Last year the Government announced its plans to unlock its mapping and location data to boost the economy by £130m a year. Since then we’ve been working with the Geospatial Commission, the geospatial industry and our customers to make this a reality.
Chris Chambers is the OS lead on the Open MasterMap Programme and brings us up to date on progress so far.
What have we done so far Chris?
The Geospatial Commission and Ordnance Survey are working hard to deliver the government commitment to release Open MasterMap data. This is a large programme of work.
As you can see from the infographic above, the Open MasterMap Programme has a large number and wide variety of deliverables – ranging from clearer pricing & licensing information to introducing a whole new way of engaging with Ordnance Survey. We’re working with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure the Open MasterMap deliverables best meet customer needs. I’d say that to date we’ve delivered in three main areas:
The ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is the foremost collection of geographic information from around the globe. It includes maps, apps, and data layers from Esri’s authoritative community and the wider GIS world. A global audience accesses Esri’s curated set of data, which allows users to combine these multiple datasets with their own data to create new maps and applications. We’ve added OS Open Greenspace to test how the data is received and are keen for feedback from users who access it via Living Atlas.
Why was OS Open Greenspace selected?
Our vision to deliver a single customer portal to provide easier access to OS products and services is continuing at pace. In the 12 months since work began on opening up OS MasterMap, we’ve been busy working with customers and testing the OS Data Hub. The design and build of the new developer portal is aimed at providing an easy to access service for our customers. It will replace our current OS OpenData download pages and the API shop, to give our customers:
- Access to free API services up to a threshold and allow users to purchase credit for further access
- A place to manage their accounts and view their data usage
- The option to download OS OpenData products
- Access to data in new and improved formats
- Feedback on errors and omissions in OS data
- A simple way to navigate to product information, an improved API document store, community support and help FAQs
We were delighted to have two entries shortlisted for the inaugural Geography in Government Awards this year. We were even more pleased to win one as OS Open Zoomstack scooped the prize for ‘Excellence in geo-visualisation and cartography’, up against tough competition from the Defence Geographic Centre (DGC).
Some of the OS team attended the awards ceremony on 25 April at Scotland House in London and enjoyed a great evening which celebrated the best of geography across Government. OS Open Zoomstack is our latest open data product which we launched in January after a successful trial throughout summer 2018. For this award we owe a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the trial and made this product a success. Without your feedback and support it wouldn’t have been possible.
What’s happened since the launch?
The Understanding Scottish Places (USP) platform launched in April 2015, offering a way of understanding the similarity of places across Scotland. The tool contains a range of demographic, social and economic data on all 479 Scottish settlements with a population of over 1,000 people. Deliberately designed to avoid a simplistic ranking of places as better or worse, USP focuses on the shared characteristics of towns.
OS Open Zoomstack is now available as a fully supported open data product. Thanks to the 1200 people who took part in our trial and gave us feedback and helped bring this product to life.
What is OS Open Zoomstack?
A comprehensive vector basemap of Great Britain, it’s fast and easy to use and takes you from national to local in one scroll of the mouse or pinch of the screen. It’s highly customisable and can be used in apps, on websites and even offline. Available as one file (in two different formats) our latest open data offering comes with styles, a simple data schema and guides to get you started.
Do you want to know more about OS data, how to make then most of it and partnering with OS? Why not come along to our technical showcase to find out more and meet our Inside Sales team.
Inside Sales work closely with the majority of OS’s SME Partner Community. We assist the start-ups and new business ventures. Working closely with the Geovation Hub based in London, we guide Geovation members and entrepreneurs that come to us direct, through the process of becoming an OS Partner.
The team has a range of experience from within OS and from working in the public sector, in sales, customer service and GIS expertise. We offer support from the very beginning of your journey to becoming a Partner, explaining what being an OS Partner entails, how our pricing and licensing works, advice on contracts how to calculate any royalties that may be due, and of course, we can help you with product enquiries.
If you have trialled our data (under the Data Exploration Licence) or you are simply ready to go to market using our data or our APIs with a commercial product, our team will take the time to really understand what it is that you are looking to achieve and walk you through the contracts and licensing journey.
Please come along to the technical showcase to have a chance of meeting the team and letting them help you to explore how to use GIS data to meet your business need. If you are unable to attend please speak to our team, you can call us on 023 80 055991 or email: email@example.com.
Inspired by the Mapbox blog – Tim Manners in our OS Labs team built this awesome demo application to showcase the dynamic hillshade. The demo includes a widget which enables you to change the light source directly on the client and see the map change in real-time. Tim used our OS Terrain 50 DTM grid dataset to generate a series of Terrain-RGB tiles. These tiles contain elevation data encoded in raster PNG tiles as colour values that can be decoded to raw heights in metres and rendered on the client-side for customisable terrain visualisations. Take a look below for how it appears when combined this with the OS Open Zoomstack Vector Tile API:
Want to make your own?
Following our OS OpenData formats trial, we’re continuing to work to improve access to our opendata offerings. Our team have developed OS Open Zoomstack which makes elements of our opendata available as one map in one file to be used for GIS, web, mobile or offline use.
You can try out OS Open Zoomstack over the next three months. All we ask is for your feedback to shape its development for potential wider release. We believe that this will improve access to OS data and help current and future users to use our data in new ways. The trial is also a fantastic opportunity to test how we approach the development of Open MasterMap recently announced by the Geospatial Commission. This is an important step on the Open MasterMap implementation project highlighting our commitment to working with developers and the geospatial community to improve accessibility and usability of OS data.