Last week, 1 April, saw the launch of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA). This means that public sector organisations in England and Wales have access to most of Ordnance Survey’s mapping data under a single agreement for the first time.
The PSMA is open to the 750 public sector organisations previously covered by other agreements with us – such as the Pan Government and Mapping Services agreements – as well as 1,000s of others in the public sector. It covers local and central government organisations, as well as health bodies, town and parish councils, Welsh community councils, UK Search and Rescue organisations and many more.
We invited those public sector organisations already in agreements with us to sign up for the PSMA from February 2011. We were really pleased that 75% of organisations took up the opportunity. For everyone else, our new PSMA website went live on 1 April.
For the first time our public sector customers can now order and receive their data online. PSMA members can also contact each other through the new website and share ideas on the dedicated PSMA community forum.
By making it easier for PSMA members to contact each other and widening the access to data through the PSMA, this will help deliver significant cost savings for the public sector, and greater data sharing. And it’s not just about widening access.
The geographic data we provide, including our OS MasterMap products, will be free at the point of use for public sector bodies that join up. It will not be subject to limits on re-use when used internally within the public sector for public sector activities.
The new agreement also enables sharing of our data, and members’ derived data, with anyone to support delivery of the member’s public sector activity.
We’re hoping to see our data being used in new and innovative ways to improve efficiency, deliver cost savings and improve front-line services across England and Wales.
You can find more information on the PSMA and benefits for members on our website.
I was talking about how we capture our imagery recently and now we’re seeing it put to use by the emergency services, as Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) have purchased county coverage of the OS MasterMap Imagery Layer.
LFRS are going to be using the Imagery Layer in their two command support vehicles (CSVs). The CSVs are used for major county incidents and each have two computer terminals on board. These computers have geographical information systems (GIS) installed and can be used to analyse data of the incident area.
OS MasterMap is our flagship product family, but have you ever wondered how a photo taken by a plane makes it onto a computer screen as a piece of data? Photogrammetry is the science of measuring and interpreting objects from photographs to answer questions like how high is that feature?
Remote Sensing is the process of acquiring information without coming into physical contact with the subject under investigation. We use this process, in conjunction with ground-based revision by our field surveyors, to update our large-scale databases
We have a large contract in place with external suppliers to supplement our own flying and photogrammetric production.This gives us the capacity to have to 6 planes flying on our behalf at any one time, allowing us to make best use of good weather conditions and process 60 000 to 70 000 sq km (more than a quarter) of Great Britain each year.
We recently caught up with two of our Inverness surveyors to find out what challenges they face in their remote corner of Scotland. They mentioned mapping the changes at a hydro scheme and I thought it might be an idea to find out how we updated our OS MasterMap database to show the Glendoe Hydro Scheme, Scotland’s largest recent civil engineering project. Craig and Dave faced a technical challenge in finding the best way to map the new and changed topographical features.
The Glendoe Hydro Scheme is located in the hills above Loch Ness near Fort Augustus and although a significant part of the project is underground, many new and changed features needed to be incorporated into our OS MasterMap database. These included the dam wall, the reservoir, all of the access and service roads, changes to water courses and their associated walls and sluices, and changes to the extents of vegetation and other surface features.