National Allotment Week kicked off yesterday, celebrating the hard work that volunteers, councils and organisations put in on all of the sites across the country. To mark the week, allotment groups are opening their gates and holding barbecues, plant and produce sales, allotment tours, competitions and exhibitions, coffee mornings and afternoon teas – many of them raising funds to support local charities.
Allotments are a fantastic way to #GetOutside and enjoy some fresh air, meet new people, and grow your own fruit and vegetables. The National Allotment Society say that 30 minutes of gardening on your allotment can burn around 150 calories, the same as doing low impact aerobics. Plus, allotments provide essential habitats for wildlife. Just 1 square metre of land can support hundreds of different species.
Did you know?
The 2016/17 English Football Premier League season is over and what a great season it has been.
Chelsea are champions for the sixth time while Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull have been relegated. Tottenham Hotspur say a fond farewell to White Hart Lane after 118 years and finish the season in second. West Ham started life at the London Stadium and finished the season in a respectable 11th place.
To mark the end of the season, the GeoDataViz team have created a one-off visual of all 20 locations for each of the Premier League stadiums. Each of the stadiums have been mapped using OS Open-Map Local and styled using the team colours.
Have a look for your favourite team below in the final league table or view and download a poster of all 20 stadium locations.
The 2016/17 Premier League Table
Blog by Tim Newman, OS OpenData Product Manager
This month sees us celebrate the seventh anniversary of the launch of OS OpenData. This was a big milestone for us as we released 11 of our mapping and analytical datasets under open licensing. Each day, 150 different people download data from our portal taking, on average, two products each. This adds up to over 400,000 orders placed since the launch of OS OpenData in 2010 and an enormous 1.9 million downloads in total.
Guest blog by Tony Payne
The map on the right shows all the hills in the Cotswolds with over 14% gradient. I created it using a range of OS OpenData products and you can see the original in Google Maps here.
Hill Quest – origins
I’m a keen road cyclist, and regularly ride with the Cheltenham and County Cycling Club. A fellow club member, Simon Boswell, announced his ‘Hill Quest’ – a quest to ride all the hills over 14% in the Cotswolds (14% being a single chevron on OS maps).
Simon had found around 140 hills by sitting down with his OS maps and looking for chevrons. I volunteered a corresponding ‘armchair quest’ to identify them by a database query. The resulting map has nearly 600 hills – more than enough to keep Simon quiet over the summer.
Zooming in on the map, each hill is identified with details such as maximum gradient and total climb. Hills are shown in green, with the 14% sections highlighted in red with a marker showing the start of the steep section.
Hill Quest – progress
Guest blog by Victoria Synek Herd
I’m Victoria, and I’ve just finished a fantastic week of work experience at Ordnance Survey. I’m currently a Year 12 student at Colyton Grammar School in Devon, studying Geography, Biology, English and History at A Level. I decided to come to the OS for work experience as I’m interested in studying Geography at university, and have always wanted an insight into the process behind producing maps. I cannot thank OS enough for such an insightful and fun experience.
I was stationed in the Products team for the week where I had my own computer and workspace, and I started the week by testing out the OS OpenData ‘Simple Guides’ which explained how to use the OS OpenData on QGIS. I was a little apprehensive to start with, seeing as I was not at all familiar with downloading data or using QGIS, however I soon discovered the guides were easy to follow and gave a good foundation of understanding for the beginner. On completing the four guides, I knew how to create simple maps using several different types of opendata, including OS Open Map Local and OS VectorMap District. This provided a good platform for me to investigate the other sets of opendata available, and I enjoyed creating some of my own maps.
OS OpenData launched back in April 2010 and we’ve seen over a million downloads over the last five years. From red squirrels mapped in the Highlands to crime statistics overlaid on tweets, we’ve seen a huge variety of uses too. Most examples we see are online, so when we spotted OS OpenData used in a book recently, it caught our eye.
Guest post by summer intern, Jessica Fisher
Under the banner of OS OpenData are over a dozen products which vary in format, scale and design to offer the greatest flexibility and usability possible. These products are all freely downloadable from our OS website – and now there are new start-up guides to using a number of the products.
When we talk about our range of OS Open Data products, it’s sometimes hard to visualise them from a set of words or descriptions and understand what these products can do for you. Maps and data are by their nature visual things that you have to see to appreciate them. An easy way to this is to visit the OS Open Data viewer site, showing a selection of our national datasets that can be zoomed and searched as you move around the map.
At the end of March, we’ll be releasing OS Open Map – Local in beta. It will be our most detailed open data product, providing a backdrop for integrating and visualising analytical datasets. There’s an enhanced level of detail for buildings – including functional sites such as hospitals and schools, an extended naming of roads and an extensive set of cartographic names optimised for digital styling and presentation.
The flexible and easy to use vector dataset, will show urban and land features across Britain and is designed to work with other OS OpenData products, offering consistent styling, and links with other data sets. It will be available in GML 3.2 and ESRI Shapefile when it launches. We developed OS Open Map – Local following feedback from the OpenData User Community who asked for greater flexibility, more building detail and more options for customising of the data.
As part of ongoing moves to make our data even more accessible and easier for start-ups and others to understand and use, we are pleased to announce that following close work with The National Archives we have now adopted the Open Government Licence (OGL) version 3.0 in place of our OS OpenData licence.
We were delighted to work with the The National Archives throughout 2014, in helping form this new version of the OGL, and were enthusiastic throughout to explain and navigate through previous sticking points that had prevented us from adopting the OGL in its entirety in the past. In particular, one of these sticking points concerned the issue of sublicensing and giving greater clarity as to the applicability of OGL terms to sublicensees, a matter that has been addressed in this new version of the OGL.