EarthSense Partnership Maps City Clean Air Cycle Routes

A project combining Ordnance Survey (OS) geospatial data with real-time air quality data from EarthSense Systems is set to highlight clean cycle routes in Britain’s cities.

Using a network of air pollution sensors, EarthSense is producing city-wide visualisations of air quality. Combined with OS’s open dataset of greenspaces, the EarthSense air quality models highlight areas of higher air pollution allowing users to identify cleaner air routes, such as through parks or along canal paths.

“By making it easy for cyclists to see pollution levels before they make their journey, we can help them make better decisions about their route,” commented Professor Roland Leigh, Technical Director of EarthSense. “This maximises the gain they are getting from the exercise whilst minimising their exposure to harmful pollution.” Read More


Augmented Reality in the great outdoors

By Tim Newman, Consumer Product Manager

For over a decade, OS has been active in the field of augmented reality – proving the concept back in 2006 with a thought-leading paper on Mobile Augmented Reality, and more recently prototyping 3D maps of Mars, and creating a navigation app for a Shoreditch basement. We’re now really excited to be using this augmented reality technology to introduce a new feature for OS Maps.

The recently released AR feature will help users learn about their surroundings by labelling and categorising the features around them, finally overcoming the big limitation of maps on mobile: the small screen. Have you ever looked out over a stunning vista and found yourself struggling to identify a hill or work out how far it was to the town below you? Now you can simply hold up your smartphone to find out what you’re looking at and how far away it is. If a place catches your interest, just tap on the label to find out more about it.

This fun and informative new feature was made possible by combining sensor data from the phone with OS data of over 200,000 hills, mountains, coastal features, lakes, settlements, transport hubs and areas of woodland. As a company of data experts, it’s fantastically rewarding to make use of our data to help make the outdoors more enjoyable, accessible and safe. This is what motivates the team and, combined with the great feedback we get from users, drives us to continue improving OS Maps – so keep your eyes peeled for the next bunch of features we’re working on to make it easier than ever to plan your time outdoors. There’s never been a better time to open up OS Maps and GetOutside!

To find out more about AR head to

Stay tuned to the blog to learn from Layla Gordon in the tech labs team about how it works and the exciting projects that she’s developing with augmented reality.


Beautiful new map of London – created to celebrate the outdoors

A stunning new map has been published by Urban Good showing London green spaces. The map of the capital shows over 3,000 parks, plus woodlands, playing fields, nature reserves, city farms, rivers, canals and all the spaces that contribute to London’s parkland. Some of the most iconic walks through and around London are drawn, such as the London Loop and Capital Ring, along with symbols marking places to swim outdoors, climb hills, pitch a tent or go kayaking.

The map was published on World Habitat Day (2 October) to mark the launch of the National Park City Foundation, a new charity established to help make the London National Park City a success. The folded paper map, from Urban Good, will be available to the public for free next year, with a limited public release this week.

The public can: Read More


New beach huts added to the mapping database for GB

A stunning development of new beach huts on the south coast has been added to our geospatial database ahead of the summer season.

The development, in Milford on Sea, replaces the old beach huts which were damaged and destroyed during a fierce storm on 14 February 2014. With building work on 119 beach huts and the surrounding area reaching a conclusion, it provided the ideal opportunity for our surveyor Joanne Lanham to officially capture and map the changes on the site. Read More


Premier League map art

The 2016/17 English Football Premier League season is over and what a great season it has been.

Chelsea are champions for the sixth time while Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull have been relegated. Tottenham Hotspur say a fond farewell to White Hart Lane after 118 years and finish the season in second. West Ham started life at the London Stadium and finished the season in a respectable 11th place.

To mark the end of the season, the GeoDataViz team have created a one-off visual of all 20 locations for each of the Premier League stadiums. Each of the stadiums have been mapped using OS Open-Map Local and styled using the team colours.

Have a look for your favourite team below in the final league table or view and download a poster of all 20 stadium locations.

The 2016/17 Premier League Table

Read More


Boundary-Line statement

Following a number of queries about our Boundary-Line OS OpenData product, please read our statement.

Boundary-Line is an OS OpenData product which we release under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Our production cycle for Boundary-Line sees us release updates in May and October each year.

The primary purpose of Boundary-Line is to show the current operative administrative and voting boundaries within Great Britain.  New boundaries are determined in accordance with Statutory Instruments and Community Governance Orders, which typically come into effect when elections are held (usually in May).  Our product update cycle for the May release aligns with the dates that the changes to electoral and administrative boundaries become operative.

To maintain and update Boundary-Line, we need to process data received at different times, from many third parties, in differing formats within the production cycle. If we released Boundary-Line data ahead of schedule, the data would not have the benefit of going through the production processes which are in place to ensure that the data is accurate and reflects all of the available changes to the boundaries that we receive from local authorities. Read More


Going underground with the Geovation Challenge 2016

Over the last few months, Geovation has worked with the utility industry to identify their biggest challenges in managing our underground assets. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an innovator or a developer we’re now inviting you to come up with solutions to tackle these real-world problems using location data.  

gv3As a result of consultations with senior figures from utility companies, the owners of underground pipe and cable networks, and those responsible for their maintenance, 55 problem areas have been brought to the surface. These have been grouped into 4 themes: Asset Location, Asset Management & MaintenanceStakeholder Impact and Predicting Asset Future.

It is thought that through improved asset management and operations and the digitisation of records, production could be increased by 15% and profitability by 20-30%. Also revealed was the value of sharing data between utility companies and innovators to effectively resolve problems. Read More


Rededicating the OS war memorial

Guest blog by Amber Turner

Our original head office in Southampton was one of thousands of buildings that suffered terrible damage during the Southampton blitz on 1 December 1940. The bombing of the site sadly killed a mixture of hard-working civilians and Royal Engineers working for us at the time.

Members of Ordnance Survey, the Royal Engineers and the Ministry of Justice at the war memorial on 1 December 2015

Members of Ordnance Survey, the Royal Engineers and the Ministry of Justice at the war memorial on 1 December 2015

On this same day seventy five years later, we took part in a service dedicated to those who lost their lives during the world wars. After our move to Explorer House, the old memorial statue from Romsey Road has been renovated and moved to the Ministry of Justice, close to the original head office on London Road during the air raid. Read More


#GetOutside by #WalkingHomeForChristmas

WHFC pack contents (002)We are delighted to announce a new partnership with military charity Walking With The Wounded to back its Walking Home For Christmas campaign in support of veterans who don’t have a home to walk to.

We’ve managed to secure 150 entry packs for this amazing festive outdoor challenge. To show our appreciation for the hundreds of people who have made a pledge to GetOutside we are offering them the first chance to secure a place. Read More


Working Internationally

Posted by: Steven Ramage

SkylineOver the last 20 years I’ve worked with Ordnance Survey as a partner, supplier and collaborator through various roles. In August 2012 I eventually became an employee, joining to create the new overseas business of Ordnance Survey International. The last couple of years have flown past and when I look back at what I started with just myself and Carsten Roensdorf, who is based out in Dubai, I have to say it has been an exciting ride.

Ordnance Survey International is now a good-sized team, working with organisations in various parts of the world and everyday facing interesting and challenging business demands. We set out with the initial goal of advising other nations of the value of geographic information and to help them understand how to build on this. Ordnance Survey has invested extensively over the last 12-15 years, learning many lessons along the way, and our role is to share those lessons and provide guidance to assist other nations to develop their capabilities quickly and sustainably.

One of those lessons is international geospatial standards. The most advanced mapping organisations promote, support and endorse the use of international geospatial standards, which allow interoperability of geospatial information, devices, applications, services and networks. Ordnance Survey makes an important contribution to international geospatial standards, the recent paper co-authored by myself and Gerardo Esparza from INEGI Mexico: provides detail on the importance of geospatial standards from the national mapping perspective.

In addition to international geospatial standards development, Ordnance Survey International provides advice on business planning, policy development, pricing and licensing and technology acquisition – based on the real progress Ordnance Survey has made in these areas.

Our ability to guide nations in developing their own national mapping capability through alignment of business strategy and vision and addressing operational capacity and capability enforces Ordnance Survey as a very well-respected and high-quality brand, not only in Great Britain, but throughout the world.