18
Jan
2011
0

Five geo-predictions for 2011

The GeoDoctor turns his mind to the the coming year

The GeoDoctor turns his mind to the year ahead.

Traditionally, the New Year is a time to reflect on what has passed and what’s on the horizon. So, with the help of my colleagues, I thought this was a good time to take a look at some possible trends in the geospatial industry, and to even to make a few predictions for the year ahead.

I thought I would stay clear of the areas that other bloggers have covered so well, and try and give a little more left-field perspective.

1. A significant open data application.

We’ve seen an increasing amount of open data released in recent years and there has been a huge amount written about it and how it could be used. There have been a number of implementations (dare I mention the ASBOrometer?!) but what I haven’t seen, and please correct me if I’m wrong, is a huge consumer app, or killer app which is commercial and actually makes money.

I think 2011 could be the year it happens.

2. More online geospatial service providers.

I think this area will inevitably grow. Last year we saw the launch of online based GI services from both the traditional vendors as well as new entrants to the market, such as GIS Cloud. Why do I find this an area of interest? I think it’s because the barriers to entry are now so much lower.

Most GI functionality is now available as open source, so hosting and delivering online is considerably cheaper and faster to implement, thanks to cloud infrastructure. Read More

14
Jan
2011
0

To infinity and beyond…with food waste

What do River Cottage and the Royal Air Force have in common with us at Ordnance Survey? The A700 Rocket composter.


Huw and Gwen from Tidy Planet came in recently to do some training for our new industrial composter, so in the future we’ll be composting all our food waste. At our ‘tea points’ around the building there are compost bins and any food waste from our Restaurant will also be included. Before you know it, all our waste will become lovely compost to spread onto our grounds at Adanac Park.

The A700 Rocket composter - image courtesy of Tidy Planet

The A700 Rocket composter – image courtesy of Tidy Planet

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11
Jan
2011
0

Visualising geodata – bringing maps to life

Britain's postcodes by Jim Holden

Britain’s postcodes by Jim Holden – click to enlarge.

We often talk about the ‘power’ of geography, the ability inherent within a map to make sense of the world around us and to bring disparate sources of information together to reveal a hidden truth.

Some are serious, helping to pick up a hole in flood defences or patterns in fraudulent insurance claims. Or, like this example from San Francisco, they can map crime in such a comprehensive way that it’s possible to isolate a particular crime, whether it be burglary, arson or murder, down to an individual street on a single day at a specific time.

A map brings that information to life in way far better than any spreadsheet or database could.

Then there are the visualisation that are just plain pretty. The other week, Jim Holden (@Ouchy) got in touch with us on Twitter to share the visualisation he’d made using OS Open Data – seen here on the right.

Each point of light represents a single postcode in its geographic context – impressive stuff.

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7
Jan
2011
0

How maps make it onto your TV screens

Have you seen Crimewatch recently? Or maybe you were a fan of The Bill or the crime series Luther? If you have, then you may have spotted some Ordnance Survey maps on TV.

Our Corporate Communications team supply mapping to be used in the background of TV series, amongst other media uses. While these are usually crime-based programmes, we have also supplied mapping extracts for Time Team for example. Very often, a map is the best way to illustrate a point or clearly show what happened and where and bring a story to life.

Still of Crimewatch with OS Street View in background, courtesy of Crimewatch

A Still from Crimewatch with OS Street View in the background.

In these pictures from a Crimewatch programme and from the set of The Bill, OS Street View is being used to show where an attack took place and OS MasterMap Imagery Layer has been used to show the locations of two people’s houses. In the case of Crimewatch, this can help jog viewer’s memories about whether they were in the area and whether they may have been witnesses to some aspect of the crime.

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6
Jan
2011
0

Changes to the OS OpenData licence

opendata2From today, anyone who visits the OS OpenData site, where they can download a wide range of Ordnance Survey mapping for free, will notice something a little different.

That’s because we’ve incorporated the Open Government Licence, the new government wide licence, developed by The National Archives, which enables easy access to public sector information.

The Open Government Licence is a key element of the Government’s commitment to greater transparency. It is the licence used by data.gov.uk and provides a single set of terms and conditions for anyone wishing to use or license freely available government information.

The licence is designed so that developers and entrepreneurs wishing to use government data to create new applications will no longer need to formally apply for permission. And, the new licence is interoperable with other internationally recognised licensing models, such as Creative Commons.

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29
Dec
2010
0

Top 5 moments of 2010 – a big year for geography

Well the turkey has been eaten, the crackers pulled and a small mountain of wrapping paper is now sitting on the driveway waiting to be taken away…

But wait, the party season of excess isn’t quite over yet as New Year’s Eve now looms large – and with it come the obligatory reviews of the year.

The last 12 months have been a watershed year for Ordnance Survey. So much has changed in a relatively small space of time it’s quite incredible to think back to how things were beforehand. So without further ado, we’ve made a list of what we think are the top 5 stories of 2010.

If you think we’ve missed something, or have got it completely wrong, feel free to suggest a list of your own highlights, and have a great New Year’s Eve, whatever your plans are.

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16
Dec
2010
1

Route of the week: Henley to Marlow – River Thames

canoes

The route of the week this week is courtesy of  the British Canoe Union.

Length – 9 miles and 3 locks – (It is possible to use the locks instead of getting out to portage them therefore this route is suitable for those with ambulant problems).
Licence
– A Thames Licence is required Canoe England Membership includes a Thames licence (take your membership card and sticker with you)
Duration
– ½ to 1 day depending on your speed and the desire to stop and look at the scenery etc Read More