Maps are nice – and sometimes necessary – for many websites. But creating beautiful, usable, accurate maps can be tricky. There is a thicket of concepts, tools and data sources to navigate.
Here’s our quick guide to some of the useful tools for web mapping out there to help web developers work with spatial data.
As a note – here we’ll present resources roughly in line with the path spatial data takes from its origin to a user’s browser from the perspective of a full stack web developer: collect – manipulate – analyse – store – access – visualise. Also, this list is not exhaustive! Loads of useful tools for web mapping exist – this is more of a windscreen tour.
Data comes from somewhere, and spatial data is no different. Exactly how spatial data is captured and created is beyond the scope of this post – all we need to know is that raster images and vector features can be downloaded or fetched from several reliable, authoritative sources.
Update: 1 July 2020, OS APIs now live and available via our OS Data Hub, sign up here
This summer, we’ll be introducing a new range of location APIs that you can access via our Data Hub. They all give you access to OS OpenData, and the option to upgrade to premium data, and you can get started for free on the Data Hub.
There are different options for accessing and using OS data and which one you choose will depend on your use case. You may want to download datasets and have access to all the features locally or offline. Or you may prefer direct access to the maps or data you need, as and when you need them, via the internet – and this is where APIs are useful.
Update: 1 July 2020, OS Data Hub now live, sign up here
The OS Data Hub is the new way to access our authoritative location data. It will replace the current OS ordering systems (OpenData Portal, OS Orders and API shop) with one mobile-friendly platform with a single sign on to give you a better user experience.
Following her blog on the release of two new colour vision deficiency (CVD) friendly styles for OS Open Zoomstack last December, Graduate Technical Consultant Jessica Baker talks through the feedback we’ve had, where our CVD mapping is going next, and new ways you can access these styles.
The initial release of the two new CVD friendly stylesheets in December 2019 was met with a keen interest, and you can find these stylesheets in a variety of file types on Github. Since then, we have been working hard to make more people aware of the benefits it could have for them. We’ve had lots of feedback from people and are excited to share with you the new direction we are taking this accessible mapping.