OS Partner Away Team Software have been on our blog previously, talking about their location tracking app, Trkd. Now they’re back with an out of this world adaptation…
Just before Christmas 2015, the UK was gripped by space fever as British ESA astronaut Tim Peake embarked on his six month Principia mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with live coverage from launch to docking. After witnessing the cheering crowds of children at London’s Science Museum, veteran cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space, said it rekindled his memories of the original human spaceflight programme from half a century ago.
By taking advantage of the intervening advances in technology, Tim has been able to engage his audience directly from space throughout his mission using digital photography, video and social media to inspire this generation and the next.
In the spirit of Principia, we decided to commemorate two of his iconic achievements in a fun and educational way by expanding our Trkd™ (pron. tracked) location tracking suite into space, which raised an important question: how do you track an astronaut?
Hands up if you’re looking for some free family activities over the summer holidays? We thought so…how about a spot of trig bagging to get the family outside? This year we’ve been celebrating the 80th anniversary of the trig pillar, those concrete pillars that are often found at the top of hills and create a handy photo opportunity.
Once a key part of our surveying network, and since superseded by GNSS, they stand tall and mark the summit of many a walk. With around 6,000 still standing around Britain you stand a fair chance of spotting one when you’re out exploring, and you can spot them on your map as the small blue triangle with a dot in the centre.
It’s not every day that we hear from one of our Licensed Partners that they’re about to appear on Dragon’s Den, pitching their map product to the panel. But David Overton of SplashMaps did just that, and we caught up with him last week, ahead of the broadcast. David couldn’t tell us the outcome at the time, but if you watched last night you’ll know that he put in a strong pitch, but sadly didn’t receive any funding. Find out more about SplashMaps and our Partner programme from David…
If you haven’t come across us before, SplashMaps makes wearable, washable, all-weather printed maps that can be customised for any part of Britain, and beyond. We set up in December 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the idea and used OS OpenData to print the first wearable maps of Britain’s National Parks.
Hear from Pippa Clemett, who recently completed work experience with us, on how she used OS OpenData and QGIS to carry out a project on radon potential and lung cancer incidences in England and Wales.
I’m Pippa and I am currently studying geography, geology, biology and chemistry at A-Level, and want to study geography at university. Whilst at Ordnance Survey for an amazing week of work experience, I spent time in the Products department where I used a Geographical Information System called QGIS to produce a small project on radon potential and lung cancer incidences in England and Wales. After using Ordnance Survey’s walk through guides for beginners, ‘Simple Guide’ and ‘Masterclass’, I quickly got the hang of the basics and then was able to apply my own interests to the powerful technology available at OS, to produce my own project.
Our Geovation Programme is aimed at developers, entrepreneurs and innovators to take their ideas and build them into real businesses. The Geovation team work closely with the teams and invest funding, resources and developer time to help them build their businesses ready for market. The Hub itself provides a range of resources geared towards helping them develop their businesses. This includes desk space, coaching and mentorship, access to OS and partner data, developer support, access to software, legal and professional support and other services that can be hard to secure when you’re first starting out.
The Geovation Programme is divided into four phases: Phases one to three are over a period of six months, where Programme members receive a total of £10,000 in funding. If a prototype is successfully delivered at the end of this phase four kicks in, which is a further six months on the Programme with an additional £10,000 in funding. For those who are successful in getting to phase four, the Geovation team help to secure further funding and the provide go-to-market support to launch the product and make it a commercial success.
Former Geovation Challenge winners Mission:Explore are launching a new book to coincide with National Parks Week. The new adventure book is packed with challenges for children to try out, perfect to encourage the family to #GetOutside with Mission:Explore and explore Britain’s 15 National Parks.
Mission:Explore National Parks is a collaboration with National Parks UK that challenges children and their families to become extreme explorers, natural navigators and wildlife watchers. Each member of the National Park UK family is a unique place, suited for discovery, curiosity and creativity – ideal to #GetOutside and explore.
There are 49 weird and wonderful missions to tackle, ranging from eating like a local to creating puddle maps or navigating by the stars. We caught up with #GetOutside champion Steve Backshall recently and put him to the challenge, take a look:
Next weekend marks 50 years since England won the football World Cup. Held at Wembley Stadium on 30 July 1966, the team’s famous 4-2 victory over Germany saw them holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy.
Following England’s early and disappointing exit from this summer’s Euros, football fanatic Paul Naylor, a member of the OS cartography team that this year has already mapped Mars and created data visualisations of Britain’s most trodden paths, was faced with a sudden gap in his evenings. Paul and England’s loss is our gain, because he used this time to put together an interactive map celebrating England’s 1966 World Cup winning achievement. Click the links to watch highlights of the games, find out more about the grounds used in the tournament and, most importantly of all, learn about those English players who one glorious summer fifty years ago captured football’s greatest prize.
Alternatively, visit our Flickr page to see the image in more detail, or download a copy.
We often talk about safety tips to help you #GetOutside in the winter, but there are some equally important things to think about for summer safety in the great outdoors. More of us are inspired to explore in the summer, and particularly with our families over the summer holidays, so follow these summer safety tips from #GetOutside champion Steve Backshall to keep safe when you’re out and about.
It’s not just OS celebrating an 80th anniversary this year (for the trig pillar), A-Z are 80 years old too. Laura Quittenden tells us more…
This year Geographers’ A-Z Map Company is celebrating its 80th anniversary. A-Z maps have been based on OS data since the company first produced their London Street Atlas in 1936.
It’s been almost a year since we created a series of downloadable colouring-in maps, and we’re thrilled to be able to tell you that there’s a book of OS maps to colour being released this autumn. We teamed up with Laurence King Publishing to work on the new book, The Great British Colouring Map: A Colouring Journey Around Britain.
The book will take you on an immersive colouring-in journey around Great Britain, from the coasts and forests to our towns and countryside. Expect to see iconic cities, recognisable tourist spots and historical locations across England, Scotland and Wales via the 55 illustrations. The Great British Colouring Map also includes a stunning gatefold of London. We can’t wait to share it with you – it will be on shelves in October.