Category

Developers

19
Jan
2021

3D maps for your apps

We have been publishing building heights for a while now, but did you know they just got even easier to access and even easier to build into your web applications?

With the release of OS Vector Tile API and OS Features API, you can access detailed OS MasterMap Topography Layer buildings in new ways – and the height attributes are ready to be used!

Image: OS Vector Tile API with MasterMap buildings extruded to their roof heights.

OS Vector Tile API with MasterMap buildings extruded to their roof heights.

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22
Dec
2020

Our GeoDataViz team’s favourite maps of 2020

In terms of news, 2020 has been an interesting year to say the least. We have seen a lot of maps, charts and data visualisations to support these news stories and, as you’d expect, the most common topics covered have been Covid-19 and the US Presidential race.

Here in the OS GeoDataViz team, we love how maps can draw you into a news story and keep you engaged as you scroll through the narrative. For the second year in a row, we’ve compiled our favourite geo data visualisations of 2020 (please note this list is not exhaustive!).

The first 3 entries to this year’s list include maps and visualisations that have been made to report on a news item. Each story is important, but they are not related to Covid-19 or the Presidential race. We think it’s fair to say these have been covered enough already this year, so for this reason we have chosen not to include any in today’s list.

Time is running out to save the last of the world’s rainforest, Bloomberg

This news story from the team at Bloomberg uses a range of maps to support its narrative. It’s a chilling tale that charts tree loss in Brazil between 2000 and 2019 and the animated maps that are used to highlight the problem work magnificently. They are subtle and impactful with some beautiful labelling and annotation.

Time is running out to save the last of the world’s rainforest, Bloomberg.

 

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15
Dec
2020

An OS Developer summary

Since launching the OS Data Hub back in July as part of the new Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), it’s been a busy six months here at OS. From hosting tech deep dives to creating tutorials, we’ve been working hard to ensure we make it easier than ever to find, access and use our data.

What is the OS Data Hub?

The OS Data Hub is the new way to access our authoritative location data. It is replacing the current OS ordering systems (OS OpenData Portal, OS Orders and API shop) with one platform and a single sign on.

OS Data Hub screenshot.

OS Data Hub screenshot.

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8
Dec
2020

Using the OS Data Hub in Iventis to plan major events

Iventis is transforming the way complex operations, such as major events, are planned and managed. For this week’s #OSDeveloper blog, they have been kind enough to tell us how…

Iventis provides a collaborative planning platform for the organisers of the world’s largest and most complex events. With events such as the World Cup or Olympic Games, operations can span whole cities and countries. As a result, event organisers require access to both detailed local mapping and lower scale data to develop their plans.

This is where Iventis comes in. By using the OS Vector Tile API to fetch mapping data and integrating this with CAD and BIM imagery, we are able to provide a seamless and powerful mapping experience.

Iventis screenshot. Read More

1
Dec
2020

DfT project explores potential for residential electric vehicle charging

Tamsin Forbes, a data scientist at the Department for Transport (DfT), explains how she has used OS and aerial photography data available through the Geospatial Commission’s public sector contracts to support infrastructure planning for electric vehicle charge points.

Working with the Environment Statistics team within the DfT, I’m involved in helping to plan for the future provision of electric vehicle (EV) charge points across the UK.

In a future where vehicles are fully or partially electric, all vehicle users will require adequate access to charge points. The demand on the electricity grid is an important consideration, and to mitigate this the majority of charging should take place at night outside peak hours of electricity consumption. To achieve this it is likely that many charge points will need to be located very close to the property of the vehicle owner, making it important to understand parking availability.

The challenge is that there is no definitive existing dataset that quantifies residential parking availability for the UK. Although various datasets exist which include some information, more research needs to be done to support the planning process. Read More

24
Nov
2020

Mapping a personal journey with OS OpenData

As part of our #OSDeveloper series, we’re bringing you a guest blog by Liam Mason, spatial analyst and cartographer for the Scottish Government.

A LEGO representation of author (made by author)After months living and working at home, I decided to stretch my legs and walk the West Highland Way, a long distance route from Milngavie to Fort William and one of Scotland’s Great Trails.

Following 96 miles of ancient paths such as drovers’ and military roads, the route passes from the suburbs of Scotland’s largest city, along the shores of the UK’s largest lake, crossing the remains of a supervolcano, before arriving at the UK’s largest peak.

Inspiration

To commemorate my walk, I wanted to make a map. I’d tracked my efforts using a GPS watch, so I had a wealth of data. Points, tracks, distance, pace, heart rate, elevation… So much data it was a bit overwhelming. What was important for the narrative? What style was I looking for? Read More

16
Nov
2020

Data visualisation

In the nineteenth century, it was believed that cholera was transmitted and spread by miasma (a theory that claimed epidemics were caused by bad odours emanating from rotting organic matter). In 1854 a major outbreak of cholera reached the district of Soho, London. A lack of proper sanitary services and poor drainage meant that the outbreak hit hard.

John Snow was an English physician and a sceptic of the miasma theory. By visually representing the location of each cholera case on a map, Snow was able to show evidence of a connection between the Broad Street water pump and the number of cholera cases in the immediate vicinity.

John Snow's cholera map.

John Snow’s cholera map.

This map presented the data visually and geographically, allowing us to see a pattern and correlation between the water pump and location of cases. Not only did this insight ultimately lead to the discovery of the source of the outbreak, it forever changed how we interpret our world.

What is data visualisation?

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27
Oct
2020

Using OS data to accurately identify environmental risk to a property

Balkerne enables property owners and insurers to prevent losses from manmade and natural events through predictive, actionable, and location-based intelligence. As co-founder, Harish Pesala is using OS data to develop products that help insurers, brokers, and property owners to act before things go wrong. How? Harish tells us more…

Seeing images in the media of businesses and families severely affected by storms in the UK, we asked ourselves: “Why doesn’t the right information get to the right people at the right time to prevent this from happening?”. From this question, the concept of Balkerne was born.

Given the latest technological advancements and the amount of data available nowadays, we started wondering why a solution that could stop such tremendous losses from happening had not been developed yet. We saw a huge opportunity to make businesses and society more resilient, and decided it was time to act.Depiction of services Balkerne offers. Read More

13
Oct
2020

OS Data Hub to canvas: bring your favourite GB locations to life

Software: ArcGIS Pro 2.5
Data: OS Open Zoomstack

There are currently a number of examples in the geospatial industry of people using various different styles to create interesting and artistic outputs. The brilliant John Nelson recently wrote a blog on paper terrain styles which inspired me to create my own map using OS OpenData that I could then print on to canvas.

This blog post will outline the steps I took to obtain and process the data to create the final output. I used Esri ArcGIS Pro for this project, but similar styles and tutorials exist for other GIS software.

Canvas print

Final canvas print.

Step 1

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6
Oct
2020

Space, maps and the vulnerable – how integrated spatial data can help society

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been supporting the country’s response with our data. In April, we announced the release of an additional Covid-19 licence (extended until March 2021). This enables organisations, developers and individuals to use OS data, free at the point of use, for the specific purpose of supporting the UK response to Covid-19.

4EI Heat Hazard Postcode Data over London with Satellite Imagery and OS Greenspace vectors.

Heat Hazard Postcode Data over London with Satellite Imagery and OS Greenspace vectors (*copyright and database right information in caption below).

Since using our Covid-19 licence, we’ve welcomed 4 Earth Intelligence (4EI) as an OS partner! For this week’s OS Developer blog, their Chief Technology Officer Richard Flemmings explains how OS data is enabling their work to address climate change…

Air, surface and soil temperatures in cities are higher than their surrounding rural areas, predominantly due to the modification of land cover. The compact design of cities and the lack of vegetation and green spaces means that heat gets trapped within the urban area from both natural and waste heat energy. This is created from everyday life such as heat escaping from insulated buildings and is known as the urban heat island effect.

Satellite data analysis is complex and most people think it’s beyond their skill to understand and use it. However, that’s what we do and it’s 4EI’s core mission – we take complex science and distil it into information and insights that are valuable to our customers – at its simplest, this includes making maps.

Heat mapping

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