3
Nov
2010
0

UK Location meet a metadata milestone for INSPIRE

UK Location launched the beta version of the Metadata Editor last week, built by us at Ordnance Survey. We built it using the GeoNetwork platform and have made the Metadata Editor available in two formats – a web-based on line version and an downloadable version. The UK Location Metadata Editor enables users to create, edit and validate UK Location compliant discovery metadata resources.

We’re one of many UK public bodies that produces data which falls within the scope of the Inspire Directive (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe). The Directive aims to ensure that geographic information joins up between European countries. This can then help in major environmental disasters such as forest fires, floods and industrial explosions that do not respect national boundaries.

The Inspire Directive aims to find common ground among European countries (Image Andy Hyde on Flickr)

The Inspire Directive aims to find common ground among European countries (Image Andy Hyde on Flickr)

The first step under Inspire, currently being worked on by UK Location who are ensuring the UK rolls out the Inspire strategy, is creating metadata. Over the coming months and years Inspire’s vision sees everyone working to the same data specifications and sharing data readily between European countries.

The data under Inspire’s scope includes many of our datasets, which are largely reference information such as addresses and administrative areas, but also thematic information such as industrial facilities and species distributions.

We became involved in the Defra-coordinated UK Location earlier this year as technical delivery partners. Our first task was to work on the Metadata Editor and we’ll also be working on other spatial aspects of the project in the coming months. Keep an eye on our blog for more updates on Inspire and the UK Location programme.

28
Oct
2010
0

Spooky Halloween walks

This week, the walk of the week takes a spooky twist. With Halloween upon us this weekend I thought I’d talk about the Halloween themed walks happening around the country.

How about a fascinating Jack the Ripper tour in London’ East End? This historical walk starts outside exit four of Aldgate East underground station and takes in the atmospheric streets of old London. The tours take place every day from 7pm with your tour guides leading the way.
Map for London: OS Explorer map 173

‘Dare you walk the walk?’ asks the Belfast Ghost Walk website. The walks are a historical look back to Belfast’s haunted dark past and meet outside the gates of Belfast City Hall. Tours start at 7:30pm and last for about an hour.
Map for Belfast: Discoverer Belfast 15

The Ghost Hunt in York is described as ‘enthralling and hillarious’ by some of the previous walkers. The hunt is an evening walking tour of the city’s haunted locations, taking place on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday each week, at 7:30 pm. It starts at the Shambles in the city and your guide, dressed in his frock coat and top hat, will take you through the streets of York.
Map for York: OS Explorer map 290

Haunting Halloween fun for all ages can be had at various National Trust properties across Great Britain. There are spooky challenges at Bodium Castle, East Sussex to Halloween twilight trails at Chartwell, Kent. All of the events can be found on the National Trust website.

pumpkin patch

pumpkin patch

Following a walking trail close to one of the UK’s haunted buildings could be a special way to mark this Halloween, particularly for those with youngsters.

These are just a few of the events happening in Great Britain, if you have a Halloween walk near you, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to let us know in the response section below.

Whatever you plan to do on this haunted weekend, have fun!

Image courtesy of iStock

26
Oct
2010
0

Britain’s spookiest place names

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s a great excuse to have a bit of fun looking at Britain’s spookiest place names.

Place names have been a bit of a running theme over the past few weeks, what with Location Lingo and last week’s look at how history has influencedthe names of places and regions across the country.

In preparation for this post, I asked people to contribute their spookiest place names on Twitter, and are some of my favourites – enjoy!

Pumpkins!

Pumpkins!

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20
Oct
2010
0

What’s in a place name?

We’ve written a lot recently about place name nicknames as part of the Location Lingo project. There have been some wonderful contributions; my favourites are probably Basingrad for Basingstoke and Ponte Carlo for Pontefract.

But, the stories behind ‘official’ place names are every bit as fascinating and intriguing, and can tell us a lot about our history and the development of the English language. I spoke to Glen Hart, our Head of Research, to uncover more on the history of place names …

Have you ever considered why some places are called what they are? Some may be obvious like Cambridge which grew around a bridge over the River Cam.  Another is Oxford which was a ford over the River Ox, but why are they lots of places ending in ‘Thorpe’ and ‘By’ in the north but hardly any in the south, and just where the do the names Westonzoyland and Sixpenny Handle come from?

The map of Great Britain shows a very rich and varied tapestry of place names and these reflect the development of the country from Celtic times to the present day. The Celts may not have been the first inhabitants but many of the names they used, especially those for natural features like hills and rivers in England are still with us today.

Westonzoyland

Britain has a rich variety of place names.

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15
Oct
2010
0

OS MasterMap Imagery Layer being used by the emergency services

I was talking about how we capture our imagery recently and now we’re seeing it put to use by the emergency services, as Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) have purchased county coverage of the OS MasterMap Imagery Layer.

LFRS are going to be using the Imagery Layer in their two command support vehicles (CSVs). The CSVs are used for major county incidents and each have two computer terminals on board. These computers have geographical information systems (GIS) installed and can be used to analyse data of the incident area.

OS MasterMap Imagery Layer showing an area of Leicestershire

OS MasterMap Imagery Layer showing an area of Leicestershire

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13
Oct
2010
0

What’s your Location Lingo?

Today is English Language Day! And we’re having a great response so far to the Location Lingo initiative we’re running with the English Project to help celebrate the day.

But to further encourage you to take part, here’s a guest post by Beryl Pratley, an English Project Trustee, to tell you more about them and the world of Location Lingo.

People have a fascination with place names.

People have a fascination with place names.

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5
Oct
2010
0

Location Lingo – mapping Britain’s pet place names

Did you know that Wednesday 13 October is English Language Day? Set up by the English Project, a Winchester based charity, English Language Day seeks to recognise the richness and vibrancy of English in all its forms.

The English Project

The English Project

To celebrate, we’re partnering with them for something called Location Lingo. If you look at a map, you’ll find ‘official’ place names, but those aren’t necessarily what those places are called in everyday life. In fact we probably all use names that would look pretty out of place on an Ordnance Survey map!

There are the obvious ones, like The Big Smoke and Pompey but there are hundreds of others. Take, for example, these three nicknames suggested by @PontoonDock – ‘Cas Vegas’ for Castleford, ‘Stalyvegas’ referring to Stalybridge and the wonderful ‘Ponte Carlo’ for Pontefract.

So the idea of Location Lingo is to capture these names and the colourful stories behind them.

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27
Sep
2010
1

Vegetation map symbols

We recently came across a blog about the Ordnance Survey map symbols for rough grassland, heath and bracken and thought it would be helpful to give you an explanation on their use. Please head to the bottom of this blog to see all the symbols.

Originally bracken, rough grassland and heath were shown as separate symbols (1. bracken, 2. rough grassland  and 3. heath).  In 1976 bracken and rough grassland were amalgamated so there was just one symbol to indicate land being covered by rough grassland or bracken – it was made up of elements of both the symbols so it had some rough grass in it and some bracken (4).  Where space was tight a smaller symbol was also made incorporating both vegetation types (5).

The map symbols in the (6) legend  are shown in the following order; top left is the new amalgamated symbol for bracken and rough grassland, top right is the old bracken symbol. Bottom left is old rough grassland symbol and bottom right the heath symbol.  The heath symbol was not changed and has stayed the same.  The old symbols for bracken and rough grassland remain in the legend because there are still some sheets that have the old style individual bracken and rough grassland symbols.  The symbols were only updated on the mapping if there was a change in vegetation category so there are still large areas of old style vegetation shown on the mapping.

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