OS reports recommend the creation of a Digital Twin for a successful rollout of 5G

3D viewshed analysis of Bournemouth used in 5G project

While the world enjoyed the action at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, we were just as interested in what was happening away from the ice and snow. Namely the first large-scale 5G pilot service.

For critics it served as a marketing ploy for KT Group, South Korea’s largest telecom, who promoted the event as the first “5G Olympic Games in the world.

For us though, the games with its driverless buses, immersive broadcasting, 360-degree instant replays and zooming, as well as the opening ceremony’s spectacular 5G-enabled peace dove, the trial seemed like a fun way of introducing the next generation of wireless communications to a wider audience.

However, the surface has yet to be scratched on what 5G can truly deliver to help improve our lives. It’s very much in its infancy, but already we see how more and more devices are increasing their worth to us with services that require reliable Internet connectivity. Even the humble doorbell has received a tech makeover. You can now see and speak to whoever is at your door, no matter where you are on the planet. Imagine one day a surgeon in one area of the country performing vital surgery somewhere else through a 5G-enabled robot. 5G will help the Internet cope with this increase in demand.

In 1899, the Head of the US Patents Office, Charles H. Duell, famously declared: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

Then came the 20th century, the age of mass invention. Nearly 120 years on and, in this context, you sense that 5G is the start of something extraordinary. With some even stating it will: enable the future – accelerating innovation and growing the economy. Exciting stuff for everyone, you’d think. But it’s not that Mr Duell was wrong in 1899, though he was, he just demonstrates how fallible we all are when it comes to imagining the future.

If Mr Duell, a man surrounded by invention and America’s brightest minds couldn’t see computers, microchips, moon rockets and the Internet coming – to name just a few of the 20th century’s stunning breakthroughs that would have bent his head – then what chance do the rest of us have in explaining what the 5G future will be or look like? Except to say: It’s what you make it.

5G and OS

One thing that we know with certainty, and we write about this in two government-funded reports published today, is that the most cost effective and simplest way for the UK to adopt 5G is through the creation of a ‘Digital Twin’. Read More


Building smart and happy cities

By Peter Hedlund, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey International

Ensuring quality of life in our cities is a complex challenge, but essential to making it happen is up-to-date and accurate land information. The emergence of Internet of Things technology such as autonomous vehicles, is driving the development of smart cities in many metropolitan areas around the world.

Dubai has set itself the goal of being the world’s smartest and happiest city. To achieve this vision, a smart city initiative has been launched to explore energy, environment, infrastructure and mobility. Geospatial data will be a key component and tool enabling services in each of these domains. Read More


Where does blockchain sit in the geospatial world?

By Rollo Home, Strategic Product Manager

For 225 years we’ve worked with governments, private industry, and individuals alike, since the data we produce touches and connects the lives of everyone in the country. We know the location of every road, water network, mast, residential and commercial address and the type of terrain, plus much more. And this data is invaluable for identifying areas of risk, to improve planning and services and more. Put simply location is the glue that holds disparate pieces of information together in a single logical view of the world.

Traditionally this information has been shared with people in the form of a (digital) map, but the world moves on and we’re preparing for a new ‘data driven’ future where machines rather than people will be the primary consumers of our data. Rather than a person querying the data for some form of insight, it could mean in simplistic terms, a computer running some route optimisation analysis, based on a trigger from a sensor (Internet of Things (IoT)) measuring traffic and/or customer demand, for which it would retrieve the necessary data from an OS server. This means restructuring our data around explicit references to objects. The map will remain, but simply as a derivative representation of the data. Data will be king. And that requires a new way to deliver data.

The University of Manchester shown in the emerging 3D context model based on point clouds derived from aerial photography

The University of Manchester shown in the emerging 3D context model based on point clouds derived from aerial photography – delivering digital data to people rather than machines

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CityVerve launches in Manchester

Guest blog by Simon Navin, Ordnance Survey Project Lead, Smart Practice.

July saw the official launch of CityVerve, the UK’s demonstrator project in Manchester for large scale deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. OS are part of a consortium of over 20 public and private sector organisations, ranging from SMEs to large global corporates, who over the next two years will design and deliver a series of citizen-focused solutions around the themes of Transport, Energy, Health and Culture, using IoT sensor and collaborative platform technology. After six months of governance negotiations, the project is now live and everyone is raring to go.

Our role is to provide the geospatial framework and location expertise upon which solutions may be based. The project will be a challenge to our existing content and working methods, as well as providing us with essential insight into what the content of the future may look like and how it may need to be delivered and shared. We’ll learn a lot from working with experts in data presentation, platform development, hardware deployment and key sector expertise.

The University of Manchester shown in the emerging 3D context model based on point clouds derived from aerial photography

The University of Manchester shown in the emerging 3D context model based on point clouds derived from aerial photography

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