We’ve released our first fully automated product

We’ve released our first fully automated product derived from large scale source data. At a single press of a button we can create a premium national dataset using the most up-to-date Ordnance Survey (OS) source data in just eight days.

We started work on the project in April 2017 to fully automate the map production of OS VectorMap Local. 18 months later, we’ve released the new automated derived version of OS VectorMap Local, a world leading first!

Why did we want to create an automated product?

Our project objectives included delivering efficiencies to OS by replacing the highly manual process of maintaining the product and improving the product currency. Alongside this, we can create a ‘framework’ system which could be re-used for other OS products in the future.

The development also introduced four core principles which were fundamental to the project. These consisted of: trusting the data source (our geospatial database of half a billion features), only using commercial off-the-shelf tools (COTS), creating full end-to-end automation and delivering data quality which meets the needs of the end user.

What technologies were used?

The team delivered a fully automated map production process solution using as range of the latest technologies, including Esri ModelBuilder and Python for geo-processing, Esri ArcGIS for publication of map images, as well as end-to-end system orchestration delivered by Workflow Manager. The solution also relies on the Azure cloud environment for data processing.

What does this mean for our customers?

OS VectorMap Local will be released every three months allowing customers to access and benefit from a consistently updated and trusted national geospatial product.

As well as producing raster and vector versions of the data, this is also the first OS product we’ve released in GeoPackage, responding to customer feedback around OS data formats.

In addition to the customer benefits the project has resulted in a number of product and operational benefits for us, including increased currency of data with a reduced production time and increased speed to market providing even more value to OS customers. By using  COTS software, we removed the cost of developing and maintaining an in-house bespoke capability.

We showcased the project to the 17 National Mapping Agencies participating in the International ESRI Working Group for Multi Resolution Geospatial Production, held in October at our Southampton head office. We were pleased to see it was very well received.

Jon Butts, OS Project Manager, said: “This is the first fully automated product derived from large scale source data. It has taken a huge amount of effort and persistence from around the business to achieve this long-held aspiration of OS, which is shared by many National Mapping Agencies around the world.

“It’s a huge achievement to have developed and created a fully automated derived product, which has a great deal of benefits for our customers and OS by improving the value of the product and increasing production efficiency.

“Our customers will see hugely improved currency, consistent refreshes across GB, more analytical value where features no longer end at tile edges, better building parameters, connected roads, and consistency with other products that allows for a consistent zoom stack.”

Find out more on our website: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-and-government/products/vectormap-local.html



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