15
Nov
2017
1

Sharing geospatial expertise in Tanzania

Ordnance Survey International (OSI) is working with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and the World Bank to build the geospatial capacity of Tanzania. You can find out more about it in our recent news release.

We recently held two high-level geospatial policy seminars to explore the benefits and nature of national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI) policies. These seminars brought together senior delegates from across government departments in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar to consider the particular cross-government challenges facing them. Disaster response, revenue generation and environmental management are three examples that would benefit from cross-cutting geospatial policies. In both seminars, principles to underpin policies were determined and agreed by delegates. Most importantly all attendees want NSDI policies and intend to work together to help write them.

Training in Zanzibar

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9
Nov
2017
0

Is this the most unusual way of showing support for a team ever?

Following on from the recent ‘Sue x’ field carving mystery, we spotted letters almost as long as the Anfield pitch spelling ‘LFC’ spotted on Shropshire hillside – but who has done it? 

Our Flying Unit captures aerial imagery of over 50,000 square kilometres of the country each season. From the Isles of Scilly to Shetland, the team will capture over 140,000 aerial images each year, using the 196-megapixel cameras on-board the planes. And sometimes their pictures reveal something strange on the landscape…

Such as earlier this week, when flying over Shropshire, Andrew Tyrrell, a Remote Sensing Surveyor and Air Camera Operator, noticed ‘LFC’ carved into the scrub on the north side of Titterstone Clee Hill (SO588787), and took a picture. Intrigued by who or why someone would do such a thing and the effort required in such a remote location, he sent the image back to head office for analysis.

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9
Nov
2017
4

Launching the GeoDataViz Toolkit

We mentioned in a previous post that we’ve been developing a toolkit of assets and resources and we are pleased to say that v0.1 is now available.

The GeoDataViz Toolkit is a set of resources that will help you communicate your data effectively through the design of compelling visuals.

What is in the toolkit?

Basemaps – Often referred to as a contextual or backdrop map, a basemap contains reference information used to both orient the map and add context to any data that is overlaid. We are providing information about the OS range of basemap styles, the colour values for each and some best practice guidance.

One of our range of OS basemap styles (Road – we also have Outdoor, Light and Night) Read More

7
Nov
2017
1

Unique geographic keys – linking people to places

By Iain Goodwin, OS Relationship Manager across all government sectors 

At a time when there’s an appetite for making better use of data to improve services, I’ve been thinking…

If we recognise the value of the output (a map as an evidence base to underpin decision making), what can be done to improve the input (the data)?

The answer, I believe, is unique geographic keys.

Data visualisation is absolutely crucial in helping public sector organisations work smarter and underpinning policy making. It helps to make sense of population characteristics, understand the needs of communities, and target resources effectively.

Examples of individual unique keys are scattered across the public sector: Healthcare has the NHS Number. HMRC has the National Insurance Number. The DVLA links us to our vehicle registrations with a Unique Driver Licence Number. But these organisations are concerned with their own characteristics. So, how can departments ensure these unique keys describe the same people?

The answer is to link them to the unique geographic keys that describe places. And in most cases, this will be property. Unlike unique keys for citizens, there is one version of the truth for property – the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN). Read More

5
Nov
2017
0

OS data being used to predict coastal change in Scotland

Sunny day? Head to the coast to enjoy the British beaches. Need to de-stress? Head to the coast and have a walk, listen to the waves crashing and smelling the sea air. Picturing your perfect holiday home? Chances are it’s on the coast. It’s safe to say that most Britons are fans of the coast and there’s a good chance that you’re aware of coastal change to some degree. Whether it’s investment in coastal defences, cliff falls or erosion impacting landowners, coastal change often hits the news.

Great Britain has tens of thousands of kilometres of coastline, which is a key resource and home to communities, businesses and infrastructure – as well as being a great place to holiday. Looking at Scotland, around 20% of the population live within 1km of the coast, that’s around 1 million people. Yet 19% of the coast is erodible or ‘soft’.

What does that mean for the coast? According to Dynamic Coast it means that thousands of assets are at risk. Within just 50m of the Scottish coast lie 34,000 buildings, of which 72% are residential properties. You also have 1,300km of roads, 100km of rail networks and 600 natural heritage sites. Read More

2
Nov
2017
5

Trodden paths with National Trust and OS Maps

By Richard Martin, GIS Analyst at the National Trust

As keen followers of the OS blog, we found the ‘trodden paths’ post in August of particular interest. The National Trust (NT) is a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. We were therefore interested in discovering how much NT land currently occupies the most popular OS 1km map tiles that contain the largest number of public routes going through them. We were delighted to find that within the OS top 20 tiles (2,000ha) the NT looks after 924ha (46%), showing a very strong correlation with the places that OS Maps subscribers most like to walk.

 

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31
Oct
2017
1

The Dark End of the Street

Are these some of Britain’s most scariest streets and gruesome roads, ask the batty guys and ghouls of Ordnance Survey this Halloween?

The picturesque Lancashire village of Appley Bridge sits in the Douglas Valley near the Leeds and Liverpool canal. To find the village you need to come off the M6 at junction 27 and go a few miles west before heading south when you reach the B5375. What makes this village extra special when Halloween rolls around is that despite being relatively small, it is home to a number of street names that lend themselves fabulously well to Halloween: Back Skull House Lane, Skull House Mews and Skull House Lane.

The village also has the dubious distinction of being the only place in the country where you’ll find ‘skull’ in a street name. Why? Read More

30
Oct
2017
1

Water, Water Everywhere hackathon a great success

We recently held a hackathon with RNLI and Bournemouth Council and are pleased to report first hand that it was awesome! Read on for a flavour of the day, highlights of the successes and to share some of our experiences in organising a hackathon.

Every year, around 190 people drown in UK and Irish waters – half of them didn’t even intend to get wet. Drowning is a problem – and we need to solve it.

This was the premise of the event – a serious and very real problem that requires creativity and innovative ideas to help improve the situation. After months of organisation the hackathon arrived and it turned out to not only be a great day for all in attendance but also a real success with some fantastic ideas coming out of it. Ideas that show real potential and we are now excited to take the best of them forward.

There was a real buzz around the room as the team’s hacked away

The challenges

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