public sector


How OS data is supporting the response to Covid-19

If you’re working with data to support a Covid-19 response, we can help you with location data analysis. And, did you know the public sector can access data and support from OS, free at the point of use? OS Principal Consultant Duncan Moss tells us more…

OS data is being used to respond to the pandemic, and much of this data is available now to the public sector under our mapping agreements, our partners and new customers. Read More


Mapping for Emergencies – Toddbrook Reservoir

On 1 August 2019, a major incident was declared at Toddbrook Reservoir in Derbyshire. Several days of heavy rain had resulted in high volumes of water flowing over the spillway, partially dislodging concrete slabs.

Spillways are structures that either form part of a dam, or are found just beside one. They are used, when a reservoir is full, to pass floodwater safely, and in a controlled way, over a dam, around it or through it.

OS aerial imagery of Whaley Bridge.

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OS and ONS release report on the geography of Britain’s high streets

When you’re out shopping, you might think it’s easy to define a high street and where it starts and ends. But is it that simple? Can a town have more than one high street? Is the road called High Street in your town still the primary shopping area? Or has the purpose of the road shifted over time?

Graphic asking where is Britain's longest high street

We’ve been working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to define and analyse Britain’s high streets. Together, we have been working out how many high streets there are in Great Britain, what types of properties and businesses are on high streets, as well how the number of businesses and employment has changed in recent years. Read More


Glasgow 2018 European Championships and OS data

During August 2018 the cities of Glasgow (UK) and Berlin (DE) jointly-hosted the inaugural edition of the European Championships, a new and exciting multi-sport event. The Glasgow 2018 European Championships brought together some of our continent’s leading athletes. The city of Glasgow and Scotland hosted aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon with athletics and the marathon being hosted in Berlin. In total, there were 11 competition days, 12 sports venues and 188 medal events. More than 3,000 athletes travelled to Scotland while 1,500 athletes competed in Berlin.

Combining the power of ESRI’s ArcGIS Online platform technology with highly detailed geospatial data from OS, Glasgow City Council created web mapping applications for planning and operational purposes prior to and throughout the event.

The use of web mapping applications was vital in assisting with the planning, staffing and operational elements of the venues and cycling routes, particularly the events which involved public roads.

Games Time: Time Trial Sector Road Closures.

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Free data management workshops for the Public Sector

Guest blog by Gary Randle, UK Sales Manager, Cadcorp

If you work in government and want to maximise the benefit of geographic information systems (GIS) and web mapping, becoming familiar with Ordnance Survey (OS) data products is a good place to start.  What OS products do we have?  How do we best load and manage these products?  How can these products complement our own business data?  For this reason, at Cadcorp, we’ve been running free onsite Ordnance Survey Data Management Workshops for central government.  The workshops are designed to introduce OS data products and offer practical advice about using and managing the data.

When customers first get access to OS products there are a number choices to make. The workshops are designed to help equip users with the knowledge to make the right choices for their organisation.  For example:

  • Background mapping or business intelligence
  • Data stack and scales
  • Styles and colours
  • Flat files or database
  • Direct access or web services

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Registers of Scotland: What, exactly, is your land?

For many years OS mapping has helped to define your land in law. What constitutes your land in law goes beyond your property and land ownership. It is more than just the actual earth beneath our feet within what we know to be the physical boundaries and buildings. Nowadays the registration of title to land is particularly important as it is often the most valuable asset of any individual or business.

In Scotland, the transfer of land from one owner to another has been recorded for centuries. Read this guest blog from Registers of Scotland who have been transforming this process.

Before we dive right in and tell you about the exciting digital transformation projects happening at Registers of Scotland (RoS) we should probably start with what we do here at RoS…We are the non-ministerial government department that looks after registers relating to land, property and other legal matters.

The maintenance of our property registers underpins the Scottish property market and economy. For hundreds of years we have been a largely paper-based organisation – until now! In fact we are in the midst of a radical business transformation; with the aim of offering fully digital registration and information services by 2020, which will not only improve efficiency and our carbon footprint but enable us to offer even higher levels of security and transparency concerning Scottish land and property transactions. A lynchpin in this digital transformation programme is ScotLIS, the brand new map-based land information service we launched in October. Read More


OS data being used to predict coastal change in Scotland

Sunny day? Head to the coast to enjoy the British beaches. Need to de-stress? Head to the coast and have a walk, listen to the waves crashing and smelling the sea air. Picturing your perfect holiday home? Chances are it’s on the coast. It’s safe to say that most Britons are fans of the coast and there’s a good chance that you’re aware of coastal change to some degree. Whether it’s investment in coastal defences, cliff falls or erosion impacting landowners, coastal change often hits the news.

Great Britain has tens of thousands of kilometres of coastline, which is a key resource and home to communities, businesses and infrastructure – as well as being a great place to holiday. Looking at Scotland, around 20% of the population live within 1km of the coast, that’s around 1 million people. Yet 19% of the coast is erodible or ‘soft’.

What does that mean for the coast? According to Dynamic Coast it means that thousands of assets are at risk. Within just 50m of the Scottish coast lie 34,000 buildings, of which 72% are residential properties. You also have 1,300km of roads, 100km of rail networks and 600 natural heritage sites. Read More


Parallel – working with OS OpenData

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.

Parallel 3D buildings and functional sites

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