Did you know, we’re currently recruiting for our IT Trainee programme? Adding to our series introducing you to the talented people within OS, meet Joel Perren. As an Associate Technician on the IT Trainee programme, here he tells us more about his journey and life at OS…
Tell us a bit about yourself
After finishing my master’s degree in Geographical Information Systems, I worked for two years as a Transport Planner. I really enjoyed the programming I did at university and in my subsequent job, so I decided to start looking for roles in software engineering. As I didn’t have any formal education in computer science and only a small portfolio of programming-related work, I wanted an entry-level or trainee role where I could learn on the job.
In 2019, we created a poster to commemorate 70 years since the 1949 Act of Parliament that began the family of National Parks in Great Britain. This year, we are holding a competition to celebrate the 70 anniversary of two of their oldest landscapes – the Lake District and Dartmoor National Park.
In August 2020, we looked at the top OS Maps walking spots since the easing of the first Covid-19 lockdown. We were not surprised to see that the top 10 routes were all based in National Parks, with the Lake District claiming an impressive 6 of them.
Great Britain’s National Parks have always been popular places to visit, but the challenges of 2020 have truly reinforced their value and highlighted the importance of greenspace. What better way to celebrate them than featuring your brilliant photos on the covers!
A big thank you to all of our readers. It’s been a challenging year for everyone in the world and we know it’s been hard to think of anything other than Covid-19, so we hope our content has offered you some form of distraction even if for only a few minutes.
Publishing the content you want to read is important to us, so every December we find out the most read blogs from the past 12 months. This enables us to understand what we should focus more on and it will help inform many of 2021’s projects.
As part of our series to introduce you to the individuals within OS and share the variety of work we do, meet Sarah Driver. As a Senior Production Manager, she gives us a glimpse into her OS journey…
How long have you worked for OS?
After spending 3 years in the private sector as a land and building surveyor, I joined OS in July 2018 as a Field Surveyor. After completing the 2 months of training at the Southampton headquarters learning our capture techniques and specification, I joined the East Midlands team.
I got offered the opportunity to work with the specification team in July 2019 for 3 months. This brought me back to Southampton and allowed me the opportunity to widen my network while learning more about our vastly complex data capture specification.
This experience helped me secure a development opportunity as the Production Manager of London and Thames Estuary in January 2020. I managed this area while our National Cyclic Revision process was hitting the capital. It was a tough 3 months, but the team worked extremely hard to deliver the 4000+ site visits across the city all while maintaining our other work streams for our customers.
Hosted by the Royal Geographical Society, on 11 November 2020 the second Geography in Government (GiG) awards took place. Here, our outstanding graduate Jessica Baker details the work that won her the Contribution to the Profession award…
The GiG awards aim to celebrate and recognise the work of members of the geography profession across the civil, crown, and public sector. In January 2020 I submitted my work on colour blind accessible mapping for the Contribution to the Profession category and I was delighted to be shortlisted and go on to win.
Since we released the OS Data Hub in July, as part of the new Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), we’ve been tracking use and eagerly watching to see how our customers, old and new, will use the platform and APIs.
Three months on and we’re delighted with what we’ve seen. After crunching the numbers of registered users, we’ve identified of the 2,355 users who have registered for the OS Data Hub, 1,845 are new to OS. The majority (76%) of users have registered for the OS OpenData Plan, and across both that and the Premium Plan, customers have carried out over 40 million transactions, with a 100% month-on-month increase in transactions.
Balkerne enables property owners and insurers to prevent losses from manmade and natural events through predictive, actionable, and location-based intelligence. As co-founder, Harish Pesala is using OS data to develop products that help insurers, brokers, and property owners to act before things go wrong. How? Harish tells us more…
Seeing images in the media of businesses and families severely affected by storms in the UK, we asked ourselves: “Why doesn’t the right information get to the right people at the right time to prevent this from happening?”. From this question, the concept of Balkerne was born.
Given the latest technological advancements and the amount of data available nowadays, we started wondering why a solution that could stop such tremendous losses from happening had not been developed yet. We saw a huge opportunity to make businesses and society more resilient, and decided it was time to act.
On the 17 September, we told you about a survey we’re running to gather feedback on data formats. We want to make it as easy as possible to use OS products and to achieve this, we need your input.
We wanted to bring you an update on the responses so far and let you know that it’s not too late to have your say. If you use OS data, this a great opportunity to help shape the future of our products and make them easier to access and use. You will start to see outcomes based on this feedback next year, and it will also help us as we embark on the next generation of OS data products.
Feedback so far
We want to make it as easy as possible to use OS products. To achieve this, your feedback is vital.
When we introduced the new Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), this was just the beginning of our plans to bring improvements and new developments to our users.
One of the cornerstones of the PSGA is introducing ‘new ways to access our data’. On 1 July 2020 we launched many new ways for customers to access our data including new products (such as OS Open UPRN), new pricing & licensing and the OS Data Hub, our new platform for accessing our authoritative geospatial data.