In this week’s post, we want to help you choose the right one for your use case by presenting a series of user stories and recommending the API that is the best fit. In some instances, there will be more than one option and your choice may come down to experience, software interoperability, or preference.
Told from the perspective of the individual, a user story is a short description of a feature stating the requirement and the reason behind it. Interested? Read on to find out our use case advice.
Guest blog by Alasdair Rae, University of Sheffield
Thanks to the new Ordnance Survey Data Hub, it’s easier than ever for users to get their hands on the treasure trove of geographic data covering the length and breadth of Britain. In this article, I’ll explain how I used some of Ordnance Survey’s digital terrain model data to create a new map of the Scottish Highlands. I will also say a bit about the software and methods, and I’ve shared the data below so anyone who is interested can try it for themselves. But before that, let’s take a look back at the first ‘3D map’ of the Highlands.
The first ‘3D map’ of the Highlands
To help you get started quickly with our APIs, we’ve been working on technical resources that go beyond documentation. This post introduces a key component of that – our new set of copy and paste code examples.
By copying and pasting the code from our new Examples you could have your first mapping application on your web page in just minutes. Examples range from adding a basic map, to extruding 3D buildings, to finding your nearest greenspace.
Showcasing the functionality of our Mapping and Data APIs, we’ve based our examples on well-understood, common usage patterns. They’ll help you get started and even stimulate ideas, giving you inspiration for new features to build into your own applications.
Maps are nice – and sometimes necessary – for many websites. But creating beautiful, usable, accurate maps can be tricky. There is a thicket of concepts, tools and data sources to navigate.
Here’s our quick guide to some of the useful tools for web mapping out there to help web developers work with spatial data.
As a note – here we’ll present resources roughly in line with the path spatial data takes from its origin to a user’s browser from the perspective of a full stack web developer: collect – manipulate – analyse – store – access – visualise. Also, this list is not exhaustive! Loads of useful tools for web mapping exist – this is more of a windscreen tour.
Data comes from somewhere, and spatial data is no different. Exactly how spatial data is captured and created is beyond the scope of this post – all we need to know is that raster images and vector features can be downloaded or fetched from several reliable, authoritative sources.
This summer, we’ll be introducing a new range of location APIs that you can access via our Data Hub. They all give you access to OS OpenData, and the option to upgrade to premium data, and you can get started for free on the Data Hub.
There are different options for accessing and using OS data and which one you choose will depend on your use case. You may want to download datasets and have access to all the features locally or offline. Or you may prefer direct access to the maps or data you need, as and when you need them, via the internet – and this is where APIs are useful.