We’ve had such a great response to the trial and received a huge amount of feedback from the users, that we’re going to invest in making OS Open Zoomstack a supported product.
For both the downloads and the API we’ll be developing Alpha versions and continue to make changes based on your feedback. We’ll be doing an alpha release shortly for the various downloads. We’ll also continue supporting the API, and will update this with the new data from the Alpha while we plan the release of a fully supported version in the future. Please note that this may involve changes in the API URL at a minimum.
At this point we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us to make this exciting step!
Latest stats from the trial
Since we started the trial back in July, more than 900 people have signed up to take part. 1,171 people have downloaded the MBTiles (Vector Tiles), 931 have downloaded the GeoPackage and there have been 422 downloads of the PostGIS Export File.
We have continued to receive great feedback, both positive and constructive, and we have started to see some really great uses of the data. When the BBC ran a story on rent and affordability in Great Britain, they debuted a brand new interactive map made with OS Open Zoomstack (see image above). Europa Technologies have recently launched a new Vector Tile Service, making great use of the new dataset, and offering their customers a slick new mapping experience.
In one of our recent polls, 100% of respondents told us that they have the need to link and visualise third-party datasets, with 75% suggesting it is extremely important. Tim Manners from our Labs team has created a great example of how to do just that.
Style your maps based on data properties
Having built the Boundary-Line demonstrator using vector tiles – the Labs team decided to create a simple demo showing how users can style some of this spatial data based on its properties. The basic premise of the demo was to style the Westminster Constituency boundary polygons using a data expression based on the associated Member party.
In order to get the Member party information – Labs made use of the UK Parliament – Members’ Names Data Platform (an API which can be used to query an XML [or JSON] list of Members who meet the set of criteria supplied). For the purposes of the demo – the following query was used in order to return a list all the Members in the House of Commons (along with their party and represented constituency): https://data.parliament.uk/membersdataplatform/services/mnis/members/query/House=Commons/
Linking the data
The common value between the Boundary-Line polygons and Members API request was the constituency name. By matching the names together – it was possible to associate the information returned from the data platform with that in the boundary polygon metadata. Because the constituency names were slightly different in the two datasets – it was necessary to perform some string replacements in order to get a 100% match. The following string functions were therefore required:
- Remove “Boro/Burgh/Co Const” suffixes in Boundary-Line.
- Replace “St” with “St.” in Members API list.
- Strip accented characters in Members API list.
Once the information had been associated – a data-driven style (for applying the appropriate fill colour) could be added to the Westminster Constituency layer. Functionality to show a popup (containing feature attribution) on a click event was then included. The last step was to incorporate a legend (with the counts for each party) on the map.
The final version of the demo can be found here.
Hopefully this has given you a good idea of how you can link datasets to geography in order to create interesting maps. Some of our open datasets like Code-Point Open and Boundary-Line can be utilised to create thematic maps in this manner.
Get involved with OS Open Zoomstack
If you want to see what all the fuss is about you can still sign up to receive the data. We have already started work on the Alpha version which will be available soon and will contain improvements based on all the feedback we’ve received so far.
On 20 September we ran a workshop at the Geovation Hub in London where delegates learned from our experts and got hands-on with the data to create an interactive story map. Keep an eye on the blog as we will soon be releasing dates for more workshops around the country.
Here’s some nice feedback we received from the last one:
Well done @charley_glynn @cartocraftsman and @GeospatialMax for an extremely informative session. #Zoomstack looks amazing and has so much potential. You guys make it look so easy. #opendata #geospatialPower https://t.co/ERAHwFpnT1
— Fakhar Khalid (@FakharKhalid) September 20, 2018