We’re heading to London on Friday to take part in a celebration of all things map, geo and cartographic at the British Library’s evening bash. But did you know that London used to be home to Ordnance Survey? Although we’ve spent the last 176 years with our head office based in Southampton, our early days were actually at the Tower of London.
Our surveying team were given a helping hand to capture the latest changes at Southampton General Hospital on Friday. Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, joined our surveyor Tony Vanderhoek to officially add the new hospital multi-storey car park to the geospatial database for Great Britain. During the visit the surveying duo also captured the modifications to the entrances at both the main hospital building and A&E.
Every day thousands of updates and amendments are made to Britain’s geospatial database, which contains over 500 million geographic features. We use a team of 250 surveyors, supported by aerial imagery, to survey and map the changing face of the nation. Using the latest GPS technology, our surveyors can map to centimetre accuracy, ensuring that Great Britain remains one of the most accurately mapped nations on the planet.
Everyone at OS can use a paid volunteer day to help local community projects or support the corporate charity. Our Glasgow team got together to continue their outdoors lifestyles and support Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. The team explain more…
Just after dawn eight willing volunteer surveyors, past and present, travelled from all points West, forming up in a remote part of Renfrewshire, within Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. We met up with Haylie, our dedicated Park Ranger, at the park centre. She told us how the park provides daily and weekly outdoor learning opportunities for local schools and disability groups. And, how the Country Park secured funds from local and national businesses to fund small projects. During the day we were shown a new ‘dipping’ pond built after securing £10,000 from a national supermarket. When completed, a boardwalk will provide wheelchair access, an excellent addition to the park.
Have you been along to King’s Cross recently? Our surveyor Tony Killilea has been there regularly to capture the many changes taking place.
King’s Cross Station itself has been restored to its Victorian magnificence, and can claim to be one of London’s architectural treasures. And behind it, 27 hectares of former industrial land are being given a bright new future by the developer, Argent, who rely on our OS MasterMap Topography Layer for their base mapping. The development, straddling the revitalized Regent’s Canal, features ten new public squares, theatres, cinema, school, an arts college, supermarket, restaurants, restored gas holders, a skip garden, swimming pond, hundreds of offices and two thousand homes. So it is truly a mixed development.
Inspired by our CEO Nigel Clifford’s interview with Civil Service World, we asked some of our senior team to share their highlights from the last 12 months and the challenges facing them in 2017. We’re starting with David Henderson, our Director of Products.
What was your highlight of 2016?
The growth and impact of our Geovation Hub in Clerkenwell, London has been a beacon of many things in 2016. It’s reflected our commitment to supporting the growth of new business opportunities whilst at the same time acting as a broader catalyst for greater collaboration across the more traditional geospatial sector. We’ve seen a growing number of partners getting involved and we’ve helped to kick start some exciting new businesses. The enthusiasm of participants for our Geovation Challenges continues to be overwhelming. And with the addition of the Geovation community we’re really excited about the outputs of the current Underground Assets challenge which will gather momentum at the start of 2017.
A fitting surveying article for this time of year, as people head out to do the Christmas shopping…Bruce Ford and Paul Fozard mapped out the Victoria Gate arcade in Leeds. Find out how they went about adding such a large development to the database.
Over 18 months, the 50m high and 200m long Victoria Gate shopping precinct has risen from a 5-acre reclaimed site. Sandwiched between Leeds Bus Station and ‘The Headrow’, the new John Lewis department store, 800-bay multi-storey car park and sophisticated retail ‘street style’ arcade was constructed by Hammerson and cost £165 million. Field surveyors Bruce and Paul from our West Yorkshire team took up the inner-city prestige site task, armed with their GNSS equipment.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been sharing unusual surveying stories with you – from mapping chalk figures to lifeboat stations to the aftermath of a flood. All of these tasks form a part of the 10,000 changes a day taking place in our database of Great Britain. The variety of jobs faced by our 250+ surveyors is unending. We’ve compiled three of our recent favourites to share this week.
Surveying The Queen Mother
A new statue of The Queen Mother was unveiled as the centrepiece of Queen Mother Square, in Poundbury, Dorchester. The Poundbury development is built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. It’s an urban extension to Dorchester, built on the principles of architecture and urban planning as advocated by The Prince of Wales in ‘A Vision of Britain’. The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall all visited on 27 October to unveil the new statue – already expertly mapped by OS surveyor Roger Lewis.
Putting a new Coastguard base on the map
Guest blog by surveyor Bill Cranna
As surveyors, we’re used to working in all aspects of the landscape, but a request from Registers of Scotland (RoS) was a little more unusual. Last winter saw enormous flooding along the River Dee, at Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire. The floods resulted in devastation along the length of the river and in particular, the town of Ballater. The local caravan park was completely swamped and over 30 mobile homes and their contents washed away. RoS asked us to survey 5km of riverbank to check the effects of the flooding.
Cabin crew doors to manual and seat belts signs switched off…the 2016 flying season is complete. Jean Martin and her team explain why the season has come to an end and what they’re planning next.
It’s been another busy year for the OS Flying Unit, working from our East Midlands Airport base and taking to the skies in the two Cessna 404s. Flying from Lands’ End to Orkney, we’ve covered some 54,203 square kms of GB and taken over 141,700 aerial photographs along the way.
Did you watch ITV’s Countrywise on Friday night? If you tuned in, you’ll have seen Ben Fogle being an honorary surveyor as it became Scafell Pike’s turn for a re-measure. It marked the finale of the re-measurement of Scotland, Wales and England’s famous three mountain highs – Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike.