When we launched OS OpenSpace back in 2008, it was our first venture into mapping APIs. 12 years on, there has been a lot of progression in this market. As a result, we plan to withdraw the OS OpenSpace API in August 2021 as we can now offer users a similar but more proficient product.
We want to thank everyone who has used this service. Without your support, we wouldn’t be where we are today with our new and exciting suite of APIs.
With a year until the withdrawal, we’ve outlined some of the options for users to migrate across to.
Why is OS OpenSpace being withdrawn?
Data can be incredibly useful. By analysing or interpreting the information contained in data, better decisions can be made.
Ordnance Survey is one of the world’s oldest data organisations. We have gathered information about Great Britain since 1791, organising, analysing and disseminating maps and other information. As information technologies have evolved from tables and charts and pen-and-paper calculations to databases, vector graphics and sophisticated machine learning algorithms, OS has been a leader in adopting and innovating new ways to capture, store, process and share valuable location information.
The challenge – managing data
Ordnance Survey has a rich cartographic history – we have been mapping the Great British landscape for 229 years! From navigating the countryside on foot to helping utility companies manage and track their assets underfoot, our maps offer a range of functions. As a result, our cartographers make lots of intricate design decisions to ensure that our maps meet the needs of each of our different users.
Our paper maps (and their digital raster data equivalents) carry their own beautiful cartography which is well established and well understood. A great example of this is our OS Explorer Maps. For many, these maps have a sentimental or nostalgic value – they can evoke memories of adventure and can connect the map reader to locations. Cartography is a powerful form of visual communication.
Since last autumn we’ve been asking people to trial our new OS Data Hub and our new APIs. A big thank-you to everyone who took part, we’ve had over 700 people sign up for the trial, use our APIs and download data. Since October last year we’ve seen:
- 14,448 OS OpenData downloads
- 15.5 million map tile requests for our OS Maps API
- 1.5 million OS Features API requests
- 1,464 API Projects created
All of this has helped us to shape the OS Data Hub and APIs through customer testing and feedback. We’ve already seen some innovative uses of our APIs, including a community support tool for people shielding from Coronavirus and stunning 3D visualisations of the Scottish Highlands. We look forward to seeing more creative applications in the near future.
Update: 1 July 2020, OS APIs now live and available via our OS Data Hub, sign up here
Our OS Explorer Maps and OS Landranger Maps are iconic, and so are their digital counterparts! 1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster and 1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster can be downloaded as georeferenced image files for use on commercial terms – and they’re also available via API.
These maps have enjoyed a successful transition from paper to digital, and you can easily integrate them into your GIS, web and mobile applications. Alongside 1: 2500 000 Scale Colour Raster and Miniscale, they form part of our Leisure style which is available via our new OS Maps API.
In this week’s post, we want to help you choose the right one for your use case by presenting a series of user stories and recommending the API that is the best fit. In some instances, there will be more than one option and your choice may come down to experience, software interoperability, or preference.
Told from the perspective of the individual, a user story is a short description of a feature stating the requirement and the reason behind it. Interested? Read on to find out our use case advice.