7
Mar
2017
0

Boundary-Line statement

Following a number of queries about our Boundary-Line OS OpenData product, please read our statement.

Boundary-Line is an OS OpenData product which we release under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Our production cycle for Boundary-Line sees us release updates in May and October each year.

The primary purpose of Boundary-Line is to show the current operative administrative and voting boundaries within Great Britain.  New boundaries are determined in accordance with Statutory Instruments and Community Governance Orders, which typically come into effect when elections are held (usually in May).  Our product update cycle for the May release aligns with the dates that the changes to electoral and administrative boundaries become operative.

To maintain and update Boundary-Line, we need to process data received at different times, from many third parties, in differing formats within the production cycle. If we released Boundary-Line data ahead of schedule, the data would not have the benefit of going through the production processes which are in place to ensure that the data is accurate and reflects all of the available changes to the boundaries that we receive from local authorities. Read More

6
Mar
2017
3

Surveying the Colonsay Whale

It’s not every day that we add a whale to our maps, but surveyor Shaun McGrath did recently…

I first became aware of the Colonsay Whale some time after a visit to the Isle of Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides last year, on a particularly fine day trip to carry out some survey work. It’s a long day as the ferry sets off around 9.30 am from Islay where I was working on detached duty and returns around 7.30 pm. I had plenty of time to get the survey work done and it left me a little spare time to explore the island’s fine sandy beaches before the return ferry. I visited Kiloran Bay in the north, as recommended by the occupants of a house I had surveyed earlier that day. They also said that there was an even finer beach further north, but it was only accessible by foot and would have added a couple of hours to my trip – and made me miss the ferry.

Kiloran Bay captured by Shaun

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2
Mar
2017
3

Enter the Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition 2017

A fantastic way to inspire a love of cartography at an early age, have you heard of the  Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition 2017? Barbara was a leading cartographer whose work related to children. In her memory, the International Cartographic Association holds a biennial competition.

2015 overall winner: The world in our hands by Pan Sin Yi (aged 15)

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1
Mar
2017
0

Putting Tadcaster Bridge (back) on the map

Our surveyors are usually local to the areas they survey and this was the case for Andy Caulfield when he was mapping the new Tadcaster Bridge. The bridge partially collapsed in the aftermath of the Boxing Day storms in 2015, impacting local residents and businesses for the next 14 months while repairs were carried out. Many, like Andy, will have seen an 11-mile detour added to their days and are welcoming the reopening of the bridge.

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27
Feb
2017
2

Everything seems simple until you think about it

One of the joys of working for OS is that you get asked to give authoritative answers to all sorts of geographic questions. ‘Classic’ questions such as how long is the coastline of Great Britain? often crop up. Which, if you read our recent blog on which English county has the longest coastline, you’ll know isn’t as easy to answer as you might think. Often, seemingly simple questions have no definitive solution. For me that doesn’t matter. The joy comes from thinking through the problem to come up with the best answer possible.

The coastline question reminded me of a problem I tried to tackle myself last year. Listening to a news story on the radio, it described “27 million households across the country”. Over the next 48 hours the story was repeated across a broad selection of media outlets and every time the same statistic came up. After mulling on this for a while I decided I didn’t like this number. It’s too imprecise. So, I decided to delve a little further and try and work out a more accurate number for myself. Read More

22
Feb
2017
1

A day in the life of an OS surveyor

Over the last few months we’ve been sharing unusual surveying stories with you – from mapping chalk figures to lifeboat stations to the aftermath of a flood. All of these tasks form a part of the 10,000 changes a day taking place in our geospatial database of Great Britain. The variety of jobs faced by our 250+ surveyors is unending. Take a look at these three examples:

Escape to the countryside

Surveying at the lake

Matt Toothill and Henry Creed took on the challenge of surveying the footpath and several new boardwalks around Springwell Lake, Hertfordshire, following customer feedback. Read More

20
Feb
2017
5

Carto tips: Using blend modes and opacity levels

Colour is one of the main graphic elements that a cartographer uses to make their map clear to read. Amongst other things we use colour to create familiarity, to differentiate features and to create a clear visual hierarchy. There are many things we can do to the features on our maps to change their appearance and many techniques we can apply to adjust the colours. Adjusting opacity levels and applying blend modes are the two techniques that we will explore in this post and we will look at some examples of how we can use them together to create effective visualisations.

all-images

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16
Feb
2017
1

A-Z map the National Trails

9781782571650Guest blog by our Licensed Partner, A-Z Maps

A-Z Maps has been chosen as the official mapping partner to produce maps for the National Trails of England and Wales. There are 16 long distance paths that are official National Trails, covering some of the most stunning parts of the country. The official National Trail maps will be produced using the iconic OS 1:25,000 mapping data, familiar with those who have used the OS Explorer maps.

A-Z Adventure Series

A-Z has worked closely with OS for many years and the A-Z Adventure Series has been one of the successes of this partnership. The Adventure Series contains the detailed OS mapping, so loved by walkers and outdoor enthusiasts, in a convenient book format with an index to places of interest, towns, villages and features.

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