17
Jul
2018
7

Join our OS Open Zoomstack trial

Following our OS OpenData formats trial, we’re continuing to work to improve access to our opendata offerings. Our team have developed OS Open Zoomstack which makes elements of our opendata available as one map in one file to be used for GIS, web, mobile or offline use.

You can try out OS Open Zoomstack over the next three months. All we ask is for your feedback to shape its development for potential wider release. We believe that this will improve access to OS data and help current and future users to use our data in new ways. The trial is also a fantastic opportunity to test how we approach the development of Open MasterMap recently announced by the Geospatial Commission. This is an important step on the Open MasterMap implementation project highlighting our commitment to working with developers and the geospatial community to improve accessibility and usability of OS data.

What is OS Open Zoomstack?

In a nutshell, it’s a comprehensive vector basemap from a national overview to street level detail. It’s supplied in a single file with styles to help you get started quickly.

The one file (available in three different formats and via an API) comes with styles, a simple data schema and guides to get you started. It’s easy to use and takes you from national to local in one scroll of the mouse or pinch of the screen.

We are making OS Open Zoomstack available in GeoPackage, PostGIS Export File, Vector Tiles (based on Mapbox’s open specification) and a Vector Tile API. It is highly customisable and can be used in apps, on websites and even offline, so covers most uses.

The primary aim of the trial is to test the zoomstack technology for providing improved accessibility to OS data. Today we have used existing OS OpenData products for simplicity of the trial, but the technology is equally applicable to other OS data and products, including OS MasterMap.

How can I take part in the trial?

We use OS Open Zoomstack in our own mapping applications and we’ve had positive feedback from partners who have tried it out, and now we want to open the trial up to more people.

Our trial is open for three months and we will contact you to gather feedback on your experience.

Visit this page to sign up.

What happens after the trial?

If you’ve been using OS Open Zoomstack and seen a real business benefit from it, let us know in the feedback. We may be able to provide some short-term support before we release a full version of OS Open Zoomstack.

How this fits with Open MasterMap

Following the Open MasterMap announcement, we want to reassure you that our approach will be through a series of iterative developments, co-designed with customers. Throughout the implementation of the Open MasterMap project we will be focusing on the accessibility, interoperability and discoverability of our data. We’re starting with the testing of OS Open Zoomstack, with the trial focusing on improved accessibility and usability of OS data. During the Open MasterMap project there will be lots of opportunities to engage in the process on a range of different aspects including data and APIs.

One of the main outcomes of opening OS MasterMap is to provide better access to our high-quality data and maps. We want to ensure that we deliver what customers want and to address the barriers identified through user research with start-ups and small businesses. These include pricing, licensing, ease of use and derived data.

It is important to us that people support our implementation activity and provide feedback on the developments. This will help us ensure that we deliver what customers want in alignment with the Open MasterMap announcement.

Find out more

Visit os.uk/zoomstack to find out more about how it can be used, view a demo, and see how you can get involved.

Hear more from Charley Glynn:

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3 Responses

  1. Rares Ciurezu

    Hi Charley,

    You mentioned you can browse to a location. That is great and straightforward(ish) for web maps for my understanding. My question to you is, how can we do it offline, especially while in GIS software. I mainly use QGIS. Eg. I want to zoom to Baker Street or Liverpool Lime Street Station.

    Now that QGIS 3.2 no longer has the Zoom2Postcode plugin, I see Zoomstack fixing the issue above even better. Please correct me if I am wrong in assuming this is possible using Zoomstack.

    Many thanks,
    Rares

    1. Hi Rares

      I just checked this with Charley and he said that in the video he’s talking about our demo application which has the functionality to ‘fly to’ different locations. This however, is a feature of the mapping library and not of OS Open Zoomstack. Zoomstack is a vector dataset. To search locations, you need to use the functionality within your software. One option in QGIS 3 is a plugin called ‘OSM place search’. Hope that helps.

      Many thanks
      Gemma

    2. Tim Martin

      Hi Rares

      As you asked about QGIS you could look at the Lutra Consulting Discovery plugin (https://www.lutraconsulting.co.uk/products/discovery/) which can search datasets like OS OpenNames which contains streets, postcodes and towns etc. The plugin expects your data to be in PostGIS to make the query which might not meet your current architecture. However I believe they were thinking of supporting SQLite and FileGDB.

      Hope that helps

      Tim

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