to download any of the nine products listed above, which are available in GeoPackage, PostGIS Dump, Zipped CSV, GeoTIFF or ASCII Grid, depending on the product.

After you explore the product(s), we would greatly appreciate you completing a quick online survey for us. We want to know your thoughts on these trial formats, especially if it speeds up your processes, is more user friendly and/or would make you more likely to use OS data more regularly.

Thank you in advance for helping us improve the products you use.

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15 Responses

  1. Sameer


    “After you explore the product(s), we would greatly appreciate you completing a quick online survey for us.”

    Could you please advise how to go about doing this once I’ve tested theproduct?


  2. stephen black

    The survey is really poorly designed. There are to many single choice answers that do not represent an accurate picture. I used ArcGIS, QGiS, AutoCAD map3D and cadcorp to explore the data but was only able to pick one. There is no chance to explain the issues previously encountered and no chance to give other feedback as the survey finishes abruptly.

    1. Hi Stephen

      Sorry to hear that, I’ve passed your feedback on the survey along to the team. Do feel free to drop an email with any further feedback on the trial to pressoffice@os.uk and we’ll make sure that it gets to the right people.

      Thanks, Gemma

    1. Hi Stephen

      Thanks for your input. GeoJSON is another format that we are actively considering but haven’t made available as yet, we’ll update the blog to remove that as a current format.

      Many thanks

  3. Nick Hopton

    On your tick-the-box survey form OS OpenMap Local isn’t listed . This is in fact what I downloaded as a GeoPackage.

    1. Hi Nick

      Thanks for letting us know and sorry for the inconvenience. I’ll pass that along to the team to take a look at.

      Many thanks

      1. Nick Hopton

        It might also be worth mentioning that the OS OpenMap Local style files don’t work properly with the GeoPackage data. The style files look for fields that don’t exist in the data, for example a style file might be looking for a field called ‘CLASSIFICA’ when the correct field in the layer attribute table is called ‘classification.’ This just adds a bit of confusion to the testing process.

        Best, N.

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