The GeoVation judging panel met this week and were delighted at the quality and scope of the ideas submitted to our GeoVation Challenge to look for ways that British business could improve their environmental performance using Ordnance Survey products or services in the solution.
The judging panel have now selected a short-list of 10 finalists who have been invited to develop their ideas further at the GeoVation Camp, held on the weekend of 21-23 June 2013 our Southampton head office.
The finalists are:
“Virtual” national transport fleet – an idea to create a connect-able, broker-free web of independent transport companies; breaking down the systemic big company/small company inefficiencies which exist.
Creating an Energy Democracy: The Wasted Energy Network – a platform for encouraging inter-business recycling, triggering waste-based economies and identifying areas of opportunity for sustainable waste management and energy generation systems.
RecycleLink – the idea is to bring waste producers and processors together using a centralised trading platform that will facilitate collaboration and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.
Continue reading 'Environment challenge finalists invited to GeoVation Camp'»
We would like to thank those of you who entered our recent OS OpenData competition to win an iPad. We had over 100 entries, with many varied uses, from personal projects, producing printed products, delivering environmental applications to supporting charitable work.
We will be contacting some our entrants to work with them to develop case studies, which we will release on our website when available.
In the meantime, here are a few comments from the entrants:
I have found Open Source Data from Ordnance Survey of extreme benefit in aiding the creation of various map types for submission as part of the planning process. The customer service from OS has been excellent in dealing with any questions and queries in relation to OpenData. quarryplan
Continue reading 'OS OpenData competition – thank you'»
Guest blog by Jayne Phenton, Media Co-ordinator for Living Streets @livingstreets
Last weekend I visited Wiltshire and walked seven or so miles up to Bratton Camp and back.
The landlady of the B&B where I was staying was shocked. ‘You must be very fit’, she said. ‘Jayne walks to work every day’, said my friend. Her jaw dropped further. ‘It’s less than two and quarter miles’, I reassured her.
‘I’m the sort of person who parks right outside the shop’, said Mrs Fawlty, looking shame-faced. I suggested she might give walking a go during Walk to Work Week,13-17 May, which is part of National Walking Month run by Living Streets.
I’m fortunate to live a 40 minute walk away from the Living Streets office in London and especially so because my commute takes me across the River Thames and past historic sites like the Tower of London.
But whatever your route, a brisk walk to work is a great opportunity to clear your head, and prepare for your day. Walking is great for your health in every kind of way. It’s a valuable weight bearing exercise, an excellent work out for your heart, proven to be good for your mental wellbeing and you’re strengthening 200 muscles with minimal impact on your joints.
If you do want to lose a pound or two then building some walking into your day is going to help. Just half an hour’s walk to work and home again could use up to 250 calories. Sign up on Living Streets’ website www.walktowork.org.uk and you can log your walks, see how many muffins you’ve burned off and compete with your colleagues to see who can be top walker.
Continue reading 'Getting fitter needn’t be an uphill struggle!'»
When we saw an article in The Times about the 30 best towns in Great Britain, it sparked our imaginations at Explorer House and we wanted to see them laid out on a map. Would there be a hotspot in one area of the country?
The Times actually looked at a range of towns spread across great Britain that were chosen for their charm, history, housing, amenities and much more. Not only that, but they identified that these popular towns could already be spotted quite easily as their housing prices tended to be higher than the average for their region.
Over a series of days the newspaper ran a number of other top 30s featuring the coolest places to live, best places to retire and best places to have a second home, amongst others. We’ve taken four of those top 30s and put them on a map…have a look by clicking on the link below.
Continue reading 'Find the best places to live in Great Britain'»
The Keswick Mountain Festival is the largest event of its kind in the UK and we’re proud to be the official mapping partner of the Festival this year. Set in the heart of the Lake District, it inspires thousands of visitors to get into the great outdoors, try new activities and enjoy exciting experiences.
The event, which is being held at Crow Park in Keswick from Wednesday 15– Sunday 19 May, promises to be jam packed with leisure activities (cycling, climbing, hiking, swimming, kayaking, triathlons and more) inspirational speakers such as Chris Bonington, Graham Obree and John Beatty, live music, parties, swim clinics and map reading workshops. If you love the outdoors then this event is not to be missed.
Not only that, but if you book an activity at the Festival, you’ll receive a discount code giving you one month’s free access to OS getamap, our online route-planning and printing service. Over 140,000 routes have been drawn since its launch in March 2011. Subscribers benefit from free A4 Ordnance Survey mapping prints, extra route editing tools and full screen map view all for only £19.99 per annum.
We’ve featured a number of blog articles over the last few months showing historical map extracts and asking you to identify the modern landmark that now stands in the same spot. We all use maps in our daily lives to work out where we are and where we’re going, but it can also be really interesting to see how things used to be and compare that to the current landscape.
You might not have known that we sell a series of 477 historical maps, revised from the end of the 19th century and published in the early 1900s. The maps use the traditional 1 inch to 1 mile scale, showing contours, latitude and longitude, parish boundaries, railways, roads, waterways and woods.
You can see how your town has changed in the past 100 (or so) years or use the maps for the very popular ancestry research.
Continue reading 'Special offer on historical maps – half price for a limited time only!'»
Are your communications channels robust? Are they reliable? What about bomb-proof? When the City of London needed to create a network of tough, resilient communications pods that would continue to function in the aftermath of a civil emergency, they needed Ordnance Survey data to help them optimise the locations.
How can a pod help me?
LED screens on the side of the pods deliver the latest shifts in the financial markets and other relevant news, helping to keep city traders informed. Workers in the city also need to know about movements below ground, so any delays or problems with the tube network are also published on the screens.
The pods are not just about communications – each one also helps to keep the city clean. The pods are designed with a recycling opening, allowing half a tonne of newspaper waste to be recycled each year.
How did this happen?
To deliver this complex and robust solution, Renew (a City of London partner) made use of Ordnance Survey’s partner emapsite to build a web based portal that could handle the requirements for the detailed geographic data needed in the design and planning process.
Continue reading 'News and recycling on the city streets'»
Today’s walk is courtesy of one of our outdoors-loving colleagues, Alan Rolfe. You can see more of Alan’s walks (and bike rides) on his blog, Bikes and Boots.
Length of route:
Approx 8 miles, allow 2.5 hours.
SU 606182 (car parking near village hall).
OS Explorer Map (1:25 000) – 119 Meon Valley
Download our OS MapFinder app and plot or record the route
Use OS getamap to plot the route
From the car park, cross the A32 and walk along Hacketts lane, following the Wayfayers Way signs, heading W. Continue straight on to a path where the road turns R. Continue towards the hill ahead. At the foot of the hill, turn R and continue to follow the Wayfarers Way signs. After about 0.5km, as the path starts to descend on a more defined track, watch for a turning to the, almost hidden in the hedgerow. Take this path, leaving the Wayfarers Way, and continue climbing to cross a stile just before a minor road.
Continue across the road on to a very pleasant bridleway, heading generally W, then very soon almost S. Turn sharp R and descend heading N to a minor road. Follow the road straight ahead and a short while after the road swings L heading W, turn R to head N again to pass by a farm on the R and then a lovely house with a walled garden on the L. Continue on to enter a copse.
Continue straight across the B3035 across a field. At the time of the walk, the field had been very recently ploughed and there was no obvious path but the next marker can be seen straight ahead. Immediately after crossing the field at Bottom Copse, turn R to follow a bridleway heading east, then turn L at the farm to head N.
Continue reading 'Walk of the week: Droxford'»
Over the Bank Holiday weekend three surveyors from G&J Surveys were accompanied by Ordnance Survey’s Geodetic Analyst Mark Greaves to accurately measure the height of Tal y Fan, one of the smallest mountains in Wales.
Tal y Fan has a map height of 610 m (flush bracket height at triangulation pillar of 610.209 m) which is very close to the 609.6 m (2,000 ft) height that is generally accepted as defining mountain status in England and Wales. The weekend expedition was to check whether Tal y Fan should still hold mountain status or whether it should be reclassified as a hill.
Tal y Fan translates as The End Peak or Peak End. It is the most northerly of the 2,000 ft mountains in Wales and is situated at the end of the Carneddau mountain range. Part of this mountain range forms the greatest continuous height above 3,000ft of any land in Britain south of the Scottish border. Beyond Tal y Fan are the fertile pastures of the Conwy valley and then the sea. The history in the immediate vicinity of Tal y Fan dates back to prehistoric times as two monoliths still stand at the gateway to Bwlch y Ddeufaen (Pass of the Two Stones), this is the old pass through the mountains that was still in use during Roman times.
The aim of the survey was to survey the very highest point of Tal y Fan and gather a minimum of two hours of summit data. After an afternoon of capturing height data the team returned to the Valley where it was down to Ordnance Survey’s Mark Greaves to process the data.
After double checking the results it was then the responsibility of BBC Breakfast to reveal the results live on Monday morning. At 6.50 am live on BBC One it was confirmed that Tal y Fan measured 609.98 m (2,001 ft), some 38 cm (1 ft 3 in) above that needed to qualify for mountain status.
Read the BBC article too: ow.ly/kMc64
Whether they’ve been making maps for 20 years or two weeks, just like any designer, cartographers need inspiration when starting their latest project. Inspiration can come from many places and take many forms. Here at Ordnance Survey we use a range of resources and we want to share some of them with you. In this post we list several online resources that can help with your latest map design; from choosing the right colour palette to selecting great fonts. Some of these resources are specific to map-making and some are more general. It is worth noting that they are not tools for making maps but tools to help with the map design process.
Although by no means a definitive list, these are some of the tools and resources that we refer to and use regularly and we have sorted them into four categories: colours, fonts, symbols and map inspiration:
The use of colour is very often fundamental to the success of a map. Colour can help with many elements of map design from improving visual contrast to simply catching the eye.
ColorBrewer 2.0 is a great tool for selecting colour schemes that are specific to maps, especially helpful when mapping various classes of data.
Continue reading 'Map design: a list of helpful online resources'»