Category

Behind the scenes

13
Aug
2019

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

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

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

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

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

17
Jun
2019

100 years of getting people outside – celebrating Ellis Martin

OS map cover with artwork by Ellis MartinIf you’re a fan of old maps, you might have seen some of Ellis Martin’s work. The map cover artwork in the 1920s and ‘30s was often created by Ellis Martin, who joined OS in 1919. Those maps with Martin’s distinctive drawings helped establish OS as a leading outdoors brand, something worth celebrating 100 years on.

With the anniversary already in mind, it was quite a coincidence to receive an email saying: “When clearing out a relative’s house, I came across a painting done by the artist who illustrated your map covers, Ellis Martin.” Read More

11
Jun
2019

Meet the team: Layla Gordon

Continuing our series to introduce you to the creative individuals within OS and share the variety of work we do, meet Layla Gordon. As a Research Scientist, here she gives us a glimpse into her extremely varied role…

How long have you worked for OS?

14 years. I first joined as a research scientist to work in the remote sensing team in the research department. After 7 years of working within research, I was asked to join the technology labs team as a tech labs engineer. I also joined the mobile team on a secondment basis for 6 months in between research and tech labs transition.

How long have you been in your current role?

About a year ago the tech labs team merged with the CATS team, so I became a research scientist again!

Can you describe your working day?

I am often on Meshmixer/Blender as well as meshlab for editing and the creation of 3D objects. Also I have two weekly meetings to attend with PocketPals and I also help manage the backlogs and communicate with the team throughout the day. Read More

9
May
2019

Why we’re adjusting Naismith’s Rule

Guest blog by OS product manager Tim Newman.

If you’ve spent any time hillwalking or learning basic navigation skills, then chances are you’ve heard of Naismith and his eponymous rule for estimating walking times. It enables you, armed only with a paper map and a piece of string, to predict your route time or assess whether you’re quicker heading straight over a hill, or taking a longer detour round it.

Naismith’s Rule

Imperial  Metric
Allow one hour for every three miles walked. 

Add one hour for every 2000 ft of ascent. 

Allow one hour for every five kilometres walked. 

Add one hour for every 600 metres of ascent. 


Despite
a number of corrections that have been proposed over the years (e.g. to take into account fitness or slope gradient), Naismith’s Rule has remained a staple on navigation syllabi across the country and is still used by our digital mapping product OS Maps. Read More

7
May
2019

Meet the team: Marianne Pope

Continuing our series to introduce you to the wonderful individuals within OS and give you a snapshot of the variety of work we do, meet Marianne Pope. As a Product Manager, here she offers insight into her role from data to the Geospatial Commission… 

How long have you worked for OS?

I joined OS in November 2018 as a product manager within OSGB. Before that I worked as a product manager in the education sector. 

What does your role involve?

As a product manager, my main job is to set the vision for a product. The vision sets out the ‘why’ behind what we do and makes sure everyone is working towards the same goal. From the vision I draw up the roadmap and strategy for the product’s development while ensuring I balance the needs of our users with the needs of the business. I also spend a lot of time analysing data and carrying out user research to constantly measure product progress – this makes sure we stay on track towards our goals. Read More

24
Apr
2019

Spring is in the air and so is our Flying Unit!

Based out of East Midlands airport, our team are getting to grips with some new technology and a new aircraft for the 2019 flying season, which runs from the end of February to the end of October.  

This year, were excited to be adding two Vexcel Mark 3 UltraCam Eagle cameras and a Pressurised Beechcraft B200 King Air aircraft to our kit! In a bid to capture more imagery than ever before and to test efficiency with flights, the new cameras and plane are being flown higher and at faster speeds.

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