Category

Behind the scenes

11
Oct
2019
0

Meet the team: Nicole Frith

Continuing our series to introduce you to the individuals within OS and share the variety of work we do, meet Nicole Frith. As an Associate Data Management Specialist, here she gives us a glimpse into her varied role…

How long have you worked for OS?

I’ve worked at OS for just over 3 years now. I joined the OS Graduate Scheme in September 2016 and have since worked in a wide range of roles and teams across the business. Whilst on the graduate scheme, I visited remote sensing services, cartography, field production and spent time in the customer service centre, market insight, consultancy and technical services and product strategy and management. In September 2018, I started working in the data office and have been there ever since!  Read More

8
Oct
2019
2

How we use 3D height data at OS

Guest blog by OS Surveyor Lee Harvey.

Imagine you’re buying a new house and are worried about the risk of flooding. Or you’re installing a mobile network, such as 5G, and want to know where to place transmitters. You’ll need to know the shape of the ground, buildings blocking line of sight, where will water flow, and a host of other things. OS create a set of 3D height products as well as our 2D maps and data.

Remote Sensing at OS is a big thing. The team spends Spring and Summer (when the weather is better… apparently!) flying up and down Great Britain capturing aerial imagery. These images are used to update our maps quickly and efficiently at head office in Southampton. By taking many overlapping images and using some air triangulation software (that’s the maths of measuring angles from the air), we match these images to their real-world location and work out the height of features on the ground. The software takes these height points and constructs a Digital Surface Model (DSM), which also forms the basis of our orthorectified imagery (a top-down perspective, map-like image). The DSM data includes buildings, trees, bridges and anything which exists at the time the photos are taken. A video game is a good example, as you move your character through any 3D environment, the hard surface that the game graphics display, will be draped over a DSM (although it’s called a Mesh in the 3D graphics industry, the fundamentals are the same). To complement this surface, and to allow lots of clever analysis of the real world, we also create a Digital Terrain Model (DTM). Read More

19
Sep
2019
2

Mapping for Emergencies – Toddbrook Reservoir

On 1 August 2019, a major incident was declared at Toddbrook Reservoir in Derbyshire. Several days of heavy rain had resulted in high volumes of water flowing over the spillway, partially dislodging concrete slabs.

Spillways are structures that either form part of a dam, or are found just beside one. They are used, when a reservoir is full, to pass floodwater safely, and in a controlled way, over a dam, around it or through it.

OS aerial imagery of Whaley Bridge.

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2
Sep
2019
0

Meet the team: Charis Doidge

Continuing our series to introduce you to the individuals within OS and give you a snapshot of the range of roles we have, meet Charis Doidge. As a Senior Data Engineer, here she gives us an insight into the innovative work she is involved in…

How long have you worked for OS?

After completing an undergraduate degree in History, I started at OS in January 2014. Although I studied history, OS has very supportive training programmes and I was soon proficient in all things “Geography”.

I began my career creating our digital maps as a remote sensing surveyor, and soon learned how to also create our super detailed orthorectified imagery using various software suites. I gathered experience using geospatial tools, software, methodologies, and in doing so demonstrated I was able to problem solve. Read More

16
Aug
2019
0

Meet the team: Mark Cuthbert

Continuing our series to introduce you to the people within OS and share the range of work we do, meet Mark Cuthbert. As a Senior Production Manager, here he gives us a glimpse into his ever-changing role… 

How long have you worked for OS?

32 years. I started as a Survey Technician when I was 17 and spent the next 12 years surveying. My surveying career progressed to Mapping and Charting Officer, Surveyor, and then Senior Surveyor. 

I then spent 3 years as a Production Group Manager before almost 10 years as a Region Manager across 3 regions. I also became part of the OS national coaching network. Read More

13
Aug
2019
0

The variety of being an OS surveyor

As you can imagine, no two days are the same for an OS surveyor. From checking the extent of a dismantled railway to updating building functions for OS maps, the role of surveying Great Britain comes in all shapes and sizes. 

We have a geospatial database with half a billion features across GB. We make 20,000 changes a day and have over 200 surveyors, 2 aircrafts and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team working to keep it up to date. Our surveyors use OS Net and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology everyday to instantly position new map detail to within a few centimetres (find out more). 

For this year’s intake, we had over 450 people express an interest in joining us as a surveyor. With a real cross section of people keen to join us from all over GB, the standard was very high. The first cohort of successful candidates joined us back in July, and we will have a further 8 joining us in October.

L to R: Richard and Sue (trainers), Joaquin (South Cumbria) Tom (South Wales), Alicja (South Wales), Tim (East Anglia), Jamie (North Cumbria), Megan (East Anglia) Andrew (South Coast), Hannah (North Wales), William (Mid Wales) and trainer Alyson.

 

To give you an idea of the variety of changes that our surveyors cover, some of our team have shared their latest surveying tales…

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6
Aug
2019
0

Surveying coastal changes by drone 

Most of us are aware that Britain’s coastlines are constantly changing with erosion and landslides and we’ve blogged before about how our data is being used to predict future changes to the Scottish coastline. One challenge is capturing the changes quickly and ensuring our data reflects the current coastline. 

Drone footage from the Norfolk coast after a recent landslide

A recent landslide on the Norfolk coast at Sidestrand demonstrated the benefit of drone use to capture change. Footage of the cliff fall was captured by a member of the public and James Morrison from our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) teamworked with our Norfolkbased surveyor Jez Hull, to respond quickly.    Read More

11
Jul
2019
0

Meet the team: Kim Hadley

Continuing our series to introduce you to the wonderful people at OS and give you a glimpse of the variety of work we do, meet Kim Hadley. As our Customer Experience Manager, here she discusses her role and her passion for championing the customer… 

How long have you worked for OS?

I started in March 2018, so almost a year and a half now! I couldn’t help but apply for this job because I knew the scope of the job role was such a big opportunity.

Can you describe your working day?

Aside from all the usual admin, most days I am project managing our customer experience improvements. I really enjoy how my role will almost always involve other departments; it makes every project that much more interesting!

What are you working on right now?

I am currently collaborating with other departments to improve the OS MasterMap customer experience. We are using tools and techniques such as customer journey mapping and service blueprinting to ensure we design the right service to support our products and services.  I am also looking at the customer’s contact touch points on our website, I am putting myself in their shoes so I can learn what works and what could be developed.

Additionally, I am excited for the customer experience team to be leading on the LiveChat project and to be exploring the use of AI to serve our customers. Read More

9
Jul
2019
0

OS team wins Global Challenge

Congratulation to OS team Geo-Fit who won the Virgin Pulse Global Challenge, a worldwide competition with 3,000 participants. All 22 OS teams maintained a high level of performance and we gave them a celebratory lunch at head office.

During the 100-day challenge, 150 OS colleagues clocked up an impressive 92,109 miles! We’re delighted to say that by taking part in Global Challenge, we have raised over £2,000 for Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity (our corporate charity).

The Geo-Fit team included Andrew Dixey, Fabian Koenig, James Morrison, Kat Bower, Hazel Slawson, James Terry and Slawomir Bruszkowski! We sat down with team captain Andrew to discover the secrets of their success.

L to R: Hazel Hendley (HR), Slawomir Bruszkowski, James Morrison, Kat Bower, Andrew Dixey, Fabian Koenig, John Clarke (COO), James Terry. Hazel and John presented the awards.

What does it feel like to have captained the global winners?

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28
Jun
2019
0

Meet the team: Hazel Hendley

Continuing our series to introduce you to the creative individuals within OS and share the variety of work we do, meet Hazel Hendley. As Interim HR Director, and currently recruiting for a Reward Manager to join OS, Hazel gives us a glimpse into her role and the HR team…

Hazel Hendley, Interim HR Director

Tell us a bit about yourself Hazel

I have a background in Occupational Psychology and taking a strengths-based, positive approach is central to my HR philosophy. Helping business, teams and individuals meet their full potential is hugely rewarding for me.

Outside of work, I’m married and have a daughter. Both my husband and daughter are competitive triathletes and enjoy supporting their goals with good food and plenty of encouragement. In any spare moments I like spending time with friends and family and fitting the odd gym session in.

What’s been your personal highlight of working at OS?

There have been many highlights working here at OS, but one of my greatest memories was last September when the whole business participated in National Fitness Week with a day’s activity. We all got away from our desks, tried something new, got outside and had fun with our colleagues. It was a great privilege to be one of the sponsors of this.

Over the past 18 months I’ve really enjoyed building the HR team. We’re the most engaged team in OS and we’re passionate about delivering a great service to our colleagues across the business. Read More