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.
Glasgow City Council, as part of its EU Horizon 2020 Smart Cities and Communities funded project RUGGEDISED (Rotterdam, Umea, Glasgow: Generating Exemplar Demonstrations in Sustainable Energy Districts), is, in tandem with developing various smart and sustainable energy measures, developing a Data-Based Decision Platform (DBDP). The DBDP will be a window into the various datasets generated throughout the project, as well as internal and external datasets utilised by Glasgow City Council. The DBDP will analyse and interpret various datasets to inform policy and strategy decisions in relation to city operations in the city, providing outputs that will inform operational actions.
As the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is the UK’s learned society and professional body for geography, we’re sure it won’t shock you to know we often work together on exciting (and of course!) geography-related projects.
This year, we have combined our expertise and arranged several events to help promote and advance understanding of the uses of geospatial data.
On Monday 14 January, Miranda Sharp, our Director of Innovation, will explore how powerful information about location can be used to build a system of smarter infrastructure to help the UK economy and society to thrive in our lecture ‘Creating a master map of the UK: a route to a better future?’.
Additionally, as part of the RGS regional lecture series, on Tuesday 15 January, our Chief Geospatial Scientist Jeremy Morley will join neuroscientist Professor Kate Jeffrey in Southampton to discuss how our day to day navigation abilities can be linked to recent research on how the brain represents details of places.
In anticipation of Christmas, we thought we would pay homage to the classic seasonal track 12 Days of Christmas by finding some fun OS facts about Great Britain for each line.
To avoid typing the whole song out as we know you know it already, we have just written the last paragraph here to jog your memory.
On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
11 Pipers Piping
10 Lords a Leaping
9 Ladies Dancing
8 Maids a Milking
7 Swans a Swimming
6 Geese a Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree
Within Great Britain, there are 12 roads in total with the term ‘drum’, ‘drumming’ or ‘drummers’. While Drummer Lane occurs twice, Drummer’s Lane and the other 9 such as Drummermire and Drummery Lane are unique.
As Christmas draws closer, nights lengthen and temperatures drop, many people will be doing their Christmas shopping, mince pie baking and Christmas card writing. This is also one of the busiest times of year for many businesses. Utility companies need to ensure people remain warm, online shopping delivery companies are frantically getting Christmas presents delivered on time, and the financial sector is processing and validating purchases.
This is all of course not forgetting Santa and his elves getting ready for the all-important night of December 24th. Most of the time as members of the public we can simply sit back and enjoy some festive treats why this all happens seamlessly without us even thinking about it.
We might venture out into the ever increasingly bracing weather for the traditional family walks possibly using one of our OS paper maps, something our brand is most known for. These maps are what made OS famous, but analytical data products are now how OS supports ever increasing numbers of businesses delivering these vital services to you over Christmas, and throughout the rest of the year.