8
Feb
2011
0

GeoVation donates MaxiMap to INTECH Science Centre

The GeoVation team had a trip up the M3 to Winchester on Monday to donate a MaxiMap to the INTECH Science Centre.

The MaxiMap is a huge 20 square metre map of Britain, designed as a teaching resource that can be walked and played on with the aim of getting kids excited about geography whilst teaching concepts like scale and distance and the impacts of climate change.

We wanted to donate the map,which is worth in the region of £300, so that it can be enjoyed by the tens of thousands of schools pupils who visit the centre every year.

Pupils from St Patrick’s School, Southampton, were on hand to put the MaxiMap through its paces.

Children getting to grips with MaxiMap

Children getting to grips with MaxiMap

The map is the brainchild of former teacher Ann Jones and her business partner Rowena Wells. Last year they won the inaugural GeoVation Challenge, earning them an £11,000 with which they have developed the MaxiMap concept.

Angela Ryde-Weller, INTECH Education Manager, said: “The MaxiMap provides a fun way to learn about size, scale and direction. Using their own bodies as measuring devices, pupils can find out how far it is from John O’ Groats to Southampton, that Liverpool is further east than Edinburgh and just how long our coastline is. They can then compare all their results and consider how accurate their measurements are.

“This cross curricular activity, linking mathematics and geography on an enormous scale, really adds a dimension to these topics.”

The current GeoVation Challenge, which is seeking ideas about ‘How to Improve Transport in Britain’, is still open to submissions, but only until Friday!

We’re looking to support business ideas that use geography to help improve how we all get from A to B. There is £150,000 in seed funding available for the best ideas so there is a real incentive to get involved.

3
Feb
2011
0

Horse riding routes by the British Horse Society

bhsblogmasthead
This weeks route of the week is written by Anne Marcantonio from the British Horse Society. They have launched EMAGIN, the world’s first Equine Mapping and Geographical Information Network.

The possibilities available to visitors through the website are many, with users able to quickly and easily locate an excellent range of safe off road riding routes and services, such as BHS approved livery yards, B&B for horses, registered instructors, clothing, horse equipment, farriers and equestrian events.

Adverts are geographically positioned and users can search the directory for free by business category, business name, town, county, postcode or route allowing visitors to find everything equestrian both nationally and locally to them.  Visitors can also plan and locate a route that they would like to ride carriage drive, walk or cycle and then print it off, free of charge, on Ordnance Survey 1:25000 scale maps.

The BHS has been working hard to find long term solutions to ensure that the site is free for the public to use, inexpensive to advertise on and able to satisfy the digital needs of the visitor. Read More

1
Feb
2011
0

Mapping in emergencies

In recent years we’ve seen geography underpin the response to a range of different national and regional emergencies ranging from flooding and terrorism to pandemic flu – all of which have endangered parts of our critical infrastructure. Whatever the emergency, given the myriad of differing organisations involved, geography is really the only way of quickly visualising information in a consistent and integrated way.

Through the use of GI based emergency planning tools, Bristol City Council has reduced the amount of time it takes to produce analysis and reports of relevant geographic data from 6 hours to just 20 minutes. This huge improvement supports those involved in the response effort, providing rapid access to data on which to base decisions and will essentially speed up response times and help save lives.

Visualising flooding

Visualising flooding using OS MasterMap

Read More

28
Jan
2011
0

Opening the new nursery at Adanac Park

We have had a nursery at Ordnance Survey for many years, providing care for the children of our staff. It’s a fantastic resource which makes coming back to work much easier for many parents and it’s always been on site which means the children aren’t too far away.

When we started making plans for our new building, the nursery provision was also included and last night our Director of HR, Jan Hutchinson, formally opened the new facility.

Fun at the nursery

Fun at the nursery

Catering for 45 children aged from 3 months to school age, the new nursery is outstanding, with an open plan feel and outside play area with its own treehouse. The nursery staff have made it an inviting, friendly and happy environment in which the children are flourishing.

Read More

27
Jan
2011
0

Britain’s winter climbing hotspots

Stob Coire nan Lochan - Andy McCue

Stob Coire nan Lochan – Andy McCue

This weeks route of the week is slightly different. Andy McCue, from Climber Magazine, talks to us about winter climbing.

The red-top tabloids may be going mad about un-gritted roads and uncollected bins as a result of the cold snap the UK experienced just before Christmas but, for climbers at least, this winter is once again turning out to be phenomenal because of the sustained periods of sub-zero temperatures.

We’re actually currently in the middle of a thaw period but when the cold weather does come back this freeze-thaw cycle will help consolidate thick ice on many mountain routes and ice falls, providing good winter climbing through into February and March.

Winter conditions have been so good in the UK that we’re actually spoilt for choice about where to go climbing and it means that as well as the obvious venues, such as Ben Nevis, there’s lots of places that usually don’t come into condition that have been climbable.

Here’s a very quick look at some of the venues that have had the best of the winter climbing over the past month, and which are likely to provide plenty more opportunities over the coming weeks. Read More

26
Jan
2011
0

Mapping England’s sporting behaviour

When it comes to sport, are you a Ben? Or a Tim? An Alison or a Chloe? Sadly, I don’t think I can claim to be a Chloe any longer, but I’m pretty sure my colleague is a Jamie!

Sport England have used Ordnance Survey data to help them develop an interesting market segmentation model and have identified 19 different groups with individual sporting characteristics – from Ben and Chloe to Elsie and Arnold.

Analyse sporting behaviour using OS OpenSpace

Analyse sporting behaviour using OS OpenSpace

They have created pen portraits of each group identifying key characteristics and messages that are likely to encourage them to get active. They hope it will help leisure providers to understand the attitudes, motivations and perceived barriers to sports participation. Read More

24
Jan
2011
0

Can you walk away the winter blues?

I’m writing this post a week after so-called ‘Blue Monday’, the day which is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. How much science is behind the idea of ‘Blue Monday’ is debatable, but there is little doubt that this time of the year can be a little gloomy.

Right on cue, the rain is pouring down and I’m feeling about as energetic as a lump of dough.  We all know that the longer nights, shorter days and adverse weather of winter, all conspire to make it a hundred times more tempting to stay curled up on the sofa than to venture outdoors. However, this inactivity can actually end up making us feel worse, because we’re not releasing as many of those clever little hormones, endorphins, and we’re also depriving ourselves of daylight and social interaction.

Break through the gloom this winter

Break through the gloom this winter

So how to banish those pesky winter blues?

Read More

21
Jan
2011
0

A day in the life of…Digital Products Supply Centre

When many people think of Ordnance Survey, they think of the lovely OS Explorer and OS Landranger maps. However, the vast majority of mapping, or data, that we send out to customers is actually on CD, DVD or hard drive. Last year we shipped 38 terabytes of data – or approximately 39,874,560 MB. These were produced on six robots and give our customers access to our OS MasterMap products and many more. The team responsible for producing the customer digital data orders and sending them out are the DPSC team and I caught up with Kelly Callawayto find out about a typical day in the life…

00.01 – OK, so we don’t start just after midnight but, on the first of every month, at this time our SAP system will start to create update orders for our robots. In fact, both our fulfilment systems run 24/7 and our robot, the Microtech XL Express with an 800 disk capacity, means that we can support unattended running even over the longest holiday.

Some of our robots in the DPSC

Some of our robots in the DPSC

Read More