The beta release of OS VectorMap District was voted winner in its category at the 2011 British Cartographic Society Awards which form part of the society’s annual symposium.
The judges awarded us Winner of the 2011 Avenza Award for Electronic Mapping.
The award was presented to two of our cartographers at the event’s gala dinner at Shrigley Hall, near Macclesfield. The panel of highly regarded cartographers described our entry as ‘a top-quality base map that is clear and easy to use, displaying class-leading cartography’.
- OS VectorMap District is a map on which you can overlay your own information. It can also be customised by selecting and styling different features in different ways. Ideal for creating web applications, OS VectorMap District contains only the most important information to give you a clear, uncluttered backdrop map.
In this post I’m going to focus on a particular developer issue around the use of our Web Map Builder. Questions have arisen around what you do with the code you get when you press the ‘Collect code’ button in ‘Step 4 – Generate and save code’. You are actually given a fully formed HTML document.
This is fantastic if all you want is a blank page with a map in it.
For that all I would need to do is:
1. Select all the code
2. Copy the code into a text editor, such as Notepad.
3. Save it as <name>.html, such as mymap.html.
4. Put it on my webserver
The MaxiMap is a huge 20 square metre map of Britain, designed as a teaching resource that can be walked and played on with the aim of getting kids excited about geography whilst teaching concepts like scale and distance and the impacts of climate change.
We wanted to donate the map,which is worth in the region of £300, so that it can be enjoyed by the tens of thousands of schools pupils who visit the centre every year.
Pupils from St Patrick’s School, Southampton, were on hand to put the MaxiMap through its paces.
The map is the brainchild of former teacher Ann Jones and her business partner Rowena Wells. Last year they won the inaugural GeoVation Challenge, earning them an £11,000 with which they have developed the MaxiMap concept.
Angela Ryde-Weller, INTECH Education Manager, said: “The MaxiMap provides a fun way to learn about size, scale and direction. Using their own bodies as measuring devices, pupils can find out how far it is from John O’ Groats to Southampton, that Liverpool is further east than Edinburgh and just how long our coastline is. They can then compare all their results and consider how accurate their measurements are.
“This cross curricular activity, linking mathematics and geography on an enormous scale, really adds a dimension to these topics.”
The current GeoVation Challenge, which is seeking ideas about ‘How to Improve Transport in Britain’, is still open to submissions, but only until Friday!
We’re looking to support business ideas that use geography to help improve how we all get from A to B. There is £150,000 in seed funding available for the best ideas so there is a real incentive to get involved.
Thinking about winding down the grey matter as Christmas approaches? Well think again, as it’s time for our first annual (hopefully) festive geography quiz! To be honest, the questions aren’t very festive but they most definitely are geography related.
Alas in the age of austerity the only prize we can offer is a sense of pride at being a geography wizard and generally more intelligent than everyone else.
The first person to leave all the correct answers as a comment will be officially crowned as the winner – thinking caps on and try not to resort to Google immediately! And you never know, just some of the answers might be lurking in previous blog posts…
1. What name do islands in England, Scotland and Wales all share?
2. Britain’s longest river rises in Wales; what is it called?
3. Which islands lie between Iceland and the Shetland Islands?
4. Which area of land in England is administered by Verderers?
5. What is the most easterly point of mainland Great Britain, and which OS Landranger Map is it on? – OSGB grid reference please!
6. What is the length of the coastline of Great Britain, including all major islands, at Mean High Water at 1:10,000 scale, to the nearest 10 kilometres?
7. What is England’s Second Largest Cathedral?
8. Why is Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, so called?
9. Name the three towns or cities that have contained Ordnance Survey’s Headquarters?
10. What was the first map to contain the words Ordnance Survey?
[Image by Sybren A. Stüvel via Flickr]
UK Location launched the beta version of the Metadata Editor last week, built by us at Ordnance Survey. We built it using the GeoNetwork platform and have made the Metadata Editor available in two formats – a web-based on line version and an downloadable version. The UK Location Metadata Editor enables users to create, edit and validate UK Location compliant discovery metadata resources.
We’re one of many UK public bodies that produces data which falls within the scope of the Inspire Directive (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe). The Directive aims to ensure that geographic information joins up between European countries. This can then help in major environmental disasters such as forest fires, floods and industrial explosions that do not respect national boundaries.
The first step under Inspire, currently being worked on by UK Location who are ensuring the UK rolls out the Inspire strategy, is creating metadata. Over the coming months and years Inspire’s vision sees everyone working to the same data specifications and sharing data readily between European countries.
The data under Inspire’s scope includes many of our datasets, which are largely reference information such as addresses and administrative areas, but also thematic information such as industrial facilities and species distributions.
We became involved in the Defra-coordinated UK Location earlier this year as technical delivery partners. Our first task was to work on the Metadata Editor and we’ll also be working on other spatial aspects of the project in the coming months. Keep an eye on our blog for more updates on Inspire and the UK Location programme.
Today is English Language Day! And we’re having a great response so far to the Location Lingo initiative we’re running with the English Project to help celebrate the day.
But to further encourage you to take part, here’s a guest post by Beryl Pratley, an English Project Trustee, to tell you more about them and the world of Location Lingo.
At the start of this autumn term hundreds of schools across Great Britain began the new academic year by signing up to use a new online mapping service designed specifically for the classroom.
With its pupil-friendly interface, and national coverage of digital maps, Digimap for Schools is set to greatly increase the use of Ordnance Survey maps for teaching and learning geography at all levels, as well as supporting other subjects such as history.
Until now, schools have mainly relied upon paper maps for Ordnance Survey map skills work – a mandatory topic in the curriculum. Since 2002 this has been supported by the issue of a free 1:25 000 scale OS Explorer Map to all pupils in Year 7 under the Ordnance Survey Free maps for 11-year-olds scheme. These free maps are being issued for the last time this year because Digimap for Schools will offer schools so much more.
Incidentally, if you haven’t downloaded it yet, do it now!
Mission:Explore were one of our original GeoVation winners and the launch of the free app represents a fantastic outcome. With 1,000 missions to complete, it helps teach children that geography goes beyond measuring contour lines and grid references.
Don’t forget if you’ve got a geography based idea and could use a slice of £25,000, you should enter this year’s awards!
The event was held on the Golden Hinde and as such had a distinctly piratey theme! Much fun was had but there was the chance to meet some very interesting people who were keen to get involved as this year’s GeoVation Challenge continues to take shape.
If you want to know more about the app, here’s a film I took of the Mission:Explore team on a recent visit to Ordnance Survey.
Last week I wrote about an expedition to resurvey the height of Tryfan using modern GPS technology – the same technology the Ordnance Survey uses to map the country. Well, it was a great success and here is an account from John, Graham and Myrddyn. You can also watch an interview with our very own Mark Greaves on the BBC website.
The morning began dark and grey as we drove into the car park at Ogwen cottage, dark because it was just after 5am and grey because a fine drizzle had fallen on the valley.
As we emerged from our vehicles clouds of midges descended for breakfast; this promised to be a hard day.We needn’t have worried though.The team of Mark Greaves (Ordnance Survey), Chris Dearden and Brian Jones (BBC), Alun Pugh (Snowdonia Society), Llion Iwan & Stephen Edwards (CREAD) and Mark Handford (Mountain Guide) and ourselves assembled and set off for the summit.
With only a small stop for a live breakfast broadcast from Chris, we were on the summit for 08.00hr and the equipment was then put in place and data collection commenced.To herald this historic occasion the sun pierced the thick mist and within half-an-hour a wide vista of mountains presented itself and the sun shone from a blue sky.
Suddenly, our spirits lifted.
The three hours of waiting, while the GPS collected data, passed quickly, our attention focussed by radio and television interviews.Finally, with the vigil over, we descended the mountain and then made our way to the Snowdonia Society’s headquarters at Ty Hwll where Mark processed the results.
With the local press and BBC now all present the result was announced.Tryfan had confounded its doubters and came in at 917.5m, a couple of metres higher than its current map height!
John Barnard, Myrddyn Phillips and Graham Jackson
We’re being inundated with mapping experts from across the world this week…over 100 prominent players in the international geographic information (GI) community from more than 30 countries are taking part in the International Organisation for Standardisation’s Technical Committee for Geographic Information (ISO/TC 211).
Now that sentence didn’t mean a lot to me, so I had a word with my colleague Carsten Roensdorf to find out more. Carsten told me that ISO/TC 211 is a technical committee tasked with standardising digital GI. This could be anything from data quality measures to metadata records to data formats such as GML. Much of ISO/TC211’s activities formalise the work of the Open Geospatial Consortium and then provide a basis for initiatives such as INSPIRE.
As the main sponsor of the Interoperability Workshop and the week of meetings, we’re providing our Business Centre to host the event and delegates will get the chance to have some tours around our Print Floor and Photogrammetric Services areas – always popular places to visit with the GI and map-loving population.There will be plenty to keep our mapping experts busy over the course of the week as delegates attend workshops hosted by Intelligent Addressing, Ministry of Defence, ESRI, the Netherlands Standards Institute and many more.