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Running a safe and secure major national event – with geospatial information

On 6 July 2005 the City of London was awarded the Games of the 30th Olympiad. Within 24 hours the terrorist bombings on London’s transport system demonstrated the importance of security for the event.

Aerial view of the London Olympics site

Ordnance Survey (OS) provided geospatial information and intelligence to meet the needs of the 2012 Olympics.

At OS International, we can draw from OS's mapping knowledge to help nations across the world run successful large-scale events.

What were the challenges?

  • The number of different organisations in both the public and private sector involved in delivering this major national special event.
  • Linking the work of these organisations with location-based data.
  • The need for current, accurate and trusted geospatial information to understand and address a range of issues.
  • All logistical aspects of the 2012 games, including pre-planning, design and construction to traffic management, public safety and emergency response – including the final staging of the Games itself.
"Thanks for all your help, especially to Ordnance Survey who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that mapping and GIS data for the Olympics and Paralympics has been so effective, it’s been a pleasure working with you all."
Shaun Bennett, LOCOG

What was the solution?

  • OS engaged with the wider stakeholder community to work together on geospatial support for all facets of Olympic planning and delivery.
  • Forming a Production Coordination Group (PCG).
  • Operationally focussed, and comprising more than 20 different organisations, the PCG ensured that all parties had access to all the geospatial information they required.
  • The group made sure any data was collected efficiently and cost effectively.
  • OS also provided coordination and technical consultancy for reference frameworks, positioning services, primary data collection, spatial analysis and web services & applications to ensure a safe, secure and operationally sound Games.
  • Mapping more than half a million additional objects specifically required to plan, secure and deliver major special events

What was the outcome?

OS data and products were key in the success of the Games including:

  • Providing online mapping for Transport for London (TfL) to help identify real-time traffic hotspots.
  • Planning and mapping the Olympic and Paralympic Relay Torch Route around the entire British Isles.
  • Producing more than 7,000 unique maps and plans, as well as spectator mapping, athlete and media guides, bus map routes, workforce training materials, and security/transport plans.
  • Making a unified grid and common symbols an essential element of these maps and plans.
  • Metropolitan Police using OS’s complete range of standard and specially collected mapping data – the large scale containing more than 300 layers of information in common GIS formats.
  • Distributing six million walking maps to encourage people to walk to their destination, lessening the demand on public transport.
  • Additionally supplying geospatial support, 24 hours a day.

What were the benefits?

  • A successful and secure London 2012.
  • 20 million spectator journeys. More than 2.4 million people visited the Olympic Park, and more than 4 million viewed the games at live sites – all without adverse incident.
  • A single common operating picture of London 2012, avoiding conflicting information.
  • The collaborative approach with all involved agencies and sharing 400 different datasets resulted in significant financial savings.

How we can help you

On behalf of TfL, ODA and LOCOG, we would like to thank you for all the help and support that Ordnance Survey has provided in preparing for the games.

Richard Hartley, Transport for London (TfL)

To find out more about our consultancy and support internationally, please contact us at internationalenquiries@os.uk or call +44 (0) 3456 05 05 05.

We can also offer a geospatial maturity assessment to help you understand how mature your organisation is and where you need to be.

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