Using any new digital product can involve a learning experience. If you are not already familiar with using geographic information (or GI) and would like some guidance on the steps involved to get the most from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products, please make use of the materials provided below.
Here are some questions you might want to consider, to get the best from using geographic information provided by a public sector mapping agreement:
What are your business needs?
- Before you decided you needed a map or Ordnance Survey digital product, what was your business or organisational need?
- What are the outputs you want from your geographic information system to solve your problem?
- What data do you have that you would like to show on a map? This might be addresses or locations.
- What kind of digital mapping information would help you solve your problem? Examples include street names, route networks and land contours.
- Have you considered which would be the most appropriate geographic information software to meet your business need?
- What skills and IT resources do you have, to manage and work with geographic data?
Choosing the right geographic information system is a key decision in this process, once you have clearly defined your needs.
If you are a department in a larger organisation, you may need to create a business case for this work, so answering the above questions will help you do this.
The sections below are designed to give you further help to answer these questions.
Geographic Information and map data concepts
Geographic information (GI) and data is quite a wide field (no pun intended) and there are many terms and concepts that you will need to become familiar with to get the most out of using our products.
Here are some questions and answers that you might help when you start to learn about GI and data products.
GI Questions and Answers:
- What is Geographic Information (GI)? - Find out about Geographic data
- What is a Geographical Information system (GIS) Learn about GIS here
- What is map scale and why is this important? Find out about scale.
- Where can I learn more about the National Grid? See our FAQs / watch a video
- What formats are available for map data? Learn about Raster and Vector data
This example from Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR) shows how they have benefitted from using Ordnance Survey products to access more details about an emergency location and improve their response times reaching an incident.
The sections below show more detail about how GI can support the analysis of complex data to the benefit of your organisation
Using map products to analyse your data
One of the greatest benefits from using Ordnance Survey mapping products is the ability to display and analyse complex data. Here are some resources to help explain what you can achieve in terms of analysis and an example of how our data can be loaded into a Geographic Information System.
If you decide to host and manage your map data locally, loading and managing data is a task that someone in your organisation will need to be able to manage. These videos should help you to understand the work involved and some of the skills required.
Where can I get the software and support to work with your data?
If you need help with managing your geographic data or would like to engage with a partner to help manage your requirements, please visit software for mapping.