Category

Behind the scenes

21
Oct
2020
0

OS Flying Team keep mapping Britain’s changes

As Britain’s mapping agency we’re keeping track of half a billion geospatial features across the country and making tens of thousands of changes daily. We have over 200 surveyors on the ground and aircraft who survey from the skies to ensure we have the latest data ready for our customers. Our Flying Team were already prepared for some changes in 2020 as they were moving base and flying in new aircraft with new cameras, but Covid-19 had a bigger impact. Find out how the team have been working in 2020.

Aerial view of London with Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and the Thames

London from the air during lockdown in 2020

The Flying Team are usually in the skies above Britain from March to early November each year, using the aircraft and high-resolution cameras to survey about a third of Britain, that’s  around 80,000 km2 of imagery data and over 100,000 individual images.

New base and aircraft

For the 2020 season, the team are flying from a new base, Retford (Gamston) Airport in Nottinghamshire. It’s a great location to fly to both the North of Scotland and down to the South West of Britain, and quite a change from working at our previous base in East Midlands Airport which is a large cargo hub and holiday gateway. Read More

16
Jul
2020
1

Meet the team: Chris Jennings

Chris JenningsAs 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?

I joined the Geospatial Solution Architecture team at OS in September 2019 and, not long after joining, I founded and now chair the LGBT+ employee network at OS. Read More

17
Mar
2020
3

Meet the team: Dean Paulley

Dean PaulleyContinuing our series to introduce you to the individuals within OS and share the variety of work we do, meet Dean Paulley. As an Product Manager, he gives us a glimpse into his very diverse role…

How long have you worked for OS?

I have been working for OS for 5 ½ years. I joined in August 2014 after spending just over 4 years working in a Local Authority GIS team.

I joined OS as a Technical Product Manager, working within the Location Portfolio mainly responsible for providing technical advice and guidance to the business when developing product enhancements and propositions. I was lucky enough to be able to help design the second iterations of the AddressBase products as well as help launch AddressBase Islands (an address product for Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man).

In April 2018, I took on the role of Product Manager principally responsible for the in-life management of the AddressBase products; one of the most used product portfolios in OS. This is a product set used by Government and commercial customers and is fundamental in supporting activities such as insurance, energy supply and risk mapping.

Can you describe your working day?

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19
Feb
2020
1

Meet the team: Karen Connell

Karen ConnellDid you know, we currently have multiple vacancies in our engineering team? Adding to our series introducing you to the talented people within OS, meet Karen Connell. As a Senior Software Engineer, here she tells us more about her team and life at OS…

What is your background and how long have you been at OS?

It’s been a bit of a journey to bring me to OS. After finishing my Communications, Culture & Media degree at Coventry University, I went to teach English in rural Japan for 3 years. When I returned to the UK, I turned my hand to public relations. As the years went on, I was increasingly focusing on more technical tasks like website management and app creation. Realising I might be more of a technically minded person, I applied for the IT Trainee scheme here at OS and it was the break I needed – I have now been here for 5 years! Read More

17
Feb
2020
2

#mydataday with surveyor Tom Watts

Tom Watts surveyingHow long have you worked as a surveyor at OS?

I have worked for OS for 15 years. The time has flown by and it would be fair to say I’ve surveyed most of the new topographic features in places like St Albans and Watford. My area of responsibility stretches across west Hertfordshire into Buckinghamshire. This includes The Chilterns, which is always a pleasure to work within. 

By surveying the countryside and the built environment, I get to survey and visit interesting places. Updating the large-scale OS map of Great Britain has taken me to places such as Vicarage Road, the home of Watford FC, Arsenal FC’s training ground and the Warner Bros Studio Tour. 

When you are out surveying, what is the most common thing you get asked by the public?

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30
Dec
2019
1

Fundraising continues at OS HQ

At our last update in July, we had raised over £1800 for Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity. We’re delighted to announce we have now reached a total of over £22000!

From an employee quiz to pumpkin carving, we’ve been busy over the past few months raising vital funds for our corporate charity. Featuring the OS choir Off the Scale, we held our annual gala which alone brought in £700+. Not only that but as well as an internal competition, we even had a whole department turn up to work in onesies.

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23
Dec
2019
3

Top 10 blogs of 2019

First off, thank you to everyone for your interest in the OS blog over 2019. At the end of each year, we like to find out the content you’ve enjoyed the most. Of course we always aim to publish content that you’ll find interesting, but crunching the numbers and working out the top 10 helps us understand what we should do more of. So, what has grabbed your attention the most throughout 2019? Let’s find out… Read More

19
Dec
2019
8

PARD: a process to identify vulnerable citizens

“Geolocation is paramount for emergency response” and, as a systems developer at Falkirk Council, Avais Ijaz knows this more than anyone.
PARD temporary response hub.

For an event like this, a temporary “response hub” is set up.

On 1 December, Falkirk experienced a gas network failure which led to thousands of people being left without heat in freezing temperatures. Ensuring vulnerable people received the support they needed was a priority, so having the Persons at Risk Database (PARD) in place was key. With PARD in place, gas infrastructure company SGN and Falkirk’s Health & Social Care Partnership were able to get to the homes of the vulnerable and elderly efficiently.

What is PARD?

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12
Dec
2019
4

Volunteering with MapAction

Based in the UK with a band of 70 or so volunteers and a handful of permanent staff, MapAction is an international disaster mapping charity working to ensure humanitarian responders have access to the maps and data they need to save lives and relieve suffering. 

MapAction has received long term support from the OS since 2006. In addition to donations, OS also allows employees who are MapAction volunteers to take 10 days volunteer leave. 

OS and MapAction have also worked closely on influencing the international agenda at the UNGGIM (United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management), successfully lobbying for the availability of crucial geospatial data in the aftermath of a humanitarian disaster. 

Having just been presented with MapAction’s Volunteer of the Year 2019 award by founder David Spackman, OS employee Steve Hurst shares his volunteering experience…

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27
Nov
2019
1

A glimpse into the role of an OS surveyor

From the Isle of Arran to Cornwall, our field surveyors are working hard throughout Great Britain come rain or shine. As we did back in August, we want to share a glimpse into how our 200+ surveyors feed in to the 20,000 changes we make to our database every single day. Alongside our surveyors, we have two aircraft and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team working to keep our database up to date. 

We asked a handful of surveyors about their latest jobs, and they didn’t disappoint. We have everything from Strawberry Field in Liverpool to a new state-of-the-art events venue in Aberdeen.

From Cambridge…

Tim Glasswell surveyed Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque in Cambridge. With a near-zero carbon footprint, this purpose-built mosque is the epitome of sustainability.

First eco-friendly mosque.

Eco-friendly mosque

…to Liverpool

Liverpool-based field surveyor Christopher Robinson found himself on the site of Strawberry Field. Previously the site of a Salvation Army children’s home and made famous by The Beatles hit Strawberry Fields Forever, in September of this year it opened to the public for the first time. Dodging some tourists, Christopher surveyed the new café, meditation rooms and community space – he even found a benchmark!

Surveyor at site of Strawberry Field.

Strawberry Field

From indoor arenas…

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