Category

Using GI and maps

21
Dec
2015
0

8 OS maps for 2015

We’ve already shared the most popular blogs of 2015 and our top walks of 2015, now we’re sharing our pick of favourite OS map stories for the year.

Virtual reality Ben Nevis

Not content with turning OS data into a Minecraft world, our OS Labs team have now created a virtual Ben Nevis to explore on Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. In Oculus Rift, our developers have created a game where players race against the clock to find a hidden trig pillar. For those of us without access to Oculus Rift, our dev team have built a virtual reality tour of Ben Nevis.

The Ben Nevis virtual reality project David worked on

OS maps on British passports

OS OpenData is being used across many of the new passport pages in the latest designs being issued from this month. OS maps also form a part of the security features of the new UK passports. HM Passport Office have stylised our vector maps to fit within the new design, showcasing the area linked to the featured icons.

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Imagining Winchester as the capital of Britain

When @catweg wondered on Twitter what the map would look like if Winchester had remained as the nation’s capital and grown over the years as London has…we had to give it a go!

London's urban sprawl recentred on Winchester

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7
Dec
2015
1

OS Photofit ‘winner of winners’ announced

We wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who entered photos into our OS Photofit competition this year. We were overwhelmed by how many of you wanted the chance to see your photos on the cover of our maps. From an enormous 15,000 entries we, alongside several guest judges, eventually whittled down the winners for each of the 615 paper maps that needed new cover photos.

Our most difficult task was to then choose our winner of winners, to win the grand prize of the Forest Holidays vouchers. Steve Burry at Dennis Maps (printers of our maps) did a sterling job of choosing Gareth Scanlon’s entry as the overall winner. Gareth’s fantastic photo of a red kite against the backdrop of the Brecon Beacons, features on the cover of our OL12 map. We caught up with Gareth to congratulate him on his win and find out more about him and his winning photo.

Beacons

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3
Dec
2015
0

Map reading skills: What is magnetic north?

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Magnetic North is on the move

The final part of our six-week blog series on map reading skills, focuses on magnetic north. Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast. We’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall to record a series of videos to remind you of the basics and help you feel confident with your map.

 

Hear what Steve has to say about magnetic north in this short video: Read More

2
Dec
2015
3

A Great British advent calendar

24 map-based delights waiting behind each door

Guest post by Strumpshaw, Tincleton & Giggleswick, makers of the Marvellous Map of Great British Place Names

 

Advent calendars – those last bastions of delayed gratification – come in all forms: chocolate, beer, games, Lego, diamonds, 3D-printed – you name it, there’s an advent calendar made of it. If you could have any advent calendar, what would it contain? Having scoured our green and pleasant land for the finest Great British place names, our dream advent calendar would, naturally, be bursting to its little cardboard seams with these wondrous cartographical gems.

STG

If you fall in love with these place names, watch out for our competition to win printed copies of two of these maps…

Day 1. The James Bond Road Trip

As it’s topical, let’s go on a Martini Drive with Roger Moor (once Kew has sorted you out with a car of course), visit Blofield, and be home in time for tea, medals and a few double-entendres with Moneypenny.

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1
Dec
2015
0

Geovation Challenge: Water

Today, we are excited to launch our ninth Geovation Challenge; this time focused on our relationship with water and finding solutions to the Challenge question ‘How can we better manage water in Britain, sustainably?’

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As previously, this Geovation Challenge is looking for solutions grounded in a problem worth solving using our established methodology of ‘Innovation = problem x solution x execution’. To enable us to unlock the problems associated with water we ran a Water Problem Deep Dive and identified five key themes as the focus for this Challenge: too little water; too much water; poor water quality; aging water infrastructure, and; water use behaviour.  You can find out more about these problems in detail here

To help you identify with these problems we have created a persona for each of the themes:

Too little water

Too much water

Poor water quality

Ageing infrastructure 

Water use behaviour
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26
Nov
2015
2

Map reading skills: How to use a compass

SBNav2Week five in our six-week blog series on map reading skills, focuses on the compass. Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast. We’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall to record a series of videos to remind you of the basics and help you feel confident with your map.

So far we’ve covered which OS map you needunderstanding map symbols and making sense of contour lines and how to read a grid reference. Today we’re covering the compass. Next week, our final blog in the series will cover:

  • Understanding magnetic north

Each week we’ll share Steve’s video with you, give a summary in the blog and point you in the right direction of further resources and details. Hear what Steve has to say about knowing your compass and how to take a compass bearing in these two short videos: Read More

24
Nov
2015
3

Mapping out the Blitz

It’s been five years since we mapped out the Southampton Blitz, making it the 75th anniversary early next week.

The Southampton Blitz map we produced in 2010

The Southampton Blitz map we produced in 2010

Our map showed the bombs dropped on the city of Southampton at the peak of the Blitz on the nights of 30 November and 1 December 1940. Hundreds of tonnes of bombs were dropped during the two nights, destroying many properties and damaging hundreds more – including our former head office on London Road.  Read More

19
Nov
2015
1

Map reading skills: How to read a grid reference

On week four in our six-week blog series on map reading skills, we’re taking a look at how to read a grid reference. Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast. We’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall to record a series of videos to remind you of the basics and help you feel confident with your map.

SBNav5

So far we’ve covered which OS map you needunderstanding map symbols and making sense of contour lines. Today we’re covering grid references, both four-figure and six-figure version. Over the next fortnight we’ll also cover:

  • Knowing your compass and how to take a compass bearing
  • Understanding magnetic north

Each week we’ll share Steve’s video with you, give a summary in the blog and point you in the right direction of further resources and details. Hear what Steve has to say about grid references in these two short videos: Read More

12
Nov
2015
4

Map reading skills: Making sense of contour lines

We’ve made it to week three in our six-week blog series on map reading skills. Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast. We’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall to record a series of videos to remind you of the basics and help you feel confident with your map.

SBNav3

So far we’ve covered which OS map you need and understanding map symbols. Today we’ll be telling you how to make sense of contour lines and over the few weeks we’ll also cover:

  • How to read a grid reference, both four-figure and six-figure versions
  • Knowing your compass and how to take a compass bearing
  • Understanding magnetic north

We’ll share Steve’s video with you, give a summary in the blog and point you in the right direction of further resources and details. Hear what Steve has to say about contour lines: Read More

9
Nov
2015
3

Using OS data and expertise to fuel the map of the future

Guest blog by OS Partner Hexagon Geospatial

Maps represent a truly amazing leap forward in how human beings understood the world around them. The first map marked a watershed moment when we moved from indistinct, in-the-moment thinking about things as being “over there” to quantifying and visualising geographic relationships through a completely new lens, to giving spatial information a graphic form.

Hexagon Smart M.App

Hexagon Smart M.App

This form-giving is where human beings truly differentiate themselves. Our senses capture the elements of our environment and we must provide clarity, structure, and ultimately form in order that we may accurately convey that information to others. We are so skilled at identifying patterns that we have invented different ways of looking at data to make those patterns more obvious. Pie charts, bar graphs, histograms—all of these convey meaning through different visualisation principles. Read More