By popular demand, our Geovation team will be delivering another series of geotech workshops across Great Britain. This time, they’re focusing the sessions on OS Open Zoomstack to help you embed OS Maps into your web, mobile and desktop application.
OS Open Zoomstack
We launched OS Open Zoomstack as a trial in July and over 900 people signed up to take part. We’ve seen over 1,100 downloads of the Vector Tiles, 900+ for GeoPackage and over 400 downloads of the PostGIS Export File. It’s been fantastic seeing OS Open Zoomstack being used, from building an interactive map in a day with Axis Maps to supporting a BBC article on rental prices across Britain and enhancing Pocket Pal’s mapping.
We’ve had such a great response to the trial and received a huge amount of feedback from the users, that we’re going to invest in making OS Open Zoomstack a supported product.
For both the downloads and the API we’ll be developing Alpha versions and continue to make changes based on your feedback. We’ll be doing an alpha release shortly for the various downloads. We’ll also continue supporting the API, and will update this with the new data from the Alpha while we plan the release of a fully supported version in the future. Please note that this may involve changes in the API URL at a minimum.
At this point we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us to make this exciting step!
With the English football season about to kick-off for 2018-19, our GeoDataViz team have been visualising the 92 football league grounds in one huge poster. The Premier League, The Championship, League One and League Two grounds have all been mapped using OS OpenData and put in order by stadium capacity.
Following our OS OpenData formats trial, we’re continuing to work to improve access to our opendata offerings. Our team have developed OS Open Zoomstack which makes elements of our opendata available as one map in one file to be used for GIS, web, mobile or offline use.
You can try out OS Open Zoomstack over the next three months. All we ask is for your feedback to shape its development for potential wider release. We believe that this will improve access to OS data and help current and future users to use our data in new ways. The trial is also a fantastic opportunity to test how we approach the development of Open MasterMap recently announced by the Geospatial Commission. This is an important step on the Open MasterMap implementation project highlighting our commitment to working with developers and the geospatial community to improve accessibility and usability of OS data.
What is OS Open Zoomstack?
Great Britain is an island in its own right, but aside from the mainland, there are hundreds of islands around the British coast, many uninhabited*. Inspired by David Garcia’s data visualisation of the Philippines, our GeoDataViz team worked with Alasdair Rae at the University of Sheffield to explore Britain’s largest islands.
They found that there are 82 English, Scottish and Welsh islands larger than 5km2. Scotland boasts the vast majority with 71, not surprising when you consider the Outer Hebrides, Shetland and Orkney and other beautiful islands off the coast. Wales had just 2 entries and England 9.
OS Open Greenspace launches today, becoming the latest free product available as OS OpenData. The new open dataset will help communities, businesses and developers to create products and services that will encourage healthier and greener lifestyles.
A Government initiative to make it easier for people to locate and access greenspaces launched with the release of our open dataset and maps every publicly accessible recreational and leisure greenspace in Great Britain.
You can access the data, covering all of Britain’s urban greenspaces, through our OS OpenData download page. OS Open Greenspace contains data from us and other sources, and you can also see it immediately through our free OS Maps service and app.
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’!
We’re celebrating seven years of OS OpenData, and its success is down to the people and businesses using the products. We are always interested in hearing how open data is being used, so please keep sharing your examples with us. One business who we have spotted using our data regularly over the years is Parallel. We asked Ashley Clough, founder of Parallel to explain how OS OpenData has benefitted them.
Parallel has evolved to specialise in data-visualisation and mapping, particularly for healthcare data in and around the NHS. We started to use OS OpenData when we became frustrated by the styling of available basemaps for website applications. We needed a set of maps that were optimised for the presentation of data overlays; as icons for point locations and polygons for area indications. We needed to control what was visible on the map at every zoom level and crucially we needed to ensure that the level of detail was consistent across the entirety of Great Britain. We investigated using open source map data but we couldn’t rely on the consistency of data within urban locations, and particularly in more rural locations. As the maps are used within the NHS we needed to ensure that everywhere had the same quality of data; OS OpenData was, and we believe still is, the most consistent for our purpose.
Guest blogger Nicholas White explains how photography and opendata go hand in hand…
I began my photography career shooting digitally. Digital was commonplace, both on consumer and professional levels. It seemed to be the go-to medium for financial viability, instant gratification and provided the photographer with the ability to produce large quantities of imagery without breaking the bank. This is by no means a bad thing, I’m all for embracing change. Change is good, it keeps us on our toes, opens doors to new methods of image-making and challenges us to think about how we align with the current trends in photography. Instagram and smartphone photography has added an extra dimension to this rapidly shape-shifting medium, with an average of 70 million photos per day being shared in 2015.