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.
Guest blog from Stephen McConnachie, Head of Data, BFI Collections & Information
This month the British Film Institute launched its innovative new digital moving image platform, Britain On Film. It offers map-based access to digitised films from the BFI National Archive’s own collection, and from 13 regional and national film archives throughout the UK. This lottery-funded project is digitising 10,000 films by 2017, and making them available to watch on the BFI Player. This project is driven by the BFI’s strategic priority number three in its Film Forever plan.
Creation of a map interface – to enable users to search or navigate to the digitised films – was one of the main ambitions of the project, and the data underlying that map experience was built from an OS OpenData product: the 1:50,000 Gazetteer of GB place names. Find out why OS had the best choice of data source to achieve our project objectives, and how we used it.
Earlier in the year, we shared news with you about the latest suite of OS OpenData products that are available through our download portal. The four new products in the portfolio are OS Open Map – Local, OS Open Names, OS Open Rivers and OS Open Roads. On Thursday 2 July, we’re running a free bite-sized masterclass where we’ll be taking a closer look at these products. We’ll be taking classmates on a journey, teaching them how to access, load, style and use the data in open source software – it’s sure to be a great session!
At OS, we sponsor and judge one of the British Cartographic Society (BCS) awards and once again this year we will be rewarding cartographic excellence and the innovative use of OS OpenData. The 2015 awards launched in March and are made annually at the society’s symposium which this year promises to be a fantastic event as it is being jointly hosted with the Society of Cartographers (SoC).
Great news this morning, our latest OS OpenData products are now available for download. Announced last month, the four new products in our open data portfolio are OS Open Map – Local, OS Open Names, OS Open Rivers and OS Open Roads. Bringing our OS OpenData offering up to sixteen products, the latest offer you increased detail and accuracy and the opportunity for analytics. They are fully customisable and can work together or be imported and integrated with your own software and database.
Post by Keegan Wilson, Press Officer
Ordnance Survey’s very own Mr Blocks, Joseph Braybrook, is conducting a new set of experiments in Minecraft.
Not content with making Great Britain out of OS OpenData and 83 billion individual Minecraft blocks, a mammoth map which won him a place in the Guinness Book of Records, which you can download here for free, Joseph has set his sights further afield in an attempt to push himself, real world data and the possibilities of Minecraft to the limit.