In a world where we have access to an abundance of information, good data visualisation is more important now than ever before. Our GeoDataViz team here at OS know this better than anyone. Here they talk us through their thematic mapping techniques and explain when and how these techniques should be used…
Following her blog on the release of two new colour vision deficiency (CVD) friendly styles for OS Open Zoomstack last December, Graduate Technical Consultant Jessica Baker talks through the feedback we’ve had, where our CVD mapping is going next, and new ways you can access these styles.
The initial release of the two new CVD friendly stylesheets in December 2019 was met with a keen interest, and you can find these stylesheets in a variety of file types on Github. Since then, we have been working hard to make more people aware of the benefits it could have for them. We’ve had lots of feedback from people and are excited to share with you the new direction we are taking this accessible mapping.
Mappy New Year! 2019 was a great year for cartography, especially geo data visualisation. We loved seeing such amazing maps and visuals being produced by some very talented people, and the standard just seems to be getting better and better. Inspired by all the brilliant work we’ve seen, we thought we’d pull together some of our favourites. There are too many to include so this list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope you enjoy our picks.
Surfing Saco Bay, Margot Carpenter
Created by independent cartographer Margot Carpenter, this stunning map depicts Maine’s Saco Bay. The detail is incredible, and we love how the map focuses on the bay’s underwater topography and wave dynamics and how they fuel the bays amazing surfing conditions. There is also a beautiful compass rose that illustrates wave height and a visualisation depicting how bathymetry and waves create surf!
Recently we welcomed local student Rosie Newhouse Hill to the media team for a week of work experience. We really enjoyed having her with us, and we’re delighted to be able to share her Christmas-themed blog…
Christmas is drawing closer and people are slowly leaning into the festive spirit. Here at OS, we are ready to dive right into Christmas by tying it up with geography through these fun geographical stats. From sprouts to wrapping paper, fairy lights to Christmas trees, we’ve got it all.
We’re looking for your feedback on our new styles for OS Open Zoomstack. They’re aimed at making our data more accessible to those with colour vision deficiency (CVD). Find out about the work that Jessica Baker, Graduate Data Scientist, has been doing on the styles and try them out for yourself.
Unless you’re colour blind, you are unlikely to be aware of the problems which cartographic styles and colour schemes cause for those affected by CVD. Colours usually easily distinguishable to the human eye, such as red and green, appear very similar and can make elements of map reading more difficult. The issue is often overlooked, with traditional spectral rainbow colour schemes kicking up several difficulties for those with colour blindness.
During my first few weeks at OS on the Graduate Development Programme, I’ve been learning how we can improve the accessibility of data. I decided to start by developing free downloadable styles for our popular OS Open Zoomstack product – an exciting project to work on.
We were delighted to welcome the British Cartographic Society (BCS) and Society of Cartographers to our head office in Southampton for their Annual Conference.
From specialists in commercial, academic and governmental organisations, this two-day event attracts those with the common interest that maps are a valuable communication device. As well as being host to the BCS Award Ceremony, this event offers an opportunity to share information about recent projects, join discussion groups and learn from colleagues and experts.
The BCS Award Ceremony
On the day, everyone had the chance to celebrate and witness first-hand a range of excellent entries across a range of different criteria and formats. The BCS Awards recognise the very best cartographic work and scholarship from around the globe. Among these is the OS Award, which is given for excellence in the application of OS data. Every year it becomes harder and harder to judge as the entries get better and better, but this year there was one clear winner.
By Lucie Woellenstein, Graduate Data Scientist
Did you know that there are 50 motorways in Great Britain with over 8,300 km of roads and a whopping 666 junctions? How many junctions have you taken? Or will you be taking as you head off for the summer holidays? Ever tried to come off a motorway junction, only to find you’ve taken the wrong exit and are now heading in the wrong direction? Maybe you’ve driven through the famous ‘Spaghetti Junction’ in Birmingham, and wondered what it looks like from above? Or perhaps you’ve been perplexed at how the most complex of junctions somehow actually work?
Well here at Ordnance Survey, we’ve spent many hours over the years thinking about the interwoven laces of motorway junctions. Not from the perspective of a driver, but that of a cartographer. From data architects conceptually modelling how to capture data, to surveyors capturing the exact GPS locations of our roads, and to the cartographers that digitise the maps you use to travel along the motorways – a lot of thought goes into how to cartographically represent junctions in a way they make sense to the map reader.
Cartographically complex motorway junctions
This year marks the 50th year anniversary of the Moon landing, and to celebrate the occasion the OS GeoDataViz team decided to create a map of Apollo 11’s lunar landing site in our unique map style (available to buy in our OS map shop). Find out how Paul Naylor approached the task.
On 20 July 1969 at 20:17 GMT, Apollo 11 touched down on the moon. Six hours later Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface. It was a monumental achievement for humanity.
It’s 70 years since the 1949 Act of Parliament that began the family of National Parks in Great Britain, and our GeoDataViz team have created a stunning poster to showcase the varied landscapes of our 15 beautiful National Parks.
You can buy this poster in the OS Map Shop
Covering a combined area of 23,138 km2 (that’s around 10% of Great Britain and an area slightly larger than Wales) the National Parks offer us a stunning variety of landscapes to explore. With two parks in Scotland, three in Wales and ten in England, they’re accessible to many of us, no matter where we live.