OS Open Zoomstack trial so far

Having launched our OS Open Zoomstack trial three weeks ago, we thought now is a good time to reflect on feedback and to offer you some more examples demonstrating how the new dataset can be utilised.

Positive response

We have been overwhelmed with the response and all the positive feedback for this trial. We have received a multitude of messages via Twitter and have also been answering questions via email. Early users of OS Open Zoomstack have called it a game-changer, impressive, inspiring and a real time saver. The GeoPackage and Vector Tiles have proven particularly popular, and these formats seem to be a great way to improve the accessibility and usability of our geographic data.

We have had over 400 people sign up. This has translated into 800+ data downloads and 450,000+ vector tiles being served via our trial API!

ESRI UK has made the Vector Tiles easily accessible on the ArcGIS platform, Mapbox has shared our launch and we have had some fantastic reviews and helpful posts from developers.

How you can use OS Open Zoomstack

We use it ourselves to create web and mobile map applications (mostly the Light style as that acts as a clean and clear basemap). You can see a great example here highlighting Boundary-Line data.

Our GeoDataViz team recently used the Vector Tiles to create an interactive story map showing the 10 biggest parks in Great Britain and they have recently been looking at Kepler.gl from Uber.

The engineering team at Uber recently released Kepler.gl, their new open source web-based application for visualising large-scale geographic data sets. With visualisation and geo at the forefront of what we do here in the GeoDataViz team, we thought we’d take a closer look.

By default, Kepler uses OpenStreetMap as its basemap. However, if you have a Mapbox account, you can access any data or style you have available on the platform.

This means if you download the OS Open Zoomstack Vector Tiles (MBTiles), you can use this as your basemap. All you need to do is change the map source which you can access as shown below.

From here you need to add your Mapbox access token and style of choice which can all be accessed from your Mapbox account.

Next you can load in other data layers and create some cool and insightful data visualisations!

The above animation was made using road accident data from data.gov.uk and depicts the location of weekend road accidents by time of day for 2016. Each point is sized according to the amount of causalities per accident.

There are many options for creating different types of data visualisations within Kepler, and each can be made using OS Open Zoomstack.

How to get involved

If you haven’t already, then please sign up in order to access the data downloads and API. We will be sending out questionnaires to hear about your experiences and help us capture feedback. In the meantime, please continue to share with us via social media. If you have any questions, you can email them directly to the team via cartodesign@os.uk.

We would like to thank everyone for their interest and feedback so far and look forward to seeing OS Open Zoomstack put to new and interesting uses.

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