As co-founder of property.xyz, Robert Jones has been investing in property for more than 15 years and creating data led content with Property Investments UK for over 8 years. As a member of Geovation, Robert explains how his company has been utilising OS data with the aim of building the world’s most intelligent property platform…
Carly Florina, ex-CEO of Hewlett Packard once said, “the goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight”, and she couldn’t be more right.
Because while collectively we are gathering data at a greater scale than ever before, the usefulness of it all remains largely elusive.
As such, lying before us, at the beginning of the data revolution, are vistas of untapped potential. Companies possessing a vision of how to transform the information at our disposal into something useful find themselves empowered to make a meaningful difference in their respective industries like never before.
As the Technical Director at Cadcorp, Martin Daly has written this week’s #OSDeveloper guest blog to share his experience of the new OS Data Hub and desktop GIS…
At Cadcorp, we have, for the best part of 30 years, endeavoured to ensure that our Cadcorp SIS – Spatial Information System® suite of GIS software supports all of the wide variety of Ordnance Survey data products, in all of the wide variety of data supply formats, in as simple and effective a way as possible.
We’ve worked very hard over those years to allow end-users to, for example, drag-and drop file-based data in the format supplied by OS. That capability began all the way back with Land-Line NTF in the 1990s:
In case you missed our big news, back in July we launched the OS Data Hub. As our new data platform, the OS Data Hub is transforming the way people access, share, and innovate with location data.
DataIQ connects, educates and supports people in data and analytics. The platform focuses on the needs of data and analytics professionals from global, FTSE 100, large and mid-market organisations.
What does the podcast cover?
When we launched OS OpenSpace back in 2008, it was our first venture into mapping APIs. 12 years on, there has been a lot of progression in this market. As a result, we plan to withdraw the OS OpenSpace API in August 2021 as we can now offer users a similar but more proficient product.
We want to thank everyone who has used this service. Without your support, we wouldn’t be where we are today with our new and exciting suite of APIs.
With a year until the withdrawal, we’ve outlined some of the options for users to migrate across to.
Why is OS OpenSpace being withdrawn?
Following an extensive user trial, on 1 July we launched the OS Data Hub. As the new way to access our authoritative location data, it includes our new range of location APIs.
In the first week we were pleased to see hundreds of new customers sign up to try them out. We’re keen to see more use through our existing and new customers, so if you’re interested, sign up today. Keep reading to find out more about OS Identifiers.
OS Open Identifiers
Hopefully it’s not just us, but we definitely found ourselves spending more time and money on online shopping throughout lockdown. Thankfully when we get to the point of entering our address, placing our order and receiving our purchases, we don’t need to think about how any of this works.
Ordnance Survey has a rich cartographic history – we have been mapping the Great British landscape for 229 years! From navigating the countryside on foot to helping utility companies manage and track their assets underfoot, our maps offer a range of functions. As a result, our cartographers make lots of intricate design decisions to ensure that our maps meet the needs of each of our different users.
Our paper maps (and their digital raster data equivalents) carry their own beautiful cartography which is well established and well understood. A great example of this is our OS Explorer Maps. For many, these maps have a sentimental or nostalgic value – they can evoke memories of adventure and can connect the map reader to locations. Cartography is a powerful form of visual communication.
Fast, customisable, versatile web maps
Web mapping has come a long way since the first map server was built in 1993 at the famed Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Since then, users have come to expect intuitive, beautiful and instant maps on their desktop and mobile devices.
The typical modern map user accesses map data on devices that usually don’t have the storage capacity for high resolution maps of the entire world. Instead, apps and websites show mapping data that is served as needed over the web.
When a web map is loaded, it is set to a zoom level and extent, which defines the level of detail and the area that will be visible in the viewer. A map server sends grid sections of the map, called “tiles”, to the user, where they are arranged in the right configuration to appear as a map. As the user pans and zoom in and out, requests for the correct tiles are sent, and the response is used to update the screen.
The Geospatial Commission announced the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) in April, a contract which will see OS helping to generate significant economic value to the UK economy over the next 10 years. We’ve been working hard to ensure the first releases of new data, access and freedoms under the PSGA would be ready to deliver to customers on 1 July. We caught up with Chris Chambers, Head of PSGA at OS, to find out more and follow up on his last blog.
Chris, we’ve had public sector contracts before, what makes this different?
Since last autumn we’ve been asking people to trial our new OS Data Hub and our new APIs. A big thank-you to everyone who took part, we’ve had over 700 people sign up for the trial, use our APIs and download data. Since October last year we’ve seen:
- 14,448 OS OpenData downloads
- 15.5 million map tile requests for our OS Maps API
- 1.5 million OS Features API requests
- 1,464 API Projects created
All of this has helped us to shape the OS Data Hub and APIs through customer testing and feedback. We’ve already seen some innovative uses of our APIs, including a community support tool for people shielding from Coronavirus and stunning 3D visualisations of the Scottish Highlands. We look forward to seeing more creative applications in the near future.
Update: 1 July 2020, OS APIs now live and available via our OS Data Hub, sign up here
Our OS Explorer Maps and OS Landranger Maps are iconic, and so are their digital counterparts! 1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster and 1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster can be downloaded as georeferenced image files for use on commercial terms – and they’re also available via API.
These maps have enjoyed a successful transition from paper to digital, and you can easily integrate them into your GIS, web and mobile applications. Alongside 1: 2500 000 Scale Colour Raster and Miniscale, they form part of our Leisure style which is available via our new OS Maps API.