If you’re a user of OS data, you may well have explored our GitHub page. For those unfamiliar with GitHub, it is a web portal where the 28 million users primarily share code and engage at a technical level. GitHub has been adopted by a large number or commercial and public sector organisations, so we jumped at the chance to create a page and work closer with users of our products.
Having been active on GitHub for a while now, we’ve been able to receive feedback from OS partners and other users (including those who were at our technical showcase event). From this, we’ve recognised there was a lack of navigation on the page that made it tricky to locate content.
Guest blog by OS product manager Tim Newman.
If you’ve spent any time hillwalking or learning basic navigation skills, then chances are you’ve heard of Naismith and his eponymous rule for estimating walking times. It enables you, armed only with a paper map and a piece of string, to predict your route time or assess whether you’re quicker heading straight over a hill, or taking a longer detour round it.
|Allow one hour for every three miles walked.
Add one hour for every 2000 ft of ascent.
Allow one hour for every five kilometres walked.
Add one hour for every 600 metres of ascent.
Despite a number of corrections that have been proposed over the years (e.g. to take into account fitness or slope gradient), Naismith’s Rule has remained a staple on navigation syllabi across the country and is still used by our digital mapping product OS Maps.
Continuing our series to introduce you to the wonderful individuals within OS and give you a snapshot of the variety of work we do, meet Marianne Pope. As a Product Manager, here she offers insight into her role from data to the Geospatial Commission…
How long have you worked for OS?
I joined OS in November 2018 as a product manager within OSGB. Before that I worked as a product manager in the education sector.
What does your role involve?
As a product manager, my main job is to set the vision for a product. The vision sets out the ‘why’ behind what we do and makes sure everyone is working towards the same goal. From the vision I draw up the roadmap and strategy for the product’s development while ensuring I balance the needs of our users with the needs of the business. I also spend a lot of time analysing data and carrying out user research to constantly measure product progress – this makes sure we stay on track towards our goals.
Following the press release on OS MasterMap Water Network, Product Manager Jessica Gaskell discusses the product further in this guest blog…
As the first comprehensive, single dataset covering Great Britain’s watercourses, I am delighted to say that OS MasterMap Water Network has now become a full product!
The OS MasterMap Water Network product means the data on all the watercourses in GB will be in one place. It is a nationally consistent, topologically structured data of all GB’s watercourses. It identifies how our watercourses interact with each other through the detailed scale of mapping, direction of flow and the primary flow channels alongside giving key information into the characteristics of the watercourse including name, catchment information, gradient and width (to name a few!).
The Understanding Scottish Places (USP) platform launched in April 2015, offering a way of understanding the similarity of places across Scotland. The tool contains a range of demographic, social and economic data on all 479 Scottish settlements with a population of over 1,000 people. Deliberately designed to avoid a simplistic ranking of places as better or worse, USP focuses on the shared characteristics of towns.
On 31 January, the Data Discoverability project published the Geo6 geospatial data catalogues. This project is one of the Geospatial Commission funded projects to maximise the benefits of geospatial data for the UK. The project has involved the 6 partner bodies of the Geospatial Commission. Also known as the Geo6, this includes Ordnance Survey, the British Geological Survey, Coal Authority, HM Land Registry, the Valuation Office and the UK Hydrographic Office.
Based out of East Midlands airport, our team are getting to grips with some new technology and a new aircraft for the 2019 flying season, which runs from the end of February to the end of October.
This year, we’re excited to be adding two Vexcel Mark 3 UltraCam Eagle cameras and a Pressurised Beechcraft B200 King Air aircraft to our kit! In a bid to capture more imagery than ever before and to test efficiency with flights, the new cameras and plane are being flown higher and at faster speeds.
Following positive feedback on the GeoPackage format trial, where many of you asked us for a greater choice of formats, we made a commitment to make our data more accessible, interoperable and quicker to use.
On 10 April we released these four OS OpenData products in GeoPackage format, in addition to their existing formats:
- OS Open Greenspace
- OS VectorMap District
- OS Terrain 50
- Code-Point Open
The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that this list is longer than we originally announced. We hope to continue expanding the number of products available in additional formats.
Continuing our series to introduce you to the hard-working individuals within OS and showcase the wide variety of work we do, meet Mark Greaves. Mark has been with us for over 30 years and is definitely a fountain of knowledge here at OS! Here, he gives tells us more about how he keeps OS Net running…
How long have you worked for OS?
I have been at OS over 32 years and within this time held differing roles. I started as a Field Surveyor for 7 years, I then spent 1 year doing a HND in Surveying, 3 years as a Geodetic Surveyor, 1 year studying for an MSc in Engineering Surveying & Geodesy and 17 years as Geodetic Analyst.
How long have you been in your current role?
If you haven’t heard of Virgin Pulse’s Global Challenge, it is a 100-day challenge to encourage employees to transform their health, wellbeing and engagement levels. With more than 3,000 participants around the world, the Global Challenge is one of the biggest and most highly-anticipated events on the workplace wellbeing calendar. According to their 2018 stats, 80% of participants felt it had a positive impact on their relationship with exercise while 65% said that their company offering membership made it a better place to work.
Making up 22 teams, 154 colleagues from OS signed up! Since February they have been measuring their daily activity, setting goals and inspiring each other to make healthy choices. So far, we have raised £2,000 for Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity (our corporate charity) and this will only increase!