We were delighted to have two entries shortlisted for the inaugural Geography in Government Awards this year. We were even more pleased to win one as OS Open Zoomstack scooped the prize for ‘Excellence in geo-visualisation and cartography’, up against tough competition from the Defence Geographic Centre (DGC).
Some of the OS team attended the awards ceremony on 25 April at Scotland House in London and enjoyed a great evening which celebrated the best of geography across Government. OS Open Zoomstack is our latest open data product which we launched in January after a successful trial throughout summer 2018. For this award we owe a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the trial and made this product a success. Without your feedback and support it wouldn’t have been possible.
What’s happened since the launch?
This feels like a good time to catch up on what has happened since we launched OS Open Zoomstack. In the last three months we have seen over 2,500 downloads and have seen some interesting and diverse use cases emerging.
ESRI UK recently launched 6 new vector map styles as a beta service, all available in British National Grid.
The data structure has been completely redesigned and is based around the new OS Zoomstack data.
If you use ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Online then these maps can add context to your own projects and can even be used to bring your Story Maps to life. They are all fully customisable through the Vector Tile style editor so you can get creative to make and save your perfect map. The item details page of each map contains a link which allows you to quickly load them in the editor and start modifying the style.
The BBC’s Visual and Data Journalism team recently wrote about how they’re using OS Open Zoomstack to tell stories. In this fantastic post, they detail their approach to using the vector tiles, creating a custom style, hosting the tiles on AWS and creating re-usable interactive maps. They have done a really nice job of tweaking our Light style to fit with their own branding and have since used the same data to produce gorgeous static maps too.
Using the Zoomstack data and working with the mapbox-gl API proved a flexible and powerful way to build interactive maps to help tell stories that we had not used before.
We were really pleased to see that OS Open Zoomstack is now available on the MapTiler platform. Users of MapTiler can access the tileset directly or use any of our four map styles which they host. This is a fantastic option for anybody creating web maps who wants easy access to our authoritative mapping data as it greatly reduces the barriers to entry.
Next release coming soon
We will be releasing the next update in June and it will be released every six months from that point on (June and December). For more information about the product and to view the support documents visit os.uk/zoomstack.