As a full-time cartographer with previous experience as an ecologist, our guest blogger Dan Bell is a huge advocate of the outdoors. In his spare time, he enjoys fell/long distance running and is currently training to become a Mountain Leader in the Lake District! If that wasn’t enough, he also runs Middle Earth’s Maps. Here, he tells us how he has used (Ordnance Survey) OS data in his Tolkien-inspired mapping…
Why are maps useful?
Maps are a window into an unknown landscape. They are simplifications of an increasingly complex world, affording us the opportunity to plan our adventures, make memories, and inspire our curiosities. It is these three attributes of maps and map making that continually motivate my work, in my endeavour to explore the realms of fantasy map creation within a real-world setting.
When we launched OS OpenSpace back in 2008, it was our first venture into mapping APIs. 12 years on, there has been a lot of progression in this market. As a result, we plan to withdraw the OS OpenSpace API in August 2021 as we can now offer users a similar but more proficient product.
We want to thank everyone who has used this service. Without your support, we wouldn’t be where we are today with our new and exciting suite of APIs.
With a year until the withdrawal, we’ve outlined some of the options for users to migrate across to.
Why is OS OpenSpace being withdrawn?
Following an extensive user trial, on 1 July we launched the OS Data Hub. As the new way to access our authoritative location data, it includes our new range of location APIs.
In the first week we were pleased to see hundreds of new customers sign up to try them out. We’re keen to see more use through our existing and new customers, so if you’re interested, sign up today. Keep reading to find out more about OS Identifiers.
OS Open Identifiers
Hopefully it’s not just us, but we definitely found ourselves spending more time and money on online shopping throughout lockdown. Thankfully when we get to the point of entering our address, placing our order and receiving our purchases, we don’t need to think about how any of this works.
As the Head of Data and Analytical Services at OS, here Lisa Allen offers us an insight into our data principles…
Ordnance Survey is the national mapping agency for Great Britain, and we hold some of the country’s most valued geospatial data. Our data is woven into the very fabric of everyday life, right across Britain.
However, it’s not just geospatial data that’s important to us. As a data business, our corporate data is equally important.
We need to ensure that our customers can trust, find and use our data. We want to enable you to connect data through the language of location for greater insights, better decisions and smarter outcomes.
OS is reminding people taking staycations this summer to be mindful and prepared of the dangers when adventuring outdoors.
It comes after Keswick Mountain Rescue reported there had been a surge of avoidable callouts after unprepared holiday makers got into difficulties while venturing up mountains in the Lake District.
Nick Giles, Managing Director of OS Consumer, said: “It is fantastic that more people than ever are getting outside and exploring Great Britain and here at OS, we want to make sure that everyone does this safely and enjoys their adventures.
As part of our series to introduce you to OS people and share the diversity of our employees, meet Chris Jennings. As an Associate Engineering Architect, he gives us a glimpse into his role here at OS and the LGBT+ employee network he leads…
How long have you worked for OS?
As we’re sure you know from your own experience of lockdown, the availability of greenspaces has become even more important throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. With our comprehensive data, we’ve been able to support work identifying them for business and government use as well as for the public to ensure they can get outside safely.
The Geospatial Commission announced the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) in April, a contract which will see OS helping to generate significant economic value to the UK economy over the next 10 years. We’ve been working hard to ensure the first releases of new data, access and freedoms under the PSGA would be ready to deliver to customers on 1 July. We caught up with Chris Chambers, Head of PSGA at OS, to find out more and follow up on his last blog.
Chris, we’ve had public sector contracts before, what makes this different?
What numbers identify you and your belongings? Your National Insurance number? Your NHS number? Your Tesco Clubcard? Your postcode? Your number plate on your car? We are all used to unique letters and numbers to identify us in our daily life. At OS we also use a series of unique numbers and letters, called identifiers, in our location data, from buildings to streets to bridges.
We’ve been working to make more OS data open, including identifiers. Our data can then be used with other data held by local/central government and commercial organisations. With the identifiers to give a geospatial context, those combined datasets become useful information to make efficient decisions.