Elsa joined our Data Office in Southampton for work experience recently and shares her experience within the team.
I’m in year 12 studying Geography, Maths, Further Maths and English A-Levels in Devon. Once in the Data Office team I had the chance to work on my own project, which was on the archaeological sites of Dartmoor. This was ideal as I became interested in OS mapping from walking on the moors training for the Ten Tors challenge.
The Geospatial Commission, created by the UK government in November 2017, is inviting geospatial players and beyond to help shape the UK geospatial industry with its call for evidence to be a geospatial world leader. It is hoped the public consultation will help the industry support economic growth and unlock further value, which is estimated to be in the region of £11 billion a year. The geospatial call for evidence will play a significant role in setting the UK’s future geospatial vision. It will focus on innovation, enhancing geospatial assets and driving investment.
Neil Ackroyd, interim CEO of Ordnance Survey, said: “OS has been supporting Great Britain’s geospatial needs as its core task over its long history and we’ve seen first-hand the crucial role accurate geospatial can play. Whether it’s in national resilience, planning and critical infrastructure, or ensuring ambulances turn up at the correct location, geospatial has always been there. OS is pleased to be able to support the Geospatial Commission and we welcome this public opportunity to shape our industry and recognise the challenge to adapt and enhance our combined capabilities.”
In the past decade, as new technologies and innovative ways of thinking have emerged, we have worked on many ground-breaking projects that are being enabled by geospatial data, delivering services and solutions to nations, cities and communities. The role that geospatial can play in emerging markets is of course key to this consultation covering a breadth of opportunity from connectivity for citizens, through environmental stewardship to the new digital infrastructure required for the UK. The announcement of the geospatial strategy is very timely and this consultation is a significant event to build on the UK’s recognised position as a world leader in this field, putting geospatial at the heart of policy and government service delivery supporting future economic growth.
Find out more about the consultation and take part: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launch-call-for-evidence-to-be-geospatial-world-leader
With the English football season about to kick-off for 2018-19, our GeoDataViz team have been visualising the 92 football league grounds in one huge poster. The Premier League, The Championship, League One and League Two grounds have all been mapped using OS OpenData and put in order by stadium capacity.
Following our OS OpenData formats trial, we’re continuing to work to improve access to our opendata offerings. Our team have developed OS Open Zoomstack which makes elements of our opendata available as one map in one file to be used for GIS, web, mobile or offline use.
You can try out OS Open Zoomstack over the next three months. All we ask is for your feedback to shape its development for potential wider release. We believe that this will improve access to OS data and help current and future users to use our data in new ways. The trial is also a fantastic opportunity to test how we approach the development of Open MasterMap recently announced by the Geospatial Commission. This is an important step on the Open MasterMap implementation project highlighting our commitment to working with developers and the geospatial community to improve accessibility and usability of OS data.
What is OS Open Zoomstack?
Great Britain is an island in its own right, but aside from the mainland, there are hundreds of islands around the British coast, many uninhabited*. Inspired by David Garcia’s data visualisation of the Philippines, our GeoDataViz team worked with Alasdair Rae at the University of Sheffield to explore Britain’s largest islands.
They found that there are 82 English, Scottish and Welsh islands larger than 5km2. Scotland boasts the vast majority with 71, not surprising when you consider the Outer Hebrides, Shetland and Orkney and other beautiful islands off the coast. Wales had just 2 entries and England 9.
Today marks 227 years since Ordnance Survey was founded. On 21 June 1791, the Board of Ordnance purchased a new Ramsden theodolite, and this is seen as the foundation of our organisation. A lot has changed in those 227 years: we moved from London to Southampton; we went from mapping for the military to mapping for people, businesses and the government; from mapping Kent (our first map published in 1801) to a geospatial database of Great Britain with over 460 million features…the list goes on.
We’ve also had a few different looks over the years, as you can see in our evolution of OS brand logos below.
Guest blog by Ewan Campbell, composer of Glynde.
In many ways cartography is to a landscape, what music notation is to sound. They both use two-dimensional visualisations to represent something which is multi-dimensional, and in the process create a beautiful pictorial format of their own. My map enthusiasm is driven by a desire for the overview that a maps offers, and the scope to explore the virtual depiction of a landscape.
There is however a crucial difference between the two idioms: music is always experienced through the temporal dimension, and time, as we know it, can only ever run forwards. No matter how many repeats, verses, loops or recapitulations a composer may decide to add there is always a beginning which at some moment later must be followed by an ending. As a result traditional music notation is linear, and read forwards like a book. The aim of my cartographic music is to make the musical form visible. The 2-dimensional score offers a structural overview of the virtual musical soundscape, which can be imaginatively entered into, just as one would ‘read’ a topographical map.
For April Fool’s Day we challenged one of our most senior and experienced cartographers to create a mythical island for Country Walking magazine. The premise was that this island had been lost to the sea centuries ago, only for it to have now mysteriously risen out of the waves in need of mapping.
Mark Wolstenholme, in his 34 years at OS, has worked across every series of mapping we have. Here he explains how to produce a fictional island in a short time frame, while making it authentic enough to convince as a prank.
The beast from the east dominated headlines this month, with snow causing traffic issues, school closures and disruption across the country. In Cumbria, the depth of the snow and challenging terrain resulted in significant issues accessing some communities. Cumbria’s multi-agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (SCG), made up of partner agencies, secured military assistance to help access the most isolated communities, many of which had been cut off from all supplies for five days. We were asked to assist the SCG under Mapping for Emergencies (MFE).
One of our technical consultants, Kevin Topping, knows the power of geospatial in these situations only too well. Since joining OS last autumn, Kevin has been working with local resilience teams across England and Wales, showing how geospatial data can help in emergency planning. He ensures that authorities are aware of the data available under the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) and how to best make use of it, including calling for extra assistance from OS under MFE.
The Lakes Ignite programme for 2018 features an OS-inspired work of art called Ordnance Pavilion, paying homage to the trig pillar and the work of OS surveyors in mapping Great Britain. It’s flattering to be an artist’s muse, but we wonder if it’s not the first time OS has inspired an artwork…
Created by Studio MUTT, Ordnance Pavilion is an interactive installation in the Langdale Estate in the Lake District. It forms part of Lakes Ignite 2018 which presents six contemporary artworks to celebrate the Lake District’s designation as a World Heritage site. On display between until July 2018, Ordnance Pavilion is a celebration of OS and how our maps have impacted people’s interaction with the landscape.