Following an extensive user trial, on 1 July we launched the OS Data Hub. As the new way to access our authoritative location data, it includes our new range of location APIs.
In the first week we were pleased to see hundreds of new customers sign up to try them out. We’re keen to see more use through our existing and new customers, so if you’re interested, sign up today. Keep reading to find out more about OS Identifiers.
OS Open Identifiers
Hopefully it’s not just us, but we definitely found ourselves spending more time and money on online shopping throughout lockdown. Thankfully when we get to the point of entering our address, placing our order and receiving our purchases, we don’t need to think about how any of this works.
The Geospatial Commission announced the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) in April, a contract which will see OS helping to generate significant economic value to the UK economy over the next 10 years. We’ve been working hard to ensure the first releases of new data, access and freedoms under the PSGA would be ready to deliver to customers on 1 July. We caught up with Chris Chambers, Head of PSGA at OS, to find out more and follow up on his last blog.
Chris, we’ve had public sector contracts before, what makes this different?
What numbers identify you and your belongings? Your National Insurance number? Your NHS number? Your Tesco Clubcard? Your postcode? Your number plate on your car? We are all used to unique letters and numbers to identify us in our daily life. At OS we also use a series of unique numbers and letters, called identifiers, in our location data, from buildings to streets to bridges.
We’ve been working to make more OS data open, including identifiers. Our data can then be used with other data held by local/central government and commercial organisations. With the identifiers to give a geospatial context, those combined datasets become useful information to make efficient decisions.
But what are identifiers?
A recent report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that one in eight households (12%) in Great Britain has no access to a private or shared garden during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown. ONS used our map data to work towards their conclusions, one of many organisations who have contacted us for assistance during the pandemic.
Our Mapping for Emergencies (MfE) service supports the resilience community and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year giving quick access to reactive geospatial support at any time. ONS put in a request for data to help understand how access to greenspace and outdoor gardens may impact Covid infections and to highlight areas with limited outdoor access.
If you’re working with data to support a Covid-19 response, we can help you with location data analysis. And, did you know the public sector can access data and support from OS, free at the point of use? OS Principal Consultant Duncan Moss tells us more…
Update: 1 July 2020, OS Data Hub now live, sign up here
The OS Data Hub is the new way to access our authoritative location data. It will replace the current OS ordering systems (OpenData Portal, OS Orders and API shop) with one mobile-friendly platform with a single sign on to give you a better user experience.
Over the last four weeks we’ve been supporting a wide range of public bodies in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic (read more on our previous blog). Location data is playing an important role in underpinning decision making and helping to manage the crisis more effectively.
We are seeing members of the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) and One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) using our data in many ways, and when needed sharing this with third party organisations who are supporting their work. Through the terms of the PSGA and OSMA licences members have the freedoms to share data for specific projects, and we are pleased that location data is supporting as many organisations as possible during this crisis.
Our Mapping for Emergencies (MfE) service supports the resilience community and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year at no cost to the user. Quick access to reactive geospatial support at any time, including outside normal working-hours is a key feature of MfE.
We’ve been running MfE for over twenty years and been called into action many times over that period. We’re often supporting localised responses to major incidents which occur at very short notice and are generally short-term. Recent examples include Toddbrook Reservoir and heavy snowfall in Cumbria.
We’ve all seen the photos of oversized vehicles, from HGVs to double-decker buses, who have struck low bridges and often caused traffic chaos in the surrounding areas. These strikes often happen multiple times in the same locations, despite signage noting the heights. To tackle this challenge, we’ve been working with TfL help reduce unnecessary traffic disruption from vehicles striking bridges across London. Yesterday, a free-to-use dataset to help combat bridge strikes was released by TfL. It will give freight and fleet operators access to detailed height restrictions on bridges and tunnels across the capital.
The height data was extracted from our detailed road network dataset, OS MasterMap Highways Network, with TfL manually including additional information to our data. We then worked with TfL through our Presumption to Publish process, available to all our Public Sector customers, to release the new dataset. Permission to release the data was obtained through our Presumption to Publish process, which is available to all our Public Sector customers.
On 28 June 2019, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh & Lothian’s Health Foundation and greenspace scotland published Scotland’s first health board-led Green Health Strategy.
What is the Green Health Strategy?
The Green Health Strategy aims to fully realise the potential of the NHS outdoor estate and community greenspaces as a community health asset benefiting patients, visitors, staff and communities. It covers a range of Green Health activities as well as greening the NHS outdoor estate and encouraging access to greenspace close to where people live – find out more.