Category

Behind the scenes

19
Dec
2019

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?

Read More

12
Dec
2019

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…

Read More

27
Nov
2019

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…

Read More

30
Oct
2019

Meet the team: Matthew Ricketts

Did you know, our Graduate Development Programme is now open for applicants? As part of our series to introduce you to the wonderful people within OS and share the diversity of our work, meet Matthew Ricketts. As a Graduate Consultant Data Scientist, here he gives us a glimpse into his graduate experience here at OS…

How long have you worked for OS?

I joined OS as part of the Graduate Programme back in September 2017. I finished this in June 2019 and since have landed a full-time position in the Consultancy & Technical Services team within our Public Sector division. Read More

11
Oct
2019

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

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

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.

Read More

2
Sep
2019

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

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