In a world where we have access to an abundance of information, good data visualisation is more important now than ever before. Our GeoDataViz team here at OS know this better than anyone. Here they talk us through their thematic mapping techniques and explain when and how these techniques should be used…
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.
How long have you worked as a surveyor at OS?
I have worked for OS for 15 years. The time has flown by and it would be fair to say I’ve surveyed most of the new topographic features in places like St Albans and Watford. My area of responsibility stretches across west Hertfordshire into Buckinghamshire. This includes The Chilterns, which is always a pleasure to work within.
By surveying the countryside and the built environment, I get to survey and visit interesting places. Updating the large-scale OS map of Great Britain has taken me to places such as Vicarage Road, the home of Watford FC, Arsenal FC’s training ground and the Warner Bros Studio Tour.
When you are out surveying, what is the most common thing you get asked by the public?
Based out of East Midlands airport, our team are getting to grips with some new technology and a new aircraft for the 2019 flying season, which runs from the end of February to the end of October.
This year, we’re excited to be adding two Vexcel Mark 3 UltraCam Eagle cameras and a Pressurised Beechcraft B200 King Air aircraft to our kit! In a bid to capture more imagery than ever before and to test efficiency with flights, the new cameras and plane are being flown higher and at faster speeds.
While we have all been out embracing the heatwave at every opportunity, as a result our Flying Unit has had to contend with a busier airspace. As well as all the air shows at this time of year, when the weather is good, those with PPLs (Private Pilot Licence) are more likely to take to the air.
Despite this meaning they have to be extra vigilant, our Flying Unit has been making the most of this unique weather window with unprecedented results. The best way to demonstrate it is with the below graph. This shows the stark comparison of our flying season volumes against previous years.
Citing his inspiration as our post that reimagined Winchester as the nation’s capital, we recently published a guest blog by John Murray. Following the episode of Channel 4’s Britain’s Most Historic Towns, John replicated our technique to reimagine Chester (Britain’s most Roman town) as the capital.
Out of curiosity, we thought it could be interesting to see what other cities would look like if they were the capital. As with Winchester, many cities have backstories which historically make them viable capital candidates. We got our Graduate Consultant Data Scientist, Jacob Rainbow, involved and, as with the Winchester map, he applied the same process.
You may know about our trig pillars, but did you know that there are more nostalgic reminders of how we used to map Great Britain? Have you ever seen one of these while you’ve been out and about? If so, it is highly likely you have spotted one of our renowned benchmarks. 2018 marks 25 years since the last traditionally-cut arrow style benchmark was carved on a milestone located outside The Fountain pub in Loughton.
Calling all OS OpenData users!
Have you struggled to get to grips with GML? Have Shapefiles left you feeling positively un-shapely? Do you dream of a Dump file? Maybe you get giddy over a GeoPackage? Then you may want to take part in our OS OpenData trial that’s being announced at FOSS4G in London today…