Last week, the Northumbrian Water Group Innovation Festival took place – and it was a huge success! 510 of the world’s leading businesses and most innovative minds gathered for this event to tackle 13 major social and environmental challenges.
As detailed in our previous blog, our sprint team’s role at the festival was to create the first combined underground map of the region in collaboration with key stakeholders such as utilities, local authorities and partners. The idea was to create a Combined Infrastructure Map (CIM) for Newcastle and its surrounding area including water, wastewater, gas, electricity, telecoms and other underground services.
Did you know, we show over 220,000 kms of public rights of way on our maps? Approximately 170,000 kms of these are footpaths and 40,000 kms are bridleways. Over 4,600 kms are National Trails and 30,900 kms are recreational routes!
One thing we’re often asked about is when someone has followed a public right of way shown on our map and found no visible footpath on the ground. Why is this? Public rights of way information is sent to us by local authorities, and a right of way doesn’t necessarily mean a footpath on the ground. We’re also often asked about blocked or overgrown rights of way. These need to be reported to your local authority too and, if any changes on our maps are required, they will pass that information along.
We also map rights of way permissive footpaths and bridleways as well as byways. And, if you don’t know the key differences or symbols of each of the types, you’re in the right place to find out!
A few weeks ago, we announced news that our Geovation team were embarking on a national series of hands-on introductory workshops about visualising with geographic data. With sessions having already been held in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester, next week’s session in Bristol has sold out! Today, we can share details of our fifth and final date of the mini-series. Remember – it’s FREE to attend!
As part of the Prime Minister’s London Tech Week round-table event, earlier this week the Government announced that key parts of OS MasterMap will be made openly available for the public and businesses to use. The announcement is one of the first projects to be delivered by the Geospatial Commission in conjunction with us.
We are looking forward to supporting the Geospatial Commission in making this data more accessible and more widely used to continue our open data journey. In 2010 we launched OS Opendata and since then, we have continued to invest in new open data products and initiatives to enable innovation and growth in the digital economy. Over the past eight years we have seen our open data downloaded 1.9 million times. On average, 150 people download OS OpenData every day. That’s 54,750 people a year. Here is a quick trip through our open data journey highlighting some of the key milestones.
In partnership with the UK Space Agency and Oxford Innovation, we hosted a workshop for the Oxford Innovation Space Incubator programme earlier this year. This involved inviting the next generation of thinkers at the forefront of technological innovation to come up with “ground breaking ideas with the potential to change the world”.
The challenge they chose to accept was to develop new business ideas using raw GNSS signals from the Android mobile operating system.
We have to say, the Northumbrian Water Group Innovation Festival is a truly unique event. It focuses on several societal and environmental issues and, throughout the five day festival, those involved apply design thinking techniques to try and solve them.
Naturally, we have jumped at the chance to get involved. As geospatial data and mapping experts, we are addressing the issue of whether an underground map of the UK can be created. As part of the ‘Combined Underground Infrastructure Map’, we will be leading a sprint team to explore the possibility and consequent benefits of creating a collaborative underground dataset and map of the UK.
Are you a local authority, a utility company or a highways agency with underground assets? If so, you may be interested in our Project Iceberg industry workshop on 27 June.
Project Iceberg is a collaborative project between us, the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Future Cities Catapult (FCC) to explore how to better capture, collect and share data about underground assets and geological conditions.