By

Keegan Wilson

9
Nov
2017
0

Is this the most unusual way of showing support for a team ever?

Following on from the recent ‘Sue x’ field carving mystery, we spotted letters almost as long as the Anfield pitch spelling ‘LFC’ spotted on Shropshire hillside – but who has done it? 

Our Flying Unit captures aerial imagery of over 50,000 square kilometres of the country each season. From the Isles of Scilly to Shetland, the team will capture over 140,000 aerial images each year, using the 196-megapixel cameras on-board the planes. And sometimes their pictures reveal something strange on the landscape…

Such as earlier this week, when flying over Shropshire, Andrew Tyrrell, a Remote Sensing Surveyor and Air Camera Operator, noticed ‘LFC’ carved into the scrub on the north side of Titterstone Clee Hill (SO588787), and took a picture. Intrigued by who or why someone would do such a thing and the effort required in such a remote location, he sent the image back to head office for analysis.

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31
Oct
2017
1

The Dark End of the Street

Are these some of Britain’s most scariest streets and gruesome roads, ask the batty guys and ghouls of Ordnance Survey this Halloween?

The picturesque Lancashire village of Appley Bridge sits in the Douglas Valley near the Leeds and Liverpool canal. To find the village you need to come off the M6 at junction 27 and go a few miles west before heading south when you reach the B5375. What makes this village extra special when Halloween rolls around is that despite being relatively small, it is home to a number of street names that lend themselves fabulously well to Halloween: Back Skull House Lane, Skull House Mews and Skull House Lane.

The village also has the dubious distinction of being the only place in the country where you’ll find ‘skull’ in a street name. Why? Read More

2
Oct
2017
0

The OS Map Fan Club

After a sold-out run at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe The OS Map Fan Club is coming to our Southampton head office to help launch National Map Reading Week and raise money for Solent Mind. The performance will be held on Monday October 16 at 7 pm. Space is limited, so booking is essential, and attendees are asked to make a minimum donation of £5 on the night to gain access. To reserve your place email your details to businesscentre@os.uk 

The OS Map Fan Club is a solo, comedy show written and performed by OS enthusiast Helen Wood, and is a humorous exploration of the much loved, fold-out, paper map.

In this fast-paced, entertaining show Helen leads the audience on a virtual ramble using sheet 168 Explorer Map of Stroud, Tetbury and Malmesbury. Along the way she weaves together fascinating facts about locations, maps and rambling with amusing autobiographical stories and sketches.

Helen is determined that by the end of the show all audience members will be card-carrying, badge wearing O.S. map fanatics.

‘Joyful, friendly show steeped in ‘Great British Bake Off’ values’

Three Weeks 

‘Helen Wood is a warm and engaging performer who entertains the audience with her fun and touching show’

West End Wilma

‘If you like walking, this is a great way to spend an hour’

Edfringe.com

To reserve your place email businesscentre@os.uk.

7
Jul
2017
1

What can I do to build a smarter future?

Have you ever had an idea so perfect that you know it could improve the lives of many people, only to be left feeling frustrated by not knowing the right person to tell?

If this is you, then you may be interested in a unique opportunity to help shape the smart city of the future.

CityVerve is the UK’s Internet of Things demonstrator, a project set in Manchester that is investigating how to create a connected city using technology to meet the complex needs of people. The aim is for CityVerve to be a blueprint for smart cities worldwide. Read More

15
Aug
2016
3

Through the looking glass

mars-map-extract

The Mars map created by OS’ Chris Wesson

By Layla Gordon

Back in February OS took a trip off of this planet to produce a paper map of Mars.

This inspired the Tech Labs team, who had been already involved in Augmented Reality (AR) work, to produce a Mars AR experience using this map.

As all good work with augmentation, the first step was to create some 3D content for augmenting the map. Using a set of height data for the planet captured by NASA, and with the advice of Peter Grindrod from UK Space Agency, I produced a height map in Grey Scale. Then using Blender I created a 3D terrain model of the Schiaparelli crater and its surroundings.

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8
Aug
2016
4

Talking augmented reality at the GeoTech meetup

Layla Gordon at the GeoTech Meetup

Layla Gordon at the GeoTech Meetup

At our recent GeoTech Meetup at the Geovation Hub the hot topic of conversation was augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and how mashing these with geospatial data unlocks the potential for some pretty exciting innovations in the near future.

OS Labs engineer, Layla Gordon, led the event at the Hub, and here she explains some of her adventures with AR…

Our first foray into the virtual spaces goes back to May 2015 where OS was the platinum sponsor of an event called Digital Shoreditch in London. The venue is a Victorian basement with lots of corridors and rooms and in previous years visitors had trouble navigating within the building and finding the exhibitions they wanted to see.

IndoorAR

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5
Aug
2016
0

Geovation Hub – one year on

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The Geovation Hub has been open now for one year. In that time it has:

  • 550 members’ regular attending the hub and using its space and resources.
  • 40 SMEs basing themselves at the Hub.
  • 4 start-ups on the Geovation Programme.
  • 30 lead partners.
  • Delivered £300,000 of revenue through partnerships and sponsorships that was unbudgeted.
  • GeoSpock – one of the first members of Geovation, using the hub to build their business and validate what they are doing. We took an active role in helping them secure £3.5m in investment.
  • FATMAP who came to us in the summer of 2015 with 3 people needing somewhere to establish themselves and take their 3D ski maps to market. They went live with their product in December and went out to a web summit in Ireland. We worked closely with them on their pitch and presentation, and they ended up raising £1m of bridge finance.
  • FATMAP grew from 3 to 8 employees when they were with us.
  • 3 Crowd Cube successes – Stay Safe raised £400,000. OpenPlay raised £150,000. Store Mates is closing in on raising £150,000.
  • Around 20 companies this year that have grown by at least a couple of people since they have been at the Hub.

I caught up with Geovation Hub manager, Alex Wrottesley about Geovation, the Hub and the past year.

Alex Wrottesley

Alex Wrottesley

What is Geovation and what is the Geovation Hub?

Geovation is Ordnance Survey’s (OS) commitment to open innovation and the Geovation Hub, Clerkenwell, is how OS creates new models to work with other companies and organisations outside the business.

In our first year there are already a wide range of businesses using the hub. This includes large corporations, to SMEs to individuals starting out. Basically it is anyone with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship within geospatial data. Read More

20
Jul
2016
5

CityVerve launches in Manchester

Guest blog by Simon Navin, Ordnance Survey Project Lead, Smart Practice.

July saw the official launch of CityVerve, the UK’s demonstrator project in Manchester for large scale deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. OS are part of a consortium of over 20 public and private sector organisations, ranging from SMEs to large global corporates, who over the next two years will design and deliver a series of citizen-focused solutions around the themes of Transport, Energy, Health and Culture, using IoT sensor and collaborative platform technology. After six months of governance negotiations, the project is now live and everyone is raring to go.

Our role is to provide the geospatial framework and location expertise upon which solutions may be based. The project will be a challenge to our existing content and working methods, as well as providing us with essential insight into what the content of the future may look like and how it may need to be delivered and shared. We’ll learn a lot from working with experts in data presentation, platform development, hardware deployment and key sector expertise.

The University of Manchester shown in the emerging 3D context model based on point clouds derived from aerial photography

The University of Manchester shown in the emerging 3D context model based on point clouds derived from aerial photography

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2
Mar
2016
0

Talking virtual reality with David Haynes

Last year we released a virtual Ben Nevis to explore on Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. David Haynes was one our developers working on the project and shares his views on VR.

Ben Nevis shown in VR

Ben Nevis shown in VR

What expectations do you have for VR in the near future?

2016 is going to see two big consumer releases on desktop in the Rift and the HTC Vive. Google have announced a new generation of Cardboard, and Samsung will likely release an updated GearVR later in the year to take full advantage of the upgraded hardware in their new S7 range phones (due to be released later this month).

Currently I see desktop and mobile VR as two overlapping but somewhat distinct markets: Read More

26
Feb
2016
1

A Mars ramble playlist

Following on from the release of our Mars map last week, we got to thinking about the sounds we’d like to hear if we went for a ramble around mars…For some it’s just the natural outdoor sounds. For others, tranquillity when outside is found through ear-shredding beats piped through their headphones for them and them alone to enjoy.

MarsBlog01

So, with this in mind, we have plotted a playlist to go with our Mars map. A soundtrack for the first intrepid explorers of the Martian landscape.

Obvious, we know, but surely the first thing a person should hear when they first set foot on Mars is Life on Mars by the recently departed David Bowie. It’s the perfect opening track to begin a ramble round the red planet. In truth, we probably could have just chosen Bowie tunes for this…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v–IqqusnNQ Read More