By Jeremy Morley, Chief Geospatial Scientist
‘Digital Twin’ is the new ‘Smart City’. It’s a term that has little consensus on its meaning, but critical importance for those who understand its significance and role in a prosperous future for the UK.
Earlier this month, at the Digital Twin Data Challenge, we saw academics and professionals compete to create a digital model of Bristol: a virtual ‘echo’ or projection of the city, created in digital form.
This isn’t a new concept. From the interwoven narratives of Lewis Carroll’s “Sylvie and Bruno” in 1893, to the 1982 cult classic action of “TRON” bringing software programs to life in an abstract digital landscape, we can fast-forward to 1999 and see Neo ‘living’ in an almost perfect simulation of the real world in “The Matrix”. Dystopian? Perhaps. But that was nearly 30 years ago. Today, this notion of creating parallel worlds is more than a possibility. It’s a reality – and a necessity.
Do you use GEMINI? See the latest version and send your feedback on the new approach. Peter Parslow, our open standards lead and chair of the AGI Standards Committee explains more.
AGI has long-maintained UK GEMINI, a guide to creating metadata for geospatial resources. Local authorities and major data publishers like ourselves, ONS, BGS, Defra all use GEMINI to describe our products – datasets and services. These records are then collated automatically to data.gov.uk, and on the European INSPIRE portal. The records in data.gov.uk can also be accessed directly from within desktop GIS tools like Arc Desktop and QGIS, by using the OGC Catalogue Server interface, and by other tools by using the CKAN API described at https://data.gov.uk/data/metadata-api-docs. There’s ongoing work in Europe to integrate this approach more with mainstream web search engines – at present, it is a bit ‘geo specialist’!
Today’s guest blog is by Diane Sandeman at the Association for Geographic Information (AGI). The AGI is the membership body for geographic information professionals. It is an independent organisation which promotes the use of GI and champions its value for the benefit of every individual, business and the economy.
We were extremely pleased to see our own Minecraft project and one of our Partners recognised at the prestigious AGI Awards this month. Recognising the very best achievements in the field of geographic information throughout the year, the awards mark the climax of Geocom, AGI’s annual flagship conference event, which this year ran under the title ‘The Changing Face of Geo’.
We scooped a Best Geospatial Data Visualisation prize for our GB Minecraft map, collected on the evening by Joseph Braybrook (pictured, left), creator of the map. The award recognised the importance of the visual representation of geospatial data to convey a story or message, and the judges were looking for powerful methods of using geospatial data in visualising and communicating a message.
Guest post by Matthew White, Senior Data and Services Relationship Manager at Ordnance Survey
At the end of September over 160 delegates came together for a conference on big data and location at IBM’s client centre in London. The conference was organised by the Association for Geographic (AGI), who have been hosting a series of conferences in 2014 focussing on the big initiatives impacting upon the use of location data and technologies in the UK. The big data and location conference was the fourth conference in this series, and we were involved as sponsors at the event. The conference brought together speakers from leading organisations including Deloitte, Marks and Spencer, Telefonica, Google and Capgemini.
Harnessing the power of big data presents businesses with a phenomenal business opportunity. The question is, are they ready for it? McKinsey in their recent report on big data, assert that it will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus, with personal navigation data alone being worth $800bn worldwide during the current decade. The business value to be derived from big data comes from finding new insights, what is termed predictive analytics, and the process efficiencies that flow from using new tools and techniques for information management, manipulation and visualisation.
At its simplest level, big data refers to a mass of information held digitally, that is so large, making it difficult to analyse, search and process. Businesses already hold vast amounts of data, but now they can gather even more from new sources such as GPS-enabled devices, social media postings and CCTV footage.
With just under a month until the deadline (30 September 2014), there is still time to submit your entry to the AGI’s prestigious annual awards ceremony recognising the very best achievements in the field of Geographic Information throughout the year. This year sees a new format and ten new awards showcasing high impact projects, innovation and commitment to the GI industry and in GI Education.
Along with Ordnance Survey, other key industry players such as ESRI, 1spatial, Informed Solutions and GIStandards are sponsoring awards to help recognise excellence, innovation and best practice within the sector.
Ordnance Survey is delighted to be sponsoring the AGI Award for the Best Use of Geospatial for Business Benefit and we are looking forward to seeing entries illustrating how geospatial has become a core tool in the business arena helping to improve decision making, making cost savings and support efficiencies. With this award, we hope that examples of geospatial being used as a mainstream business tool to deliver intelligence can lead the way for future business and economic growth.
A brand new global geospatial event is taking place in London next week and as you might expect Ordnance Survey are going to be there.
Over 2,000 people with interests in gathering, storing, processing and delivering geospatial information from the international geospatial industry are expected to attend some of the conference sessions, workshops and free exhibition.
GeoBusiness 2014 is taking place at the Business Design Centre in London over 2 days (28/29 May) and there is a packed conference programme with around 50 speakers including presentations by our acting Director General Neil Ackroyd talking about Innovation and beyond as well as Dr John Goodwin talking about Linked Data and Debbie Wilson sharing our experience of working internationally.
The exhibition features more than 80 free product and service workshops attending-workshops/ from a range of companies including one on how OS OpenData and geospatial information are driving innovation and supporting business growth.
Those attending the exhibition will learn how the content in the Gazetteer of Great Britain can be used to search for settlements, roads and postcodes as well as hear about our new thinking about improvements to OS Street View.
We will also be running special Land and Property sessions on our stand, so if you’d like to hear the latest on BIM or asset management, do drop along to the stand to say hello!
To find out more and to register, visit http://geobusinessshow.com
As regular blog readers will know, Ordnance Survey is a Diamond sponsor of the AGI (Association of Geographic Information). Next week sees us attending the second of five regional events which they are running based on five themes facing the industry. In a bid to extend the reach of the AGI, these themes are broad and engaging to a wider audience and feature top speakers with real experience and knowledge of the area.
The next event, which is being held in Belfast, will look at Open Geospatial. The rise of open (source data and standards) has had an undeniable impact on the geospatial sector spawning a host of new solutions, opportunities and challenges. Many businesses are still struggling to work out the impact for them and to put strategies in place which address the issues and make the most of the opportunities.
We’re working with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), with the support of the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), to lead the first of a series of events called the United Kingdom Interoperability Assessment Plugfest (UKIAP) 2013.
What exactly is a Plugfest?
According to Wikipedia, a Plugfest (sometimes written as PlugFest) is an event around a certain standard where the designers of software test the interoperability of their products to other vendors.
The purpose of this Plugfest is to advance the interoperability of geospatial products and services based on OGC standards within the UK geospatial information (GI) community. Specifically, four OGC standards will be tested, namely Geography Markup Language (GML), Web Map Service (WMS), Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) and Web Feature Service (WFS).