Along with 17 other Government bodies, six years ago the Natural Hazards Partnership (NHP) was created. This year, we’re delighted to be hosting the annual NHP conference on 26 and 27 March at our HQ in Southampton. Free to attend and aimed at professionals working in the natural hazards and resilience arena including government, responders and academia, register your interest and find out more below.
Continuing our series to introduce the wonderful OS employees and showcase the wide variety of work we do, meet Sasha Catchpole. Sasha’s OS journey began in 2016 as part of the graduate programme, and last year saw her settle in to her current role as an Associate Project Manager. Here, she offers us an insight into autonomous vehicle projects and more…
How long have you worked for OS?
I started at OS on the Graduate programme in September 2016. Prior to this, I graduated from Queen Mary University in 2014 and spent the following two years working as a chalet host in the Alps during the winter and running my own event catering franchise during the summer.
How long have you worked for OS?
I started back in 2001, so, 18 years. After I finished my PhD and a couple of post-docs, I chose to spend some time cycling around The Netherlands and eating far too many stroopwaffels. Coming back and starting at OS with its core hours and line management was a bit of a shock, but I clearly got used to it.
How long have you been in your current role?
To be honest, I’m not actually sure. In some ways I’ve been doing this job for over decade, in others I’ve only been doing it a year. The title, responsibilities and department change often enough to keep me on my toes.
Working with Solent Showcase Gallery, we’ve supported Southampton-based illustrator and mural artist Nathan Evans in illustrating a map of Southampton on the floor. We caught up with Nathan to hear a bit more about his process and how he found painting a map…
As an artist specialising in typography, my work usually focuses on lettering. The opportunity to explore something new is what originally sparked my interest about the ‘Make Your Mark’ project. I work in lettering because you can create an immediate and clear connection with the viewer, and I feel this way about maps too. They seem to be able to seamlessly connect to an audience and evoke a pure emotional response to the sense of place that we all feel.
Last Spring, you may remember we embarked on a formats trial which saw nine of our products trialled in up to five new formats. Hundreds of you got involved and we were so grateful to receive lots of useful feedback on what worked for you and what didn’t.
Utilising the feedback from this trial, we started to look more widely at our product formats. When we released our new version of VectorMap Local in October last year, we made changes to our fulfilment processes to enable us to offer this in GeoPackage as well as GML and Raster formats to give you more choice. We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of our customers using GeoPackage so we’re delighted to know we are moving in the right direction.
Last week we published our Data Discoverability with Geo6 blog, which followed one of four data-related projects being brought together by the Geospatial Commission to maximise the benefits of geospatial data for the UK. The Data Discoverability project is all about making it easier for current and future users of geospatial information to find out exactly what UK location-based data each of the Geo6 bodies holds.
Today we are excited to announce that as a result of the Data Discoverability team’s work over the last few months, the Geo6 have published 6 catalogues (one for each organisation) listing all the data we each hold. These catalogues are published in a CSV format on data.gov.uk to ensure they are visible and accessible to anyone who needs them. The OS catalogues alone hold over 1,200 datasets from zip lines to roads! This data represents the first stage in a longer process to unlock the value of geospatial data held by the Geo6, and we are publishing this now so that you can get involved in shaping the future work we do.
Built around 1852, this precision timepiece on the wall at OS HQ has intrigued many of us here. According to the accompanying plaque, this Dent Master Chronometer was the standard on which all other mobile chronometers owned by OS were checked against before being used in the field astronomical observations by surveyors. An accurate knowledge of time is necessary in the calculation of latitude and longitude.
Lisa Allen, Head of Data Management and Requirements in the OS Data Office, shares her insight on the recent Geo6 workshop.
As the first of four Geospatial Commission projects looking to improve the quality, accessibility and usability of all UK location-based data, the Geo6 recently held its third workshop on Data Discoverability.
Collectively known as the ‘Geo6’, this refers to a collaboration between OS, British Geological Survey (BGS), Coal Authority (CA), HM Land Registry (LR), UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and the Valuation Office Agency (VoA).
Inspired by the life-changing effect that a physical challenge had on her mum’s mental health, Hannah Beecham founded RED January to help people boost their own mental and physical health. From humble beginnings in 2015 comes a growing community of 60,000 REDers who are not just running but taking part in a multitude of different ways.
Exclusively partnering with leading mental health charity, Mind, in 2017, Hannah has deservedly experienced amazing success with RED January and we couldn’t be happier being a part of it.
Alongside Solent Mind being our corporate charity back in 2017, our product manager Egbe Manners took part in RED January by herself. Being part of the running club at OS, others soon got on board for the next one. Three years on, we have over 60 OS employees taking part in this year’s RED January!
Here at OS, we get asked some curiously specific questions by our Twitter followers. Our teams are always up for a challenge and, as this query required map exploration, who better to ask than our amazing Consultation and Technical Services (CaTS) team? Please see the query embedded below.
@OrdnanceSurvey Hello! An enquiry if I may…..what (and where) is the longest distance you can walk in a straight line in England/Wales/Scotland without crossing a road (defined as a paved surface for vehicular use)?? Planning a potential expedition. Ta!
— Roger Dalton (@100in7) November 15, 2018
Now, not only were our CaTS team able to identify the longest distance in Great Britain you can walk in a straight line without crossing a road (which consequently you may have read about in some newspaper articles), but as this was in Scotland, the team also decided to find the longest in both England and Wales too.