By Iain Goodwin and Kat Harrington
During the last year, OS has been working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to improve our joint understanding of high streets. Since the Government’s £675 million Future High Streets Fund budget announcement, our collaborative government project has become increasingly more significant.
The importance of high streets has also been acknowledged by Public Health England through their Healthy High Streets research, published at the beginning of 2018, highlights how a healthy high street provides “Accessible, safe, communal spaces foster social interaction and strong local economies and can be used to create healthier, safer and more cohesive local communities”. It also drew the conclusion that the “unequal distribution of healthy and unhealthy high streets is likely to contribute to health inequalities”.
This is a view echoed by retailer, Sir John Timpson, who speaking last December to the BBC about high streets said: “It’s not just about shopping. It’s about communities and creating a hub for entertainment, medical facilities, housing.”
So how can OS help?
We asked ourselves some questions. Where does a high street start and end? What is their geography, and how do they compare? High streets up and down the country have no obvious physical boundaries, and not knowing the exact geography of our high streets makes it difficult to identify and analyse them.
Last week we published our Data Discoverability with Geo6 blog, which followed one of four data-related projects being brought together by the Geospatial Commission to maximise the benefits of geospatial data for the UK. The Data Discoverability project is all about making it easier for current and future users of geospatial information to find out exactly what UK location-based data each of the Geo6 bodies holds.
Today we are excited to announce that as a result of the Data Discoverability team’s work over the last few months, the Geo6 have published 6 catalogues (one for each organisation) listing all the data we each hold. These catalogues are published in a CSV format on data.gov.uk to ensure they are visible and accessible to anyone who needs them. The OS catalogues alone hold over 1,200 datasets from zip lines to roads! This data represents the first stage in a longer process to unlock the value of geospatial data held by the Geo6, and we are publishing this now so that you can get involved in shaping the future work we do.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here at OS Labs, we’re presenting project work most days – by slide deck, report or a quick chat. But sometimes it needs to attract attention and create a buzz… like our virtual museum for CityVerve. We created a 3D interactive exhibition to mark the conclusion of CityVerve, the Manchester-based UK Internet of Things demonstrator project. Find out more…
We’ve had such a great response to the trial and received a huge amount of feedback from the users, that we’re going to invest in making OS Open Zoomstack a supported product.
For both the downloads and the API we’ll be developing Alpha versions and continue to make changes based on your feedback. We’ll be doing an alpha release shortly for the various downloads. We’ll also continue supporting the API, and will update this with the new data from the Alpha while we plan the release of a fully supported version in the future. Please note that this may involve changes in the API URL at a minimum.
At this point we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us to make this exciting step!
As autonomous vehicles develop around the world, we’re seeing a greater need for accurate data, both in live and static forms.
Live data enables dynamic routing, but it can be hard to pass the data from device to device quickly enough. A 5G network could help this issue, but it may take years to become a reality.
Static data is equally important as you need to have accurate base data which shows the difference between a road and a pavement, where a vehicle is allowed to drive, and any routing restrictions or speed limits. OS & GeoPlace have been working on this via the OS MasterMap Highways Network product, with Department for Transport investing £3 million pounds in its creation.
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?
Elsa joined our Data Office in Southampton for work experience recently and shares her experience within the team.
I’m in year 12 studying Geography, Maths, Further Maths and English A-Levels in Devon. Once in the Data Office team I had the chance to work on my own project, which was on the archaeological sites of Dartmoor. This was ideal as I became interested in OS mapping from walking on the moors training for the Ten Tors challenge.
As England’s football team aim to avoid dead ends and cul-de-sacs at the Russia World Cup – we’ve revealed the most popular street names shared by the players.
Residents across Great Britain live in 2,280 streets which share the same name as players’ surnames from England’s World Cup squad – with Danny Rose’s surname topping the table.
Whether it be Walker Lane in Rotherham, Kane Close in Coalville, or Southgate Avenue in Crawley, fans up and down the nation have added pride when cheering on the team (except maybe the good people of Welbeck Street in Kilmarnock!).
Great Britain is an island in its own right, but aside from the mainland, there are hundreds of islands around the British coast, many uninhabited*. Inspired by David Garcia’s data visualisation of the Philippines, our GeoDataViz team worked with Alasdair Rae at the University of Sheffield to explore Britain’s largest islands.
They found that there are 82 English, Scottish and Welsh islands larger than 5km2. Scotland boasts the vast majority with 71, not surprising when you consider the Outer Hebrides, Shetland and Orkney and other beautiful islands off the coast. Wales had just 2 entries and England 9.